Peter Davis

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science in Music Therapy


Music Therapy

First Advisor

Dr. John Carpente


To attend to the musical and clinical needs of music therapy consumers, music therapists must attend to their own music so as to nurture their musical-self (Bruscia, 1987; Priestley, 1994; Robbins & Robbins, 1998). Yet, despite the fact that music is the basic tool music therapists rely upon to conduct their work (Aigen, 2005b; Brookins, 1984), the topic of nurturing the musical-self has received scarce, if any attention in the music therapy literature. The purpose of this study was to understand the views of professional music therapists in regard to the role of the musical-self in promoting career longevity among music therapists. This study asked two primary questions: 1) Does nurturing one’s musical-self contribute to career longevity? 2) If so, what techniques do music therapists use to nurture their musical-selves? Respondents were board certified music therapists, surveyed through an online questionnaire designed by the researcher. The respondents were contacted via e-mail; the email contained an online link through which the respondents were able to access the online survey. This study sought to provide empirical data regarding the role of the musical-self in promoting career longevity among music therapists. As such, this study hopes to benefit the music therapy and creative arts profession in terms of identifying musical-self care solutions and strategies that can help professional music therapists prevent or cope with the effects of professional burnout while promoting professional satisfaction and longevity in the music therapy profession.

Related Pillar(s)


Included in

Music Therapy Commons