What is Therapeutic Music?
Mar 4, 2021

Core Spirit member since Mar 4, 2021
Reading time 4 min.

Therapeutic Music is not the same as Music Therapy!

The terminology can be confusing, as the words seem interchangeable, but these are very different aspects of healing through music.

Therapeutic music is an evidence-based modality and essential healthcare service intentionally provided one-on-one. Therapeutic Music utilizes compassionate presence with the intrinsic qualities of music, like melody, harmony, and rhythm.

But it’s so much more than just sound healing.

What makes a Therapeutic Musician?

A Therapeutic Musician a graduate of a handful of programs accredited by the National Standards Board for Therapeutic Musicians. While “Therapeutic Musician” is the general term for these graduates, they may also be known by their program-specific professional titles: Certified Clinical Musician, Certified Therapeutic Harp Practitioner, Certified Harp Therapist, and Certified Music Practitioner.

Most of these programs are self-study, and mandate their students to play harp and perhaps vocalize. However, the most comprehensive program available is The Music for Healing and Transition Program, which allows students to certify on a number of melodic instruments, while allowing in-person classes, hosted by participating hospitals, to benefit students and patients alike.

Each Therapeutic Musician is required to regularly complete Continuing Education Credits in order to maintain their certification. Further, they work within a Scope of Practice and are bound by a Code of Ethics in order to protect the patient, meet HIPAA standards, and to provide the best quality of care.

Believe it or not… Music can be harmful!

Damage can be done through music, if the musician isn’t properly educated. While a volunteer musician performs for an audience, a Therapeutic Musician has been trained to provide a specific healthcare service. Untrained musicians may accidentally trigger injurious physical and emotional states. For more information about Music Induced Harm, please read this abstract.

What exactly does a Therapeutic Musician do?

A Music Therapist uses music to promote changes in behavior and to rehabilitate normal functions of living. This modality is focused on creating quality of life for patients who require physical or behavioral therapy.

A Therapeutic Musician uses music to create an environment which supports a patient’s ability to heal, and to ease the process of life and death transitions. In this case, the music itself is the therapy.

The scope of practice for a Therapeutic Musician differs greatly from that of a Music Therapist. While a Music Therapist may solicit patient participation with making music, a Therapeutic Musician is charged with facilitating a session alone. This has a number of benefits: this service is more accessible to patients of varying abilities, the patient can relax, and the music can positively affect them even as they sleep!

Working one-on-one is key to the work of a Therapeutic Musician. By focusing on the individual needs of a patient, a number of issues can be successfully addressed. A Therapeutic Musician observes each patient, and customizes that session to meet the current exigencies, whether those be physical, mental, emotional, or spiritual. This method of addressing the patient as a whole differs greatly from the standard Western practice of curing, which is simply the removal of symptoms.

Depending on the observations made of the patient, a Therapeutic Musician may alter the tempo, mode, scale, dynamics, texture, or any other variables to specifically affect a patient’s biological functions, mood, memory, or spiritual unease.

Generally a Therapeutic Music session will last around twenty minutes. In this time, the patient often falls asleep. Sometimes a patient may experience an emotional response or require additional medical attention to address their needs.

Therapeutic Music is not a cure-all, but may be referred to as “prescriptive music” due to its ability to holistically address each patient.

What are the effects?

Therapeutic Music has a wide variety of effects on an individual. Even staff and visitors in proximity benefit from the music!

A short list provided by the NSBTM, states that benefits can include, but are not limited to:

- Distraction

- Disassociation from the present situation

- Refocus of attention

- Altering the sense of time

- Reprieve from the present situation

- Relieving anxiety of the critically ill

- Reducing stress and blood pressure of the chronically ill

- Augmenting pain management

- Bridge for communication between loved ones

- Relieving body and mental tension of the pre-surgery patient

- Accelerating physical healing of post-surgery and injured patients

- Easing the birth delivery process

- Aiding mental focus in Alzheimer’s patients by lifting and clearing the consciousness

- Assisting the dying by facilitating ease in the transition process

Where can I find Therapeutic Music?

Therapeutic Music can be found in all sorts of places. While hospitals and hospices are primary locations, a Therapeutic Musician may work anywhere healing takes place: dental offices, mental health clinics, chiropractic and massage offices, nursing homes, psychiatric facilities, treatment centers, or in private practice.

A Therapeutic Musician may even provide home calls, whether live or virtual. This option allows many more opportunities for patients who may otherwise be unable to access this healthcare. Additionally, certain Medicare funds can be allocated specifically for Therapeutic Music sessions!

Even though the positive effects of therapeutic music date back to the age of Pythagoras, modern Western healthcare has yet to incorporate this modality across the board. That means that only certain hospitals include Therapeutic Music in their services. Sometimes this is found in Spiritual Care, Volunteer Services, or Palliative Care.

Like the journey that Acupuncture has seen, it is hoped that Therapeutic Music will soon be widely accepted in the healthcare world, and even covered by health insurance.

In Conclusion

There are many differences in these modalities, but that doesn’t mean you have to choose between them! Music Therapists and Therapeutic Musicians can work side by side due to their different training, techniques, and goals. Because of this, patients can benefit from both of these therapeutic services.

If you are interested in seeking Therapeutic Music services, please search the database of the Institute for Healing through Sound and Music to find a Therapeutic Musician near you!

