CBMT Exam and competence

MT-PRO Music Therapy List mtpro@multipro.com
Fri, 15 Oct 1999 00:08:01 -0500

This comment/question is somewhat in response to a question on this list in 
which someone asked what he/she could do to help increase the respectability 
of the profession. This individual was listed as RMT, but not MT-BC. (I 
suggested the MT-BC might be a good place to start.)
Further, this is in response to my own experiences with the CBMT exam.
Here goes:
This open comment is regarding the CBMT exam and its role in assuring that 
someone who passes the exam and subsequently holds the MT-BC credential is 
indeed competent. 
I am in a very busy private practice in Columbus Ohio- and in any given year 
I find it necessary to try to hire at least one music therapist. However, our 
business goes without and our waiting list continues to grow exponentially 
because we interview, AND AUDITION, 5-8 music therapists (MT-BCs) and based 
on the severe lack music skills we observe, we do not hire. These individuals 
have been very warm and personable, and likely are good to very good 
clinicians- but the service we provide is represented by not only the 
individual therapists themselves, but also, and often more importantly, by 
the level of musical skill they bring to their work. Parents, administrators, 
case managers, etc.. often base their opinions of our services on the level 
of musical ability we present daily.
This is a big problem which the CBMT exam does not, and in its current form, 
can not address. I personally have chosen to take the exam at the end of the 
4th year of my 5 year cycles (even though I accrue the required number of 
CEUs) simply as a way to monitor how the exam changes and hopefully improves 
over time, so I feel fairly qualified to criticize the exam itself- not the 
intentions of the CBMT! 
What do others think about this issue? Is there support for a "live music 
making" part to the examination? Is it OK to have mediocre music skills and 
yet be "qualified" to use music as a treatment modality? Are we not 
Thanks in advance for your responses.
Jim Hiller MMT,MT-BC
-Clinical Program Director
Columbus Music Therapy Center
-Adjunct Faculty
University of Dayton
-- MT-PRO Music Therapy List, mtpro@multipro.com on 10/15/1999 at 12:07:37 AM

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