Mudcat Café message #803294 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #49818   Message #803294
Posted By: Marion
15-Oct-02 - 01:13 AM
Thread Name: Getting nursing home gigs
Subject: RE: Getting nursing home gigs
Hi Dana, and it's great to see your post. I hope you'll tell us about your experiences in these threads.

There's music therapy and then there's Music Therapy. To be a Registered Music Therapist involves a university training (with a lot of psychology as well as music) and certification, and is I think necessary to take a job as an institution's music therapist*. To the best of my knowledge there are two RMTs on Mudcat: Night Owl and Musicman (not to be confused with Musicmic). If you join as a Mudcat member (it's free) you can exchange personal messages with them.

However, the phrase music therapy is often used colloquially on this thread and around Mudcat, for when amateurs or pro musicians who are not licensed therapists use music therapeutically. Genie is a great person to talk to about this, and I'm sure she'll be along soon; part of her work is unofficial music therapy, and she's a neighbour of yours as well.

I've been calling up activity directors looking for work, and the ones who have spoken to me about what they might need or actually booked me have all been interested in concert-type events, not singalongs or one-on-one. So my early impression is that it's easier to get work with a performer hat on than a therapist hat.

A good thread for you to look at is: Music therapy. Towards the top of that thread are some links regarding Music Therapy as a profession. Later, in Katlaughing's post, there are links to some good threads where people talk about their experiences making music for people with special needs. Be sure to read the thread called "Music therapy - the original".

Cheers, Marion

*One other thing - a friend of mine got a full-time job at a nursing home as a "Music Therapist" although her only formal education was the first year of piano performance program. So it is sometimes possible to be hired as a music therapist even if you aren't really one. But this is practicing medicine without a license, and I think it would have been more responsible if she had insisted that her job title be changed to Music Director.