MHTP is one of the first therapeutic Music training programs

Established in 1994, the Music for Healing and Transition Program, Inc. (MHTP), is one of the oldest organizations that trains and certifies musicians in the art and science of providing therapeutic music for body, mind, and spirit.  MHTP recognizes the transformative power of music as a therapeutic enhancement to the healing process and the life/death transition.   MHTP is a not-for-profit 501(c)(3) organization that is funded solely from tuition and donations

MHTP graduates, called Certified Music Practitioners (CMP), come from all walks of life. Graduates include:

  • mental healthcare workers

  • pastors

  • lawyers

  • physical therapists

  • counselors

  • physicians

  • teachers

  • nurses

  • business executives

  • medical technologists

  • computer scientists

  • professional musicians…


A graduate of MHTP’s extensive, scientifically-based program is called a Certified Music Practitioner (CMP).  CMPs provide live acoustic therapeutic music, one-on-one, as a service at the bedside of patients, for the purpose of creating a healing environment for the ill and dying.  CMPs serve all people regardless of religion, age, race, gender, physical ability, sexual orientation, or ethnicity.  CMPs range from professional musicians to healthcare workers who are amateur musicians to simply musicians wishing to be of service.  MHTP has always accepted and certified many types of instrumentalists and singers.

Requirements for certification by  MHTP include classroom instruction and practical experience

To become a CMP, a student successfully completes:

  • Five weekend modules or two intensive retreats (covering the equivalent of two modules each) and one weekend, for a total of 80 classroom hours

  • A 45-hour Independent Practicum providing therapeutic playing/singing for approximately 100 individual patients in an approved healthcare setting, with MHTP Patient Log documentation of each patient

  • Reading of 10 books from MHTP's module reading lists and a brief book review of each

  • Development of at least 90 minutes of appropriate repertoire for patient conditions as taught by MHTP

  • The MHTP open book Exam

  • A Graduation Recording of their playing or singing to demonstrate understanding of the appropriate use of therapeutic music

See the complete requirements for graduation.


Locations of modules held on site.

Since its inception in 1994, MHTP has offered module classes in at least 25 states and Canada.  Certain modules are offered as live, interactive videoconferences, requiring no travel. On-site classes vary from a community venue or retreat center to being affiliated with and/or sponsored by a hospital or hospice. See where modules are currently being held. 

MHTP is a leader in the field of training therapeutic musicians

MHTP has graduated more than 900 CMPs, many of whom bring their compassionate presence and the gift of healing music to individual patients in hospitals, hospices, nursing homes, and other healthcare settings.  MHTP collaborates with healthcare facilities, medical professionals, other therapeutic music practitioners, and community organizations to educate about, and promote research in, the effectiveness of live therapeutic music.  MHTP is a founding, accredited member of the National Standards Board for Therapeutic Musicians, which maintains professional standards for programs that train and certify therapeutic musicians.

MHTP certifies musicians using many different instruments

CMP instruments are melodic and acoustic, and include dulcimer, lyre, Native American flute, piano, guitar, violin, cello, psaltery, voice, flute, clarinet, harp… Learn more about therapeutic music.

Directors manage MHTP

MHTP is governed by a volunteer Board of Directors and a compensated Executive Director who is responsible for day-to-day functioning and business. It is the only not-for-profit therapeutic music program, and the only one managed by a Board of Directors.  MHTP operates exclusively for educational and charitable objectives which are to: 

  • Serve the ill and dying with live music to facilitate and promote healing or assist in the life/death transition

  • Teach the practice of this service

  • Establish centers for education throughout the United States and internationally

  • Publish the most up-to-date information and research findings about this unique profession

  • Provide continuing education opportunities for CMPs

  • Develop affiliations with healing, charitable, and educational organizations where this service may be provided by CMPs

MHTP provides on-going educational opportunities for students and CMPs

MHTP held its first biennial International Conference in Seattle in 2002, followed by Virginia (2004), Ohio (2006), Oregon (2008), Connecticut (2010), North Carolina (2012), and Texas (2014).  The 2016 Conference was held July 14-17 in Los Gatos, California, at The Presentation Center in the beautiful Santa Cruz Mountains.  

MHTP has held regional Continuing Education Days and retreats for students and graduates at numerous sites every year since 2000. See opportunities for earning Continuing Education Units.

MHTP produces a bi-monthly educational e-newsletter and provides specialty e-lists for its graduates, teachers, students, and staff.


Apply to be a student with MHTP.