What is the career in the field of music therapy?

The COVID-19 pandemic changed life as we know it. Masks, sanitisers, social distancing have become the new normal. In such stressful times, music has come to the aid of many across the world. Singing, listening to songs is helping people cope with quarantine and isolation. And that's exactly what the field of musical therapy is all about Music therapists draw upon the healing power of music to improve the well-being of their clients, especially those with disabilities and illnesses.

There are several psychological benefits associated with music. It has been known to help in treating stress and strain, fear, anxiety and depression, and to enhance concentration and memory in children. It is also used for patients with dementia and autism.

How it works

Music therapy is an emerging field backed by mounting scientific evidence. Music therapists work alongside paediatricians and nurses and other allied health professionals, including speech and language therapists, psychologists, occupational therapists, physiotherapists and social workers.

What are the job prospects

Depending on your interest, you can work as a music therapist in different sectors. Primarily, music therapists work as consultants with hospitals and rehabilitation centres. Music therapy is used for children with physical, developmental and intellectual disabilities. Their treatment does not involve medication. Instead, it focusses on bringing about behavioural and cognitive changes. Similarly, schools for differently abled children may also consult music therapists to help children cope with school work. Many corporate houses ask music therapists to conduct workshops to relieve anxiety and stress of employees.

What to study

To work as a music therapist, a Bachelor's degree in music or psychology, special education, occupational therapy, social work or nursing is a prerequisite.


  • St Mira's College, Pune: One-year, full-time, and two-year, part time, Postgraduate Diploma in Clinical Music Therapy

  • Chennai School of Music Therapy: An online, foundation course to train aspirants in the basics of music therapy. Individuals with a Bachelors in Music or related fields can opt for the Postgraduate Diploma programme in Music Therapy

  • Nada, Centre for Music Therapy, Chennai and Delhi: Certificate course in Music Therapy - a distance-learning course offered in affiliation with the Directorate of Distance Learning

  • Mumbai Educational Trust's Institute of Alternative Careers, Mumbai: Certificate in Music Therapy - a six-month, part-time course.

  • S.H Centre for Music Therapy and Mental Health, Amritsar: A distance-education course in Music Therapy. The centre is affiliated to Bharat Sevak Samaj, an agency promoted by the Government of India.


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What is the career in the field of International Relations?

What is international relations?

International Relations focusses on the study of a nation's policy with respect to the competitive world and maintaining international peace. Specialising in international relations would give you a chance to rub shoulders with the creme de la creme from different countries and even work with them to resolve humanitarian, health, or political crises across the world.

What are the career prospects?

Diplomat: One of the most coveted positions in the field of International Relations in India is the Indian Foreign Service (IFS). Officers in this service represent India in various international organisations. Candidates are selected through a highly rigorous screening process - the Union Public Service Commission's civil services examination conducted every year.

Intelligence specialist: Working as an intelligence specialist is sure to get your adrenaline pumping. You will be responsible for collecting data and information - possibly even covertly -from foreign countries for a mission while working with the Army, the Navy or any other government agency. Sounds like a job for a secret agent? Well, our lips are sealed!


Political analyst: If you like talking politics, especially global affairs, then you might be interested in working as a political analyst. Advising political leaders on foreign policies, identifying important issues and framing foreign policy

Non-profit: Non-profit organisations such as the Red Cross also hire international relations and communication specialists.

Where to study

Some of the leading universities in India and abroad offer courses in international relations. Most institutes require a graduation in Political Science to qualify:


  • Jawaharlal Nehru University, Delhi: Masters in Political Science with majors in International Relations

  • Jadavpur University, Kolkata: Master of Arts (MA) in Political Science and International Relations

  • Christ University, Bengaluru: M.A. in International Relations


  • Stanford University, California: Masters in International Relations

  • Columbia University, New York: Masters of International Affairs

  • London School of Economics: Bachelor of Science (BSc) in International Relations and History and Master of Science (M.Sc) in International Relations (research)

  • Harvard University, Cambridge: Graduation in International Relations

Required skills

  • Good communication skills

  • Expertise in global affairs and in-depth knowledge of your country's politics, culture and economy.

