Listening to CDs is NOT Music Therapy!

It recently came to our attention that a talk was just recently conducted by a Music Therapist, who claimed to be trained in the U.S. Of particular interest, he claimed his music could “cure” and sold CDs of up to $1000 to attendees.

Music Therapy is NOT about just listening to CDs. While passive listening to music is one of the many ways in which music is used, more often than not, active interventions are used, e.g. playing instruments, singing, improvising, composing, etc. Current Music Therapy practice is NOT based on specific tones or frequencies that “cure” – but more the musical encounter as experienced by the client within the context of a therapeutic relationship.

Hence, do not fall prey to such CD sales claiming to be “Music Therapy”. If anyone tells you that his/her music can cure one’s illness or disease, etc… please exercise caution. This person is probably NOT a qualified Music Therapist. Please see links on this blog about what IS Music Therapy and what it is not. ( Having accurate information about Music Therapy will save you a lot of money!

Author: Ng, W.F. (2007)


2 thoughts on “Listening to CDs is NOT Music Therapy!

  1. I am not questioning the credentials that qualify a person to be a music therapist but saying that someone is not a qualified music therapist is also not appropriate as being given the recognition from an accredidated organisation does not mean it is bona fide. To know if the music really help is to have the experience of listening to the music per se and see for yourself what it does to you. I wish people would take the necessary effort to be open minded enough to really study the effectiveness of these cds. And by the way, it is not as mentioned that the cds are generic CD of soothing music. They are not soothing at all but one need to listen to them over and over again before one get the benefit of it. And for the record, the person did not claim he is a music therapist.

    I have to said that I was skeptical about the effectivess of just listening to such cds at first. In fact, I just bought them thinking that they would be soothing music for me. However and honestly, I have to say that it is music therapy to me in the end.

    Just my two cents worth.


  2. Hi Shirley,
    Thanks for your comment. AMTS maintains that anyone not thus trained should not call him/herself a Music Therapist. Also, listening to the CDs may be therapeutic, but that does not qualify as MT, as MT requires assessment, individualized treatment programme, and ongoing evaluation, all facilitated by a Music Therapist. peace, WF

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