- United States Citizenship: Non-citizens may only be appointed when it is not possible to recruit qualified citizens in accordance with VA Policy.
- Education: A bachelor's degree or higher, from an accredited college or university, in music therapy, or in music with an emphasis in music therapy. The degree must be approved by the National Association for Schools of Music and/or the American Music Therapy Association. OR, A bachelor's degree or higher, from an accredited college or university, and must be a board-certified music therapist (MT-BC) approved by the Certification Board for Music Therapists (CBMT). If hired under this education, the certification cannot be waived.
At least one year of creditable experience at the next lower grade level (i. Ability to perform a varied repertoire of popular, folk, and traditional songs appropriate for use in a clinical setting using at least two of the following: keyboard, voice, guitar, percussion or other musical instruments suitable to a clinical setting. ii. Knowledge of the roles and meaning of music in various cultures and subcultures. iii. Knowledge to design, develop, or adapt unique music therapy methods for assessment, treatment, or palliation and evaluation procedures. iv. Skill to apply objectivity and insight to respond constructively to both positive and negative reactions while maintaining a safe environment for the patient and therapist.)
Demonstrated Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities:
In addition to the experience above, the candidate must demonstrate all of the following KSAs:
1. Ability to adapt assessment tools and treatment interventions to address the complexity of the diagnosis or disabilities and demonstrate the clinical reasoning necessary to identify the need for further in-depth specific assessment of function and utilization of unconventional methods and techniques.
2. Knowledge of current methods of music therapy assessment, treatment, and evaluation related to human growth and development, musical development, diagnostic classifications, etiology, symptomatology, and prognosis in formulating complex treatment plans, including the contraindications of music therapy for individuals and groups.
3. Ability to design, develop, or adapt unique music therapy methods for assessment, treatment or palliation, and evaluation procedures for complex clinical cases, through a broad range of specialized music therapy services for various and emerging patient populations.
4. Ability to use music therapy interventions to provide opportunities to work through treatment issues, including emotional disturbances, by establishing a safe environment for the patient to understand the symbolic expression of their musical product, process, and experience as it relates to recovery and wellness.
5. Ability to apply effective use of professional skill, objectivity, and insight to respond constructively to both positive and negative reactions, establish and maintain a therapeutic relationship with professional boundaries to reflect trusting, empathetic, and respectful interactions.
6. Ability to apply current research literature and co-facilitate treatment with professionals from other disciplines, the uses of the creative arts therapies and recreation therapy, as well as understanding emerging models and trends in music therapy.
Employees at this level serve as creative arts therapists (music) at the full performance level. They have a full understanding of music therapy processes and procedures, and require only general supervision when providing direct patient care. They exercise independent judgment, administer and interpret music therapy assessments, and utilize clinical knowledge to develop unconventional assessment and interview approaches to effectively elicit information. They review pre-evaluation data in the medical record upon admission or through consult. They conduct, analyze, interpret, and report assessment data across functional domains (i.e., behavioral, cognitive, communicative, emotional/affective, physical, sensory, and social) as well as musical knowledge, skills, and abilities. They plan, organize, and implement developmentally and situationally appropriate and evidence-based comprehensive music therapy interventions for persons diagnosed with chronic or life-threatening conditions, as well as their families, and in collaboration with an interdisciplinary or multidisciplinary team. These may include, but are not limited to: music listening, singing, playing, creating and improvising to understand musical behaviors as a means of self-expression, communication, and adaptive behavior; for neurological or physical rehabilitation; pain management; increased independence; exploring self-concept; improved coping skills; interpersonal relationships and social skills; and group cohesion. They recommend and develop new treatment groups and programs (including co-treatment opportunities) for treating patients with complex medical or mental health issues including, but not limited to Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) to promote a variety of clinical outcomes, such as improved coping with grief, loss, or palliative care/terminal illness; behavior management, conflict resolution, or non-verbal communication of difficult subject matter. They participate in co-treatment opportunities including neurological rehabilitation, mental health recovery programs, and palliative care, often related to the symptoms of a terminal illness. They plan, organize, implement, and evaluate public relations for the program to inform and educate others about music therapy, in various settings, including the complex interactions of the therapeutic process, as well as the efficacy of music therapy in complex cases.
VA HANDBOOK 5005, PART II, APPENDIX G60
The full performance level of this vacancy is GS-11.
The work requires regular and recurring physical exertion such as standing or walking for prolonged periods of time; frequent bending, reaching, stooping, lifting and stretching to set up and take apart equipment and apparatus; pushing or pulling heavy objects, including Veterans in wheelchairs. The work may require specific physical characteristics and abilities such as above average agility and dexterity to perform intricate therapy procedures, as well as skill and ability in the therapist's respective discipline.