My training as a Certified Music Practitioner
I am a Certified Music Practitioner (CMP). This credential is issued from the Music for Healing and Transition Program (MHTP)➚, the oldest therapeutic music training program accredited by the National Standards Board for Therapeutic Musicians➚. I graduated in 2012.
I completed 80 hours of classroom instruction from the Music for Healing and Transition Program. I read and reviewed ten books for discussion throughout the various classes, and I passed the final exam.
Here is what I learned:
The logistics of working as a Certified Music Practitioner, including HIPAA, patient logs, infection control, and other healthcare protocol
How to select music based on how common health conditions and injuries that affect the mind and body
How to change the music as the patient’s needs change, based on principles of music theory and observation
The history of different healing modalities, including the use of music to promote healing, and how therapeutic music complements allopathic care
The physics of sound and current research in music and healing
What to expect when playing for the dying
Clinical practicum & internship
The final classroom module included time to play for patients. It gave me the opportunity to practice everything I learned under supervision, particularly:
Navigating the logistics of the hospital setting
Getting referrals from the nurses
Exhibiting proper etiquette with visitors and roommates
Practicing contact precautions and other infection control procedures
My internship was served at St. Barnabas Medical Center in Livingston, NJ, where 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.
After my internship, I became employed at St. Barnabas, and I have worked there since 2012.
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 since 1992. 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 featured on this site.
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.