My training as a therapeutic musician

 

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I am a Certified Music Practitioner®. This credential is issued from the Music for Healing and Transition ProgramTM

Classroom training

I completed 80 hours of classroom instruction from the Music for Healing and Transition Program (MHTP). I read and reviewed ten books for discussion throughout the various classes, and I passed the final exam.

Here is what I learned:

  1. The logistics of working as a Certified Music Practitioner, including HIPAA, patient logs, infection control, and other healthcare protocol

  2. How to select music based on how common health conditions and injuries that affect the mind and body

  3. How to change the music as the patient’s needs change, based on principles of music theory and observation

  4. Injury prevention for therapeutic musicians

  5. The history of different healing modalities, including the use of music to promote healing, and how therapeutic music complements allopathic care

  6. The physics of sound and current research in music and healing

  7. What to expect when playing for the dying

For a full description of the classes and reading list, click the Student Handbook link in the left side➚ of the MHTP site.

Clinical practicum

The final classroom module included time to play for patients. It gave me the opportunity to practice everything I learned under supervision, particularly:

  1. Navigating the logistics of the hospital setting

  2. Getting referrals from the nurses

  3. Exhibiting proper etiquette with visitors and roommates

  4. Practicing contact precautions and other infection control procedures

Internship

My internship was served at St. Barnabas Medical Center. I played for over 120 patients in ICU, CCU, oncology, renal/transplant, cardiac telemetry, cardiac step-down, and pulmonary. I completed anonymous patient logs, and my MHTP advisor provided me with feedback on the therapeutic music choices I made for each patient.

My harp background

The instructors in each MHTP class evaluated my therapeutic playing skills. At the end of my internship, I created a 30-minute CD to demonstrate the types of music taught by MHTP, which my advisor approved.

I have been playing harp for 13 years. I played concert music, opera, and musicals in high school and college (my full music background is on EnjoyTheHarp.com➚). After that, I began playing a harp that is smaller than what you typically find in orchestras. I now play the nine-pound, double-strung harp that you see on this page.

The double-strung harp is great for therapeutic music at the bedside because it has two sets of the same strings, providing extra resonance to create healing music for the patients. The size of the model I have is unobtrusive in the patient’s room and easy to maneuver through busy, crowded hallways. Listen to me play examples of therapeutic music on this harp.

Read what staff and patients say about the benefits of therapeutic music, or see ways to contact me.

Video about MHTP

This is a video describing the Music for Healing and Transition Program.

Watch the MHTP video➚

Rustic Harp Backdrop: Jersey City, NJhttp://www.flickr.com/photos/kleepet/4671424213/shapeimage_3_link_0