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We're happy you're here! Live Therapeutic Music is a vocation that roots the art of music in the science of sound. Certified Therapeutic Musicians add new dimensions to their music, departing from performing and entertainment, and entering the realm of healing. They learn specific styles and approaches to music that cater to the immediate needs of their recipient. Musicians certified by an NSBTM-accredited program are qualified to offer Therapeutic Music in healthcare facilities, at the bedside of patients. This form of direct care through live music has various beneficial effects on physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual health and wellbeing.

Frequently asked questions:

What does a Certified Therapeutic Musician do?

A Certified Therapeutic Musician uses the inherent healing elements of live music and sound to enhance the environment for patients in healthcare settings, making it more conducive to the human healing process.

Can non-harpists get certified in Therapeutic Music?

Yes! Two of our certification programs, the Clinical Musician Certification Program and Music for Healing and Transition Program, are open to non-harpists. Please contact the specific program to see a list of qualified instruments.

Why should I get certified?

NSBTM-accredited programs adhere to standards of musicianship and professionalism that reputable healthcare facilities look for in their hirees. Specific training is necessary to ensure that patients are receiving the best care.

How do I choose a training program?

Each of our accredited programs offer their own approach to Therapeutic Music training. Depending on your needs, budget, and schedule, you might find one program more suitable than another. Rest assured that, no matter which program you choose, you will learn essential musical and professional skills that will prepare you for bedside work. Each program upholds the Accreditation Standards set by the NSBTM, to ensure that your training remains consistent and high-quality among all TMs, with whichever program you choose to study.

Can I get certified online?

Our accredited training programs offer their curriculum differently. Some are entirely online, some are in-person, and some are hybrid. Similarly, the programs range from having open enrollment all year long, to offering enrollment periods. See the Program Directory above to find which program best suits your lifestyle and schedule.

How skilled do I need to be on my instrument to apply to a certification program?

The programs do not require advanced skill at your instrument, however, you should have knowledge of basic technique and theory, as well as a small repertoire of music that you can play proficiently. Each program's qualifications are different, so for more information, reach out to the program durectors.

Can Certified Therapeutic Musicians make a sustainable living?

Yes! We are a growing field, and each year, more and more healthcare facilities are hiring Live Certified Therapeutic Musicians. CTMs also find paid work in other settings, such as wellness centers, churches, schools, veterinary clinics, and more. We understand that it's sometimes tough to find work in this economy, which is why the NSBTM and accredited programs offer guidance and resources to help you find positions after graduation.

Foundational programs:

These programs can help you get started in learning the basic skills to become a Therapeutic Musician. Please note that these are foundational only and are not accredited certification programs.

Therapeutic Harp Lessons by Tami Briggs, CTHP

Tami Briggs is a pioneer in the Therapeutic Music field and a graduate of the International Harp Therapy Program. Her 8-week program is offered in-person in the Minneapolis area or via Zoom. Explore practical tips and harp techniques that are effective at the hospital and hospice bedside. The program is customized to fit the student's individual needs.

Achieve the TM Mindset by Fundamentals with Feeling

This course, originally created for continuing education, also serves as a supplement or foundation to Therapeutic Music Training. You will learn a selection of therapy-appropriate music, boost your improvisational skills, and learn tips on how to play expressively at the bedside. This course is created by Nicole Anderson, NSBTM Treasurer and mentor for the Clinical Musician Certification Program.

Instructional Programs by Bedside Harp

If you want to make beautiful music on a beautiful instrument, whether or not you have had previous musical training, you’ve come to the right place. Instructional folk harp lessons are offered exclusively online.  Once a student is able to play ten tunes, they are eligible to apply to our harp therapy certification program.

Bedside Harp@Home Program

Co-created by Edie Elkan and Marlene Peterson, this program will focus on teaching people how to play the harp with an eye to playing for one’s own self healing and for healing and comforting family members. Basic harp technique, playing by ear and from a lead sheet, improvising, music theory, and a sprinkling of ideas of how to use the harp for healing, will all be included in this Beginner instructional level.

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