Quote from romie
IYou 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.
I encourage every nurse to familiarize themselves with each of these wonderful treatment modalities!
Actually, I am kind of sick of people affiliated with the AMTA and who hold the credential MT-BC having this "greater than thou" attitude. There are several non-factual statements that you are representing as fact in this post for example that:
1. Music therapists need to be able to play every orchestral instrument, being able to sight sing and transcribe music - This is simply not true - The Berklee College of Music Music Therapy department and Lesley College in Boston both do not require learning more than voice, guitar and piano. And there are plenty of music therapist that are "MTBC" that have horrible voices and guitar/piano skills.
2. The MT-BC is not a license like nursing, it is a certification, which isn't required by law. Just like a home health aid can be certified or not. There is no governing body, just a membership organization (AMTA) that you pay a membership fee to.
3. There are plenty of great musicians who are just as qualified as MT-BC to do music therapy who have a degree in music who are intimidated by the AMTA. Just because the AMTA says "this is music therapy and nothing else is" means that this true. Their definition of "music therapy" isn't set it stone.
4. I agree that there probably are some places marketing "music therapist" and then it is just a guy with a GED and a boombox however there are some professional musicians who have a bachelor/masters degree in music who dedicate their lives to music therapy who never get the respect they deserve because of the guidelines of the AMTA.
5. It the AMTA really wanted to help people they would help music therapists who work as music therapists currently become certified by their organization through an "exception" program where their past work experience is evaluated and counted towards their intership hours, rather they intimidate these people and require that they quit their jobs (which they already hold the title music therapist) then go back to college for 2+ years and then work an unpaid internship across the country for 6 months. This isn't realistic for most people who just want to work as music therapists because they are good musicians and care about people.
6. Just because these are the "rules" set forth by an organization who is not a governing body doesnt make them the right thing to do! You shouldn't have to pay over $100k for an education (Berklee rates, "best" music therapy prgm int he country) to state that you have compassion and musical talent.
7. The AMTA has only been around for about 25 years, are you telling me there were no music therapists before that?
Just my 2 cents.