[Fwd: music practioners]

Marcie Selvaggio msel68@home.com
Wed, 30 Aug 2000 07:43:46 -0500

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 I wrote to the owner of this website (http://www.mhtp.org/index.htm)
and asked what the difference between their practice and Music Therapy
was.  Here is the reply.  (I did not tell her that I was a music
therapist because I didn't want to get her on the defensive.)

Here's the website if you're interested in visiting.

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Date: Tue, 29 Aug 2000 22:35:02 -0400
From: Melinda Gardiner <harp@taconic.net>
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To: Marcie Selvaggio <msel68@home.com>
Subject: Re: music practioners
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Hi Marcie--

Thanks for your question.
I am not an expert on Music Therapy, but I will try to explain the
difference, as I understand it.
1.  Training:
Music Therapists are trained via a 4-year college degree program, which
is very extensive.  They are licensed by their state or the national
organization---I'm not sure which---and they take extensive
boards(exams). I know that they are required to play guitar, and I'm not
sure if other instruments are required.
Music Pratitioners are Board-certified (by the Board of the Music for
Healing and Transition Program, a national, non-profit educational
organization), and are a registered occupation in the national directory
of occupations.  Students attend 72 hours of class time, done in 5
intensive weekend Modules, do 20 hrs of internship (actual playing time)
have required reading, etc.  Our students can now get graduate credits
via Northern Arizona University as well.  The training is BASIC, giving
the grad what they need to know to begin their work and create a career
path in this very pioneering field of therapeutic music. Music
Practitioners play many different types of instruments, depending on
what they perfer. or sing. More than half of our graduates play the
small (celtic) harp.

2. Music Therapists make care plans for patients with specific
goals,working in conjunction with the MD and nursing, etc. staff. They
usually are therapeutically interactive with the patient, and may use
recorded music or instruments, or have the patient sing or play, or even
make up a song if appropriate. They may work with groups or individuals.
They are usually on the staff of a healthcare facility.
Music Practitioners simply play live music that is appropriate
therapeutically AS A SERVICE., offering it in many different situations
and locations.  They do not have "therapeutic conversations" with
patients, unless they have other training, like chaplin, nurse, hospice
worker or social worker. They do not make plans-of-care, or have goals,
other than to facilitate healing.  For example, I play on the floor of
our local hospital in the ambulatory surgury to reduce anxiety and fear,
I also play in rooms of specific patients on the hospice floor, or at
the nurses station.  I have played in the ER waiting room, and in
Obstetrics during labor. I have worked in a nursing home with the task
of calming altzheimer patients who are agitated before bedtime. We may
play music specifically to help everyone relax (amb surgury---family,
patients AND nurses!)  We may play someone's favorite tune to bring them
joy or emotional release. We may play very calming, unmetered music when
someone is dying--all depending on the patient and/or family and
situation.  A muisc practitioner is trained to allow the music--LIVE,
with all its living overtones---do the healing.
Music Pratitioners are either indepenent contractors with institutions,
some on the staff of hospitals, some volunteers.  Our students and
graduates (we have almost 85 grads now) are usually either professional
or amateur musicians wanting to offer their music in different ways to
help and heal, OR professionals in the healing field(we have many RNs,
chaplins, social workwers and psychtherapists in our program) who are
also musicians and want to use their music in their work.

Most of our students don't want to bee Music Therapists, they simply
want to play music for those who it will comfort, relax,  help
facilitate healing, or contribute to the quality of their time of
illness.  Most have other professions--either as musician, music
teacher, or healthcare professional. Some are retired from their primary
field, and want to use their musical gift in service of others--not in

Hope this answers your questions....

Melinda Gardiner, President, MHTP

I hope that that helps!Marcie Selvaggio wrote:
> Please tell me what the difference is between a Music Practitioner and a
> Music Therapist?


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