The relationship between type of degree and professional status in clinical music therapists

Nicki S. Cohen, Texas Woman's University
Gene A. Behrens, Elizabethtown College


The purpose of this descriptive study was to: (a) examine the relationship between the construct, Type of Music Therapy Degree, and 5 other constructs: Job Satisfaction, Job Longevity, Level of Promotion, Job Responsibilities, and Geographical Location; and (b) explore the interrelationships among the 5 constructs other than Type of Music Therapy Degree. Questionnaires were mailed to 616 clinical music therapists. The response rate was 35% (N = 218). Ten variables defining the 6 constructs were examined for statistically significant and meaningful relationships: highest music therapy degree achieved, average job satisfaction rating, length of time as a music therapist, length of time in present job, average length of time in jobs, total number of jobs, total number of promotions across jobs, number of present duties, number of hours presently working, and region in which work. Results indicated that a significant relationship existed between highest music therapy degree achieved and 3 variables: length of time as a music therapist, total number of jobs, and region in which work. Follow-up comparisons revealed that those respondents with a Doctoral Degree had been employed at significantly more jobs than those with a Bachelor's degree. Also, those with a Master's degree in music therapy had stayed significantly longer in the field than those with a Bachelor's degree in music therapy. A follow-up analysis with the third variable, region in which work, indicated that the highest proportion of respondents in each re-gion had obtained a Bachelor's degree in music therapy. Of the 8 significant relationships obtained among the other 9 variables, 4 variables defining the construct Job Longevity appeared to play a central role in the relationships among the variables.