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.