  • Ability to come up with diplomatic solutions that will foster foreign ties.

  • Ability to adapt to different environments and cultures is equally essential.


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What is the career in the field of Earth Sciences?

Our Earth is extremely fragile, and human activities are making it more vulnerable. One of the recent examples of the impact of indiscriminate development and climate change is the shocking collapse of a portion of the Nanda Devi glacier in Uttarakhand's Chamoli district on February 7, 2021, and the ensuing floods that claimed many lives. The deadly disaster brings to light the need to rigorously study the impact of human activity on the environment. And that's exactly what earth scientists do.

What is Earth Science?

Earth science is the study of the structure, composition, and evolution of the Earth, the life it supports, and the processes that govern the formation and behaviour of the Earth's materials. It seeks to find answers to questions such as how ice moves, where the mineral resources are, and the rate of permafrost thaw. Understanding these phenomena is essential to the maintenance of life on the planet.

Different branches:

  • Glaciology: Glaciologists assess the impact of climate change, look for alternatives to sustain Earth's depleting resources, and forecast avalanches.

  • Geology: Geologists study Earth and the processes that act on its materials. It also traces the history of the planet and its life forms since origin.

  • Hydrogeology: The study of water flow on and below the Earth's surface and its chemistry.

  • Limnology: Limnology examines lake sediments to determine past climate and ecological environments.

  • Oceanography: The study of the ocean, including its water, boundaries and topography, types of currents, and marine biology.

  • Volcanology and Seismology: The scientific study of the dynamics of volcanoes and earthquakes.

What to study?

Universities in India and abroad offer a range of courses in Earth Sciences. You can pursue a Master of Science (M.Sc) and specialise in the field of your choice. A Ph.D is required to start working in the field.

Where: India

  • Wadia Institute of Himalayan Geology, Dehradun: Training and research programmes on Geomorphology and Environmental Geology. Geophysics, Petrology and Geochemistry

  • Indian Institute of Science Education and Research, Pune: Dual degree programme Bachelor of Science and Master of Science

  • Sharada University. Noida, and Pondicherry University: M.Sc in Environmental Sciences

  • Bharatiya Vidyapeeth, Insitute of Environment Education and Research. Punes M.Sc in Environment Science and Technology

  • Annamalai University, Cuddalore: M.Sc Earth Sciences and PG diplomas in Petroleum and Remote Sensing


  • Utrecht University, the Netherlands, M.Sc Earth Surface and Water

  • University of Helsinki, Finland: M.Sc Geology and Geophysics

  • The University of Westent Australia: Master of Geographic Information Science

  • Massachusetts Institute of Technology, the U.S. M.SC Atmospheres, Oceans and Climate: M.Sc Geology, Geochemistry and Geobiology; Master of Environmental Policy and Planning

What are the job prospects?

Earth scientists primarily work in research organisations and environmental monitoring agencies.

These organisations could be in the private as well as the public sector.

Depending on your field of interest, you can also work with non-profit organisations and think-tanks on environment conservation and policy. If you have an academic bent of mind, then working in a university as a professor in the field of your choice could also suit you.


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I feel my mother is partial

I am a 14-year-old girl studying in Std IX. I have an elder brother and sister. My mother is very partial; she always scolds me for my mistakes but says nothing if my sister makes similar mistakes. My brother beats me but my mother never intervenes. I suffer a lot due to this. My father is very busy with his business and I cannot bear to see him worried, so I never tell him about it. What I should do?

Do speak to your mother, and share your feelings with her. Seek her help to see what can be done to change things and ask her what she expects of you. Before that, reflect on what are the 'mistakes' she scolds you for. If you view 'mistakes' as 'events to learn from, you can change the way you do things. This will not only make your mother happy, but also contribute to your personality and future success.

Make friends with your parents, even if you have some fights. Find out what your mother likes and enjoys... and see if you can do common things together. Offer to help her at home. Often when parents worry, they forget to have fun, so, with your siblings, try and create a family fun hour once a week..