Leave your comments / questions for this practitioner

To write a comment please
Category filter
Concern filter
Type filter

All categories

Music and Sound therapy
$27 USD
Music Production/DJ Lessons

Omar Meho is an artist from the United Kingdom. He is a Label Owner, Music Production/ DJ Teacher, Mastering Engineer and International Resident in Ibiza, France, U.K & Dubai. He has played in some of the biggest clubs in the U.K Including Egg LDN, Fabric, The Arch, The Cause & Much more. He has played festivals in front of 12,500 people and has support on his tracks from some of the biggest DJ's in the world including Marco Carola, East End Dubs, Chris Stussy, Jamie Jones, Adam Beyer And More.

Omar Meho
Music and Sound therapy
$20 USD
Chakra Toning And Chakra Meditation Session With Vedic Mantras

Peter has studied vocal toning under the tutelage of Jonathan Goldman's school and is a member of the Sound Healers Association. Peter has been using Toning techniques on himself and in groups for many years now with some remarkable outcomes. This practice really helps you to get in touch with the real you inside. This enables the body to reconnect to its natural resonance, which is where the healing takes place.

Most of us today live life styles that do not allow us to reconnect with ourselves and we often need some help to find this inner vibration. Stress, anxiety and fear all mount up in the body without us becoming aware of it, and these negative vibrations will often appear as a physical ailment at some time in the future if left unchecked. Sound toning is an excellent way of helping to relieve these and other symptoms.

Chakra is a Sanskrit word meaning spinning wheel and thousands of years ago, natural healers realised there were energy centres in the body where energy lines meet. The easiest to understand is the solar plexus, which has a mass of nerve endings gathered there and a chakra known as the solar plexus chakra. Actually our chakra system is closely related to our endocrine system, and both their functions are similar.

This is our energy body which we can't see, and if you train with it, you will understand that having your chakra system working properly really does release your full potential. Unfortunately our way of life in the west has ignored this important part of our existence.

Having a vibrant chakra system can lead to a vibrant life. You can release your power, your passion, your creativity, your empathy and compassion and your insight and vision when your chakra system is tuned and working properly.

Sound is becoming a well recognised healing modality. There are so many health benefits to sound healing. Why not empower yourself and use your voice to heal your body. You do not have to be singer to use your voice. You just need good intention.

I look forward to meeting you soon at one of these sessions.

Until then, be well and keep shining.

Peter. :)

Peter Paul Parker
Music and Sound therapy
$86 USD
healing session
Reiki healing

i specialize in distant healing using a number of tools for example rocks(Which connects us to mother earth

Kendrick Charles
Music and Sound therapy
$144 USD
healing session
Sound Healing

Through my voice, I channel high vibrational Divine Light frequencies, collectives of Loving beings here to support humanity, and Gaian frequencies that offer profound portals of healing and whole-ing. Sound sessions are multi-dimensional experiences, similar to a Shamanic Journey, but also offer a unique experience that may include clearing, balancing, harmonizing, restoring, shifting, and expanding all aspects of your being.

Sound channeling sessions can help individuals:

  • Bring coherence to the mental, emotional, energetic, and soul bodies
  • Shift thoughts
  • Release suffering + discordance
  • Clear vibrational density and entrenched patterns that no longer serve
  • Restore original energetic templates/ harmonic patterns of creativity, vitality, joy, and wholeness, which are our human birthrights but have been distorted and adulterated here on Earth.
  • Address ancestral + past life issues
  • Revise our relationship to the past for great peace and acceptance
  • Jump dimensional timelines
  • Retrieve soul fragments lost to trauma
  • Experience a multi-dimensional perspective
  • Bring clarity about questions we are holding

Please come to a session prepared to lie down somewhere comfortable where you will not be disturbed or distracted. Headphones are recommended.

We will briefly check in about your intentions for a session, go into a meditation, and move through a sound journey. Afterwards, we will briefly check in about your experience.

Jaime Fleres

Related Articles

View All
Music and Sound therapy
Sep 26 2019
Ask the Expert: Why Blow the Shofar?

Question: Is there a reason we blow the shofar on Rosh Hashanah, and why don’t we use a trumpet or some other instrument? I know it’s traditional, but is there a reason that the shofar is so special?

–James, Salt Lake City

Answer: Well, I don’t want to …

Demi Powell
Music and Sound therapy
Mar 29 2018
Music Therapy May Soothe Anxiety, Pain From Postinfarction Angina in Heart-Failure Patients

“Music can soothe a savage beast,” as the misquoted line says, but new research suggests that music can also do wonders for patients with heart failure (HF) and early postinfarction angina.

In the 230-person MUSIC-HF substudy of a larger music therapy tr…

Tracy Campbell
Music and Sound therapy
Mar 29 2018
Background on Sound Therapy Research

Sound Therapy International aims to raise world wide awareness so that all associated specialties and professions will include Sound Therapy in their recommendations. A summary of the science of the Tomatis method and ongoing sound therapy research is giv…

Tracy Campbell
Music and Sound therapy
May 12 2018
Music Therapy to Help Socialize Children With Autism

Relational factors in music therapy may contribute to a favorable outcome of treatment for kids with autism.

It might not surprise that good relationships produce good results, as meaningful relational experiences are critical to us in our daily life. Ho…

Johanna Barrett
Registered individuals enjoy all the possibilities of Core Spirit.