Music gives a soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination, and life to everything.”


Our beginnings

Healing Harmonies is a program developed through the teaming of certified music practitioners and music-thanatologists with a common objective: to bring therapeutic music to residents of nursing homes to counter isolation and to improve quality of life of vulnerable seniors- especially those experiencing neurological and cognitive challenges, and those facing end of life.

Therapeutic Music Associates of Florida was formed in early December 2021 to establish and implement the common vision of Certified Music Practitioners from the following counties: Collier, Lee, Sarasota, Orange, Citrus, Seminole, Osceola, Hillsborough, Pinellas, and Pasco. Beginning with a group of three Certified Music Practitioners on the Gulf Coast, the group quickly expanded to include Certified Music Practitioners throughout the state of Florida. The group expanded to include the leaders of several 501 (c ) 3 nonprofit charitable and educational organizations, including: Music in Medicine, an organization founded by Adele Jacobson, which focuses on underserved rural community needs in Citrus County; Send in the Music, LLC, founded by Pat Clark, PsyD, CMP, which in response to the Covid crisis, is building connections and alleviating alienation and isolation through free and public offerings of weekly, digital music jams. 

As of January 22, 2022, Therapeutic Music Associates, LLC has been formally organized to submit a grant application for Healing Harmonies to the state of Florida pursuant to the Civil Monetary Penalties Reinvestment fund of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), a division of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The application will present the strong credentials of the certified therapeutic musicians and certified music thanatologists and our nonprofit affiliates, who we refer to cumulatively as the “Therapeutic Music Associates of Florida” who are committed to providing therapeutic music to the residents of skilled nursing facilities across Florida through the Harmonies in Health program. The application will present the participation commitments of Therapeutic Music Associates of Florida, and the grant administration process to be accomplished by Therapeutic Music Associates, LLC to support a cost-reimbursable grant with the State of Florida CMS that provides therapeutic music to residents of CMS-certified nursing homes. Healing Harmonies is prepared to serve and improve the quality of life of nursing home residents beneficiaries in most counties of Florida.

Our Training & Qualifications

Our Therapeutic Music Practitioners are certified by therapeutic music certifying programs that are accredited by the National Standards Board for Therapeutic Musicians (NSBTM). The NSBTM standards for accreditation includes specific educational requirements including admission screening, appropriate coursework, required reading, direct patient experience in a clinical healthcare setting, audio recording demonstrating therapeutic music competency, and Continuing Education Units (CEU).  The Music for Healing and Transition Program, Inc. (MHTP) for Certified Music Practitioners (CMP) is one of the certifying therapeutic music programs accredited by NSBTM.  Others are:

  • International Harp Therapy Program for Certified Therapeutic Harp Practitioners (CTHP)
  • Bedside Harp Therapy Program for Certified Harp Therapists (CHT)
  • Clinical Musician Certification Program of Harp for Healing, LLC for Certified Clinical Musicians (CCM)

Our Therapeutic Musicians have completed rigorous therapeutic music training programs, including the following components:

  • Intensive coursework (for example, MHTP requires 80 classroom hours), with modular courses conducted at on site at hospitals (and offered remotely during the Covid-19 pandemic.)
  • Extensive reading and study of such subjects as:
    • Patient assessment and selection of appropriate music for types of health conditions and individual patient needs
    • Science of music, sound, physiology, and healing
    • Understand how elements of therapeutic music supports the physiology of the human body
    • Models of healing
    • Ethics and professional conduct of therapeutic musicians in the clinical healthcare setting
    • Therapeutic music in palliative care and care of the dying
    • Clinical healthcare practices and protocols for infection control and prevention, safety, advance care directives, ethics, confidentiality and privacy policies of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), patient rights, making referrals, healthcare standards, and the role of the therapeutic musician within the integrative healthcare team
  • Supervised on-site clinical practicum in hospitals and other healthcare facilities such as skilled nursing facilities. For example, MHTP requires clinical experience of 45 hours of playing therapeutic music at the bedside at approved healthcare facilities.
  • Continuing Education Units (CEU) to maintain certification. For example, MHTP requires 40 CEUs every four years.

Our musicians include individuals with doctoral degrees in public health, medicine, clinical psychology, and divinity; teachers; registered nurse; and doula. Many have also performed professionally, including with symphonies and orchestras. The musicians include highly trained certified music practitioners who play instruments including: harp, dulcimer, flute, violin, double bass, classical guitar, and voice. All have experience working in medical settings and possess training and academic credentials that support the development and implementation of best practices for musicians in medical settings. This includes knowledge of policies, procedures and regulatory requirements established to ensure sanitation and hygiene, and to ensure the confidentiality of personally protected healthcare information.

Our Scope of Practice and Code of Ethics

Our musicians hold certification issued by educational programs that are accredited by the National Standards Board of Therapeutic Musicians (NSBTM). The certifying program must comply with the NSBTM Scope of Practice and the NSBTM Code of Ethics

The Music for Healing and Transition Program (MHTP), accredited by NSBTM since 2008, has certified many of our therapeutic musicians. The MHTP Scope of Practice and Code of Ethics and Conduct follow:

Some of our musicians have been certified through other NSBTM-accredited programs, which also call for Scope of Practice and Code of Ethics and Conduct that are consistent with those of NSBTM. These programs include:

  • Harp for Healing, LLC: Clinical Musician Certification Program, accredited since 2008
  • International Harp Therapy Program, accredited since 2008
  • Bedside Harp, accredited since 2017.

Therapeutic Music is not Music Therapy. We are not music therapists.

Certified Music Practitioners have specialized training to provide in-the-moment comfort care in medical settings to effect a nurturing and healing environment.

How does therapeutic music (provided by a Therapeutic Musician) differ from music therapy (which is provided by a Music Therapist) ?

Therapeutic Music: A Therapeutic Musician providing therapeutic music refrains from soliciting the patient’s participation.  Nothing is required of the patient or resident other than simply listening while one-on-one, live therapeutic music is provided.  The elements and science of music and sound are applied by the Therapeutic Musician to create a comforting environment that is conducive to healing and bringing about harmony of the body, mind, and soul.

Music Therapy: Music therapy uses “music interventions to accomplish individualized goals within a therapeutic relationship.”  The Music Therapist often uses musical instruments and interactive music making as tools to rehabilitate the patient’s functions of living.  Goals are usually set to measure changes in function or behavior.