Music therapy

Music therapy contributes to improved mental health, social interactions and academic performance.

  • Tier:
    • Tier 1: Positive Mental Health Promotion
    • Tier 2: Early Intervention Cohort Specific Support
    • Tier 3: Targeted Support
  • Type of intervention: Therapeutic programs
  • Strength of evidence: Registered professional
  • Geographic location: State-wide

Program description

Music therapy provides support to students with specific needs. Research demonstrates that music therapy can support student mental health and wellbeing.

Registered Music Therapy Therapists (RMTs) deliver music therapy programs for students. RMTs are professionals with postgraduate qualifications in music therapy. They use music therapy techniques to support young people’s mental health.

Music therapy provides engaging and motivating techniques to improve mental health. Programs are tailored to meet the needs of students and build on their areas of interest.

Music therapy allows students with mental illness to better connect to themselves, others, community and culture. These connections through music therapy can improve mental health, social and educational outcomes.

Intended outcomes

  • Assist in regulating student emotions
  • Build emotional literacy
  • Sustain positive relationships with others
  • Develop interest and motivation
  • Develop positive coping resources and strategies
  • Explore sense of self and identity.

Program details

Target audience
  • Primary school students
  • Secondary schools students
Program providerQualified therapist as outlined in Skills Checklist
Delivery mode
  • Face-to-face
  • Online

Implementation considerations

  • Target population: Students of any age that may benefit.
  • Program adaptability: Music therapy is an individually tailored mental health service. The program is developed by an RMT based on local need and context. RMTs will work with students and their key in-school supports (e.g. learning support staff) to improve mental health and wellbeing and improve engagement in the student’s school and learning environments.
  • Staffing: Not applicable
  • Training requirements: Not applicable
  • Australian experience: Music therapists are trained and regulated in Australia.
  • Factors to consider: Requires a private space that allows for music making.


Item cost


Detailed cost

AMTA is the registration body for Registered Music Therapists (RMTs) across Australia. Individual RMTs can be contacted by schools for program costings specific to their school and student needs (see website link in contacts).

RMTs may design a pricing package with a school based on number of participants or sessional costs. Costs will depend on:

  • frequency
  • content
  • individual/group delivery
  • preparation expectations
  • provision of materials/instruments, and
  • the nature of engagement/employment.

Schools may work with RMTs on a salaried basis (e.g., 0.2FTE AHP1 Grade 2, from $16,672 p.a.) or on a sessional basis (ranging from $75-$220/hour).