Therapeutic music resources & links


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Here is a list of certification programs, conferences, publications, books, and sheet music for therapeutic musicians.

Certification programs for therapeutic musicians

It is important to receive proper training to be a therapeutic musician. No one should administer treatment in a healthcare facility without being appropriately credentialed. Music is powerful. Imagine what would happen if you played music with an erratic rhythm to someone who just came out of heart surgery?

I certified by the Music for Healing and Transition ProgramTM. I chose this program because:

  1. I found them to be the most pragmatic and research-focused of all of the programs.

  2. The classes are in person, which was a better learning environment for me than webinars or home study.

  3. You are assigned a mentor to answer questions outside of class time.

  4. The program certifies performers on voice or any acoustic instrument, not just harp.

  5. You choose your own repertoire instead of using a restricted set of pre-selected tunes, which means you also get to change and improve your repertoire list over time.

  6. There is a strong emphasis on self-care.

  7. They are accredited by the National Standards Board for Therapeutic Musicians.

For a full description of the Music for Healing and Transition Program’s vision, principles, and classes, click the Student Handbook link in the left side➚ of their site.

Each of the following programs has a different scope of practice. Some of them allow or encourage patient interaction. Those that are harp-only sometimes have restrictions on the size or type of harp:

  1. Music for Healing and Transition Program➚ (MHTP*)—this is the program I am in

  2. International Harp Therapy Program➚ (IHTP*)—harps only

  3. International Healing Musician’s Program➚ (IHMP*)

  4. Bedside Harp➚—harps only

  5. Clinical Musicians Home Study Course➚*

  6. Vibroacoustic Harp Therapy (VAHT) Training Course®—harps only

  7. Chalice of Repose Project➚ (music-thanatology)—harps only

  8. *Accredited by the National Standards Board for Therapeutic Musicians➚

Therapeutic music conferences and webinars

For continuing education and networking:

  1. The International Healing Musician’s Program (IHMP) offers various one- to two-hour seminars online. The IHMP webinar schedule is updated regularly.

  2. Somerset Folk Harp Festival➚, Parsippany, NJ, July 26–29, 2012. Primarily for harpers, this fantastic, information-packed yearly conference offers an intensive track of individual seminars for playing therapeutic music, as well as a great vendor hall and plenty of other workshops about playing the harp.

  3. The Music for Healing and Transition Program (MHTP) International Biannual Conference➚, Arden, NC, October 18–21, 2012. Entitled The Heart-Centered Musician: Manifesting the Vision, this year’s conference features Dr. Lee Bartel➚, who is currently researching the health and mood effects of vibro-acoustics, and Dr. James Oschman➚, who works to subject “alternative” therapies to the same scientific rigor as modern medicine.

Therapeutic music publications

The Music for Healing and Transition Program (MHTP) has a semi-monthly newsletter with articles of interest to music practitioners. This is the link to the MHTP newsletter archives➚. You can subscribe to the newsletter from a link in the left side of the page.

The Harp Therapy Journal is a quarterly newsletter with the latest in therapeutic music research and articles by key members of the therapeutic music community.

Books about playing music at the bedside

There is an extensive therapeutic music bibliography from the Music for Healing and Transition Program➚ with books on music and healing; healing and self-care; and aging, dying, and death.

Melody’s Traditional Music and Harp Shoppe’s list of therapeutic sheet music also includes therapeutic music DVDs and books for purchase➚.

Therapeutic sheet music

Melody’s Traditional Music and Harp Shoppe has a listing of therapeutic sheet music for purchase➚, as well as books and DVDs. Some of the music is in lead sheet format. Some of the music that is arranged for harp can be adapted to other instruments or voice.

Harp-specific resources

On my site for harp students, I have a list of harp-specific conferences and events➚ as well as resources for buying/renting harps➚ and more harp information➚.

My harp is the 24x2-string Voyageur II➚ from Random Sound Musical Instruments➚.

If you still have questions about live, therapeutic music at the bedside, read answers to frequently asked questions, or see ways to contact me.

More on this site

  1. Read some of the research that supports therapeutic music

  2. See articles about therapeutic music in the news

  3. Find other therapeutic musicians

  4. Read answers to frequently asked questions

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