Therapeutic Music is not Music Therapy

The media and some research often call any application of music in a healthcare setting as “music therapy.” This confuses the therapy that is done by board-certified music therapists.

Music therapy is a treatment program.
Therapeutic music is a service.

A music therapist (MT-BC) uses “music interventions to accomplish individualized goals within a therapeutic relationship”. On most of the music therapy websites, you will see a photograph of the music therapist working with a patient who is playing an instrument.

A Certified Music Practitioner (CMP) provides live, therapeutic music at the bedside and refrains from soliciting the patient’s participation.

Certified Music Practitioners

  • Have graduated from the Music for Healing and Transition Program.
  • Meet the patient in the moment, creating a healing environment.
  • Provide music for the patient to receive passively.
  • Often see a patient just once.

Board Certified Music Therapists

  • Have completed a bachelor’s or master’s degree in music therapy.
  • Create a therapeutic goal to be realized over several planned sessions of therapy.
  • Actively engage the the patient in the music by having them play and instrument, write a song, or do other musical activities.
  • Usually see patients regularly until the therapeutic goal is achieved.

Therapeutic Music Services at a Glance

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Creating a healing environment