Live Therapeutic Music 2018-08-07T22:33:43+00:00

Strings of Mercy is a 501(c)(3) that is dedicated to changing the way we care for the suffering by providing and promoting the use of Live Therapeutic Music for patients in hospitals and healthcare facilities. 

About Live Therapeutic Music

“Live Therapeutic Music” is not a term one hears every day in medical circles.  When health care professionals hear the term, they often think of Music Therapy.  However, Certified Music Practitioners* who provide Live Therapeutic Music are not Music Therapists.

Live Therapeutic Music is live acoustic music that is played at an individual patient’s bedside by a Certified Music Practitioner.  The Music Practitioner assesses each patient and plays music based on that patient’s condition.  The Music Practitioner provides an atmosphere where physical, emotional or spiritual healing may occur.  Research shows that Live Therapeutic Music can affect a patient’s physical condition.  Agitated patients become calm as heart rate and respirations slow and blood pressure falls.  Patients suffering from pain report relief and often fall asleep during a Live Therapeutic Music session.  Alzheimer’s patients can become more alert and oriented during Live Therapeutic Music sessions.  Patients nearing end of life or who suffer from Terminal Agitation benefit from Live Therapeutic Music when nothing else seems to comfort them.   Live Therapeutic Music also comforts family members who often can only look on as their loved ones suffer.

*Certified Music Practitioners are trained and certified by the Music for Healing and Transition Program, Inc.™ (MHTP).  Only Certified Music Practitioners (or musicians who have obtained similar certification from similar programs) are qualified to provide Live Therapeutic Music as defined by these organizations.

The Research Tells a Story.

For decades, researchers have been fascinated by the effectiveness of Live Therapeutic Music.


The National Standards Board for Therapeutic Music lists benefits of Live Therapeutic Music – both physical and emotional.

Learn More


Find a collection of published and unpublished studies proving the effectiveness of Live Therapeutic Music as performed by a Music Practitioner.

Learn More

Case Study

Live Therapeutic Music at Fresno, California’s  VA