Music practitioners are not therapists

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

Therapeutic music is a service; music therapy is a treatment program

A music therapist uses “music interventions to accomplish individualized goals within a therapeutic relationship” (music therapy defined➚). 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 provides live, therapeutic music at the bedside and refrains from soliciting the patient’s participation. 

Think of the difference between a physical therapist and a masseuse. Both have training, and both provide benefits, but the degree and the duration of interaction are different.

Certified Music Practitioner (CMP)®

  1. Has graduated from the Music for Healing and Transition Program➚

  2. Meets the patient in this moment, creating a healing environment that addresses the condition or changing conditions that the patient is experiencing right now

  3. Provides music for the patient to receive passively (no interaction)

  4. Often sees a patient just this one time

Board-Certified Music Therapist (MT-BC)

  1. Has completed a bachelor’s or master’s degree in Music Therapy

  2. Creates a therapeutic goal to be realized over several planned sessions of therapy

  3. Actively engages the patient in music by having the patient play an instrument, write a song, or perform other musical activities

  4. Usually sees patients regularly until the therapeutic goal is attained

Read about the code of ethics and scope of practice for Certified Music Practitioners, or see ways to contact me.