Colin Turner

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science in Music Therapy


Music Therapy

First Advisor

Barbara L. Wheeler


This phenomenological research explores the experiences of professionals who balance careers as both music therapists and professional musicians. Interviews with these participants provide new insights into the lives of music therapists who are also music performers outside of clinical work. This study aims to gain a better understanding of how music therapists describe the impacts of balancing the two professions. Four Board-Certified Music Therapists who simultaneously work as professional musicians participated in open-ended interviews regarding their experiences of balancing the two professions and how it has impacted their clinical work. Two main categories emerged during the analysis: (a) Performance had a positive impact on music therapy, and (b) Balancing the two professions impacted both. Five subcategories emerged during the analysis. The researcher’s own experiences as a music therapy student and professional musician are included in this study via reflexive journaling. The categories and subcategories are presented along with descriptions of the participants to illustrate the study’s findings? The implications of this research on clinical and educational training are also discussed.

Related Pillar(s)


Included in

Music Therapy Commons