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)®
Has graduated from the Music for Healing and Transition Program➚
Meets the patient in this moment, creating a healing environment that addresses the condition or changing conditions that the patient is experiencing right now
Provides music for the patient to receive passively (no interaction)
Often sees a patient just this one time
Board-Certified Music Therapist (MT-BC)
Has completed a bachelor’s or master’s degree in Music Therapy
Creates a therapeutic goal to be realized over several planned sessions of therapy
Actively engages the patient in music by having the patient play an instrument, write a song, or perform other musical activities
Usually sees patients regularly until the therapeutic goal is attained