Thom Dutton is a Certified Music Practitioner
Did you know that music can:
- Augment pain management
- Relieve anxiety and reduce stress
- Reduce blood pressure
- Relieve physical and mental tension to accelerate physical healing
- Affect heartbeat, pulse and respiration
- Reduce muscle tension and improve body movement
- Better the quality and amount of sleep
- Lessen depression
- Increase endorphin levels
- Boost the immune system
- Stimulate digestion
- Provide a way to release emotions and express feelings
- Stimulate memory
- Affect body temperature
- Stimulate a feeling of well-being
- Facilitate the transition process of the dying
- Provide a segue for grieving
- Relax and improve performance of caregivers and staff
Music is being used successfully with many kinds of patients, including those who are temporarily ill and injured, chronically ill, critically ill, Alzheimer’s patients, the comatose and the dying. Music practitioners use the harp as a bedside instrument with the intention of supporting the recipient’s goal of healing. Historically, the harp has been a symbol of relief and comfort. Music played on the harp has several unique healing properties. Live harp music relaxes the mind and body, allowing more effective responses to medical treatment and enhancing the self-healing work of the immune system.
What Is A Certified Music Practitioner?
A Certified Music Practitioner brings pleasant and appropriate live music to the bedside of the ill, injured, and dying. The Certified Music Practitioner has completed a course of study through the Music for Healing and Transition Program, which includes medical and musical classes provided by qualified instructors.
Certified Music Practitioners provide a service, not entertainment. They are trained to be responsive and unobtrusive. While providing beneficial, therapeutic music to individual patients, their playing is not meant to be a performance or concert.
It is not necessary for the patient to interact physically or even verbally eith the Music Practitioner, especially since a patient may be under medication or anesthesia. Music Practitioners can even play during surgery. Whether or not the patient is awake and aware is simply a factor in the style of music played. Research has shown that even comatose patients can benefit from live music.
What Is the Music For Healing and Transition Program?
MHTP is best described by its mission statement: ” A course of study which, in recognition of music as a therapeutic enhancement to the healing process and the life/death transiation, prepares musicians to serve the ill and/or dying and all those who may benefit by providing live music as a service to create a healing environment.” The purposes for which MHTP is organized are charitable and educational, which includes serving the ill, injured and dying with music to promote healing or assisting in the life/death transition.
What Doctors Say:
” Music has been recognized through research as a safe, inexpensive, and effective non-pharmaceutical way to relieve anxiety…” – Dr. Brian Sweeney, National Naval Medical Center, MD
” Half an hour of music produced the same effect as ten milligrams of Valium.” – Dr. Raymond Bahr, St. Agnes Hospital, Baltimore, MD
” Music can be an important aspect of therapy….” – Dr. Oliver Sacks, Neurologist
What the Patients Say:
” You made the needle go in much easier.” – ICU patient, Clifton Springs (NY) Hospital
” Your playing is the best medicine I’ve gotten here. You made me feel so much better.” – Medical Ward, Clifton Springs Hospital
” As relaxing as any external pain medication.” – Pre-Op Patient, Clifton Springs Hospital
” Never mind therapy! This is better than physical therapy. It totally relaxes your whole body.” – Rehab patient, RHCI
” I’m sorry I’m in the hospital, but I’m glad I was here while you were.” – Rehab patient, RHCI
” This is the most relaxed I’ve been in a long time.” – Rehab patient, RHCI
” It was like getting a massage … so transporting. I felt like I could let go of things.” – Cancer patient
” The music relaxes your mind and flows right through you.” – McCarthy House Hospice
” That one [piece] went right to my bones. I felt it through my whole body, and it made me relax.” – McCarthy House Hospice
” I was looking for a brook. I saw myself walking through the woods, and I was looking for a brook….that’s the best experience I’ve ever had in a hospital.” – Rehab patient, RHCI
” I can see elves dancing around a tree to your music.” – Rehab patient, RHCI
” I can hear compassion coming from the instrument.” – Rehab patient, RHCI