Letter to the Forum, 28 April 2015

High professional standards set for music therapy
Published on Apr 28, 2015, Straits Times

WHILE we applaud HCA Hospice Care’s effort to provide holistic patient-centred care, its music programme for paediatric palliative care is not considered true music therapy (“Star Pals a lifeline for critically ill kids and their caregivers”; last Friday).

The Association for Music Therapy, Singapore (AMTS) welcomes and celebrates the use of music in education, healthcare or the community.

However, the term “music therapy” should be used only when describing a programme founded upon music therapy research, and administered by a qualified music therapist.

Music therapy is defined by the AMTS as “the scientific use of music interventions within a therapeutic relationship towards measurable functional, educational, rehabilitative or well-being outcomes by a credentialled professional”.

The World Federation of Music Therapy further elaborates that “research, practice, education, and clinical training in music therapy are based on professional standards within socio-cultural and political contexts”.

The 16 professional members of the AMTS actively practising in Singapore are working in special schools, hospitals and voluntary welfare organisations. All are graduates with bachelor’s, master’s or doctoral degrees in music therapy.

Professional members are required to maintain concurrent professional standing with the music therapy organisation in their country of training.

There is currently no training programme in Singapore for music therapy.

AMTS maintains an online registry of professional members in good standing. We welcome inquiries and verification of music therapy credentials at https://singaporemusictherapy.wordpress.com

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