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User Name Thread Name Subject Posted
Musicman Certified music practitioners (36) RE: Certified music practitioners 26 Feb 02


to open with.. i am a trained Music Therapist and worked in the field for about 10 years.

the whole issue of 'certification' has been touched on above as i was reading over the previous comments.... and from what i percieve you spend time going into facilities playing for the residents there.. Very Commendable, keep up the good work.. they NEED it and appreciate it more than you will ever know. I could give you stories upon stories of how the music i shared affected individuals lives.. even for just a moment... which in turn.... affected me and the staff around me...

the need for Certification depends on what you want to do and how far you want to take what you do.... Going in to the facilities and playing for the residents does not require certification, everyone will enjoy it and you will have an impact. If you're lucky, you'll get paid something for it.... but.. you will be an entertainer.

Someone who is trained, now becomes a 'therapist' and with that title comes a whole lot of responsability, training and expectation. The difference between Therapist and entertainer lies in the planning. An entertainer will go in, play some music, maybe get to know some of the residents, and leave, to return again. The therapist job is to know the residents, their history, there likes/dislikes, their disability and must have an understanding of the disability/disease that is affecting them. The Therapist will then assess each indivdual in their care and decide on a course of action to improve their standard of life. The course of action as a music therapist always includes music of course, but it could be any form with any instrument... playing/listening/singing. This is where the knowledge of the individual comes in.... what did/do they like.. did they play an instrument? sing? dance? etc.... how can i as the therapist use that then to improve their quality of life?? I've done things like spending time with a resident listening or playing classical piano music, because he was a concert pianist before a stroke ( i know he wasn't hearing the notes i was playing but himself playing years ago..... i was missing too many....), or had Alzhiemer's patients dancing and singing along with songs from their childhood.. and talking about those memories....., or doing a recording session with a resident who used to be a professional music before a stroke took away his ability to play. Encouraging residents to play an instrument.. alone and in groups to help with physical movement and social interaction...

It's in the planning of these activities... and then reporting on them and their outcome to other staff, medical practitioners and being able to measure effectiveness to these people.. this is where training and certification comes in.... It's not just playing music, but a whole lot more. You get involved in planning sessions for residents, family meetings about residents.. essentially you become part of the therapeutic team. And this is with any disability, any age group. I have worked with children as young as 2 yrs old to seniors pushing 100.. physical disabilities to mental and psychological illnesses.... the newborn to the dying...

so, as a trained thereapist, you have to have a basic understanding of the 'diseases' that you may be dealing with, and a complete understanding of music in all it's forms and an ability to create music.. sometimes on the spot (improvise to a situation)

It is a wonderful calling and very rewarding, and the jobs are opening up as the effectiveness beyond entertainment is realized.

if you do a thread search back about 3-4years.. you will find some good threads about music therapy......

i hope this helps answer the question..


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