Music therapy credentials

MT-PRO Music Therapy List
Sun, 17 Oct 1999 23:43:40 -0500

What was cut out of my post, not by my intent was the following statement by Dori Berger (permission 
resend was given)
"I wonder if others around the country are having the problems some of us back east are having. It 
that anyone who
 has had some semblence of course work in the general area of music therapy, or who plays guitar and
sings, is passing as
 'music therapist'.   The result is that a state such as New York has issued a document declaring Music
Therapy a not
 recommended as an intervention for children with autism, due to lack of information, formal practice
procedures, and other
 follow up stuff."
I can understand the confusion if this part was missing.  The reason why I mentioned Nordoff Robbins 
because of its influence in being one of the first music therapy clinics to deal with developmentally
delayed populations.  I don't know the answer to this one and I leave it to all of us as a team to reach
a consensus as to how we can work harder so that further legislation (whether official or unofficial)
does not damage our representation and hinder our services to potential clients.
MT-PRO Music Therapy List wrote:
> 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 
> 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
> Nordoff
> 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
> training.
> 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
> therapists.
> Just some thoughts ...
> Lori Baur, M.A., CMT
> -- MT-PRO Music Therapy List, on 10/12/1999 at 10:03:10 PM
    Daniel R. Leopold, MA, MT-BC
                     Soul to Soul Music Therapy
-- MT-PRO Music Therapy List, on 10/17/1999 at 11:43:05 PM

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