Why do you charge for that?One question college DIDN’T prepare me to answer was “What? Why do you charge for that?”. This is usually in response to those asking me to offer group services in senior living communities.

It continues to amaze me how often I run into people in a variety of settings who are willing to pay for a plumber but think a musician or a music therapist should give their services for free.

Putting aside the musician aspect, let’s address the music therapy services I offer to senior living communities.

Here’s a starter list of what the fees cover:

  • 30+ years experience as a board certified music therapist (Requires a bachelor’s degree + 6 month internship + passing a board exam to obtain certification)
  • Continuing education and training
  • Annual fees for maintaining Board Certification
  • Time spent
    • preparing the session
    • traveling to and from the session
    • documenting the session
    • cleaning equipment used in the session
  • Purchasing and maintaining equipment/instruments used in the session
  • Liability insurance
  • Membership in the American Music Therapy Association which also provides access to two music therapy publications and many support services.
  • Administrative time to handle emails, accounts and schedules
  • Office supplies
  • Software and technology updates
  • My salary 

Yes, I DO EXPECT payment for my services. Do I sometimes I choose to support and chose to give my time for special events? Yes, but, in general I expect payment. Don’t you expect payment for your work?