Music therapy credentials

MT-PRO Music Therapy List
Tue, 12 Oct 1999 22:06:32 -0500

I'm responding to Daniel Leopold's message and Dori Berger's.  But first, I 
am confused because it seems I am not getting some of the posts.  I did not 
get Dori's original post, only Dan's response.  Is anyone else experiencing 
this problem?

[EDITOR'S NOTE: Daniel Leopold posted his response to Dori's note, which was originally posted on the 
MUSTHP-L list.  That is why the original post did not appear on MT-PRO.]

In a message dated 10/10/99 2:19:13 PM, writes:
<<  I wonder what NYU's position is on this because of its involvement with 
Robbins Music Therapy clinic >>
Daniel, I don't know what you mean by NYU's "involvement with the Nordoff 
Robbins music therapy clinic" and what that would have to do with Dori's 
comments on credentials.  Could you elaborate on this question?  
Dori, being in NYC and having tried for too long to obtain a music therapy 
position, I empathize with you on this.  I don't know what the solution is.   
I often encounter situations in which they ARE looking for a credentialed 
music therapist, but they don't understand what the credentials represent and 
don't understand what a music therapist does.  
There is a recent job opening in the NYC area where the therapist must see 
almost 100 students in 10-12 hours a week of work, in groups of 6 to 12 
children, with no music therapy space.   A representative from this site told 
me that they understand that it's not ideal for music therapy, but since they 
have no music in the school they want every child to have music therapy.  
To me this is not music therapy at all, at the most it's therapeutic music.  
And I would even call it simply music exposure.  I think such exposure is 
certainly beneficial for children but that it would not be utilizing my 
skills and training as a therapist.  I told them basically that I wasn't 
interested in the position and that in their case perhaps they don't need a 
music therapist, and certainly not a music therapist with a master's degree.  
Related to this is the pay scale, which often (and in the above mentioned 
case) does not adequately compensate a therapist for their training.  It is 
difficult to know whether to take such positions where the pay is low and the 
requested intervention really could be done by someone without music therapy 
Immediately after getting my master's I did take such a position in a school 
but soon left because I felt it was a disservice to me as a therapist, to the 
field as a whole to misrepresent music therapy this way, and even to the 
children, who could not possibly receive the individual attention they so 
badly needed.  
Does it hurt the field as a whole more to take such positions and accept 
those working conditions, or to not take the position and realize that it 
might be given to someone who is not a music therapist, therefore eliminating 
a music therapy position from the field?
In my case the wait has paid off and now I am lucky to have a position in an 
ideal setting with a proper music therapy room, equipment, individuals and 
small groups, and appropriate compensation.  But it is my impression that 
there are more and more music therapists coming onto the scene every year but 
the positions are not growing anywhere near in proportion to the "supply" of 
Just some thoughts ...
Lori Baur, M.A., CMT
-- MT-PRO Music Therapy List, on 10/12/1999 at 10:03:10 PM

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