As for your brother, make sure whether he is being playful or angry. The next time he comes to hit you, in firm voice say, 'Stop. I don't appreciate you hitting me.' Ask him to move back and keep a safe distance, or you step back/walk off. Repeat this till he gets the message. If he is being angry or violent, it is important to ask your parents to intervene.


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I am always tense

Since childhood, my parents have instilled in me the value of punctuality. I have always been ahead of time for lectures, games, etc. My problem is that I am unable to relax and am always tense. My performance in studies is average because of this constant tension.

Punctuality depends on the kind of event you need to be on time for. So, list the events where you need to be on time, e.g., appointments, or those that require your on-time presence, e.g., exams, lectures, team activities, etc. Then, list events where it doesn't matter if you're not exactly on time, (parties, shopping, etc.). Purposely be a bit late for one of these. Later, ask yourself: Did being late for these really matter? Why does “not being punctual" makes me uncomfortable? What is the worst that can happen if I'm late?

For the first list, outsource the alarm from your head to a mobile/clock. E.g., if you have to go for a party at 5:30 p.m. calculate backwards and set a reminder for each of the different tasks you need to do the time you need to leave, when you need to start dressing. For 15 minutes before dressing, practise relaxation (e.g., music, light exercise, etc.) to help you get used to this method. After some days when you begin to relax, you can focus on other things without worrying about being on time because you have your reminder set. Learn yoga to help you learn to relax. If you feel too anxious, seek face-to-face support from a counselor.


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We stopped being friends

I was good friends with a girl, and used to share all my secrets with her. At first she was very close to me, but then she found new friends and started avoiding me. I tried my best not to lose her, but finally we stopped being friends. She is going to join the same hostel where I stay. How should I behave with her?

Sounds like you are feeling awkward about having to meet this ex-friend daily in your hostel and don't know how to behave.

The simple answer is 'normally’ - just as you would with any other person... Ask yourself, ‘What makes me uncertain about how to behave?’ Is it because you have shared your secrets with her? Are you worried that she may try to make friends with you again?

If you want her as a friend again, it's fine... but if you are sure that you don't want that, treat her like any other acquaintance/hostel mate and be polite and cordial, limiting your interaction to hi/ hello and general conversation. Focus on yourself and your needs, your studies, new friends, and your future. If she approaches you for friendship, be firm and say that you prefer to let the past be the past, and that you wish her well.


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I dream almost 40% of the time

I get depressed easily and feel sad most of the time. I delve into the past a lot with regrets like, 'I should have done this' or I shouldn't have messed up like that', etc. I also smile nostalgically, thinking of the fun times I've had. I dream almost 40% of the time. I don't have a good relationship with my mom. She imposes her decisions on me, and when I refuse, she emotionally blackmails me. Dad is also disturbed since some time. I'm addicted to my laptop. My day revolves around it - be it for online classes or as a pastime. I don't know whom to confide in. I have two trustworthy childhood friends and a new friend too, but I don't know how to tell them. I write a diary and it feels good; but only for some time because it can't reply like a person would. I will soon enter class 12, but due to these issues, I can't focus on my studies. What should I do?

The past is history, the future a mystery; this moment is a gift and that's why it is called the "present'. We often escape into the past or dream about the future when we do not see our present as a gift. And we choose to be unhappy and depressed.

To see our present as a gift, we need to see the gifts in our present. So, begin with gratitude for what you have. Your parents, a home, food, health, and three good friends is a great place to start! Each day find 5 new things to be grateful for!

Looks like you don't have enough to engage you each day, apart from studies. For this: 1) Help others: Help your mother at home, teach/ help a young kid with school work... 2) Learn something new: Learn a language, craft, dancing, etc. 3) Discover your talents: Use your talents to help others or to express your creativity. 4) Focus on your career: What career do you plan to take up? Does it excite you? What are you doing to make it happen? 5) Make friends with your family members: Get to know your parents as people. What do they enjoy? What do you enjoy together? 6) Exercise: Ensure your daily routine includes 30 to 45 minutes of exercise; it is a thought and mood booster and ensures good sleep. Take charge of your life. Choose happiness.


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