Saturday, November 19, 2011

Want to be a Pythagorean?

I studied music therapy at the graduate level. Perhaps I can shed some light
on this highly misunderstood allied healthcare field. According to the American
Music Therapy Association:Music Therapy is the clinical and evidence-based use
of music interventions to accomplish individualized goals within a therapeutic
relationship by a credentialed professional who has completed an approved music
therapy program. In order to call yourself a music therapist, you have to
complete at minimum fours years of college at an accredited music therapy
school. The course work is very intense- you have to take lots of music theory
classes, music history classes, music literature classes. You need to audition
on your major instrument, whether it is voice, winds, piano, strings, etc. You
need to learn how to play every orchestral instrument and demonstrate proficency
on them, including piano and guitar. You need to be able to sight-sing, which is
a complex skill in which you sing on sight and command an unfamiliar piece of
music. You need to be able to hear a piece of music and write down all of the
pitches and rhythms on a score. In addition to course work in which you master
all of these skills, you have a weekly clinical in which you conduct music
sessions in a group setting. Each session plan takes at least 8 hours to prepare
and has to be approved by your clinical supervisor. Finally, after completing
your course work, you are required to complete a 6 month, full time and usually
unpaid internship. The internship sites are very limited an almost always
require students to relocate to the other side of the country. Finally, after
the internship you sit for a national exam and earn you earn the following
credential: MT-BC (music therapist, board certified). Only then can you call
yourself a music therapist. There are so many uninformed people and
organizations out there calling themselves music therapist and what they do
music therapy. If you do not hold the MT-BC credential but call yourself a music
therapist, you are slapping the face of every music therapist who spent years in
school, thousands of dollars on tuition, instruments and spent all that unpaid
time in clinicals and internships. Please do not do it. I know of plenty of
organizations that falsely market themselves as providing music therapy when all
they really have is an unlicensed assistive person with a boom box and elevator
music. Think about how hard you worked for your nursing credentials and be sure
to give the same respect to your allied healthcare professionals. This
information holds true for Art Therapists, Dance Therapists and other creative
arts therapists.

On the other hand, are these "specialists", once they invest this much,
anything other than paid functionaries beholden to the system

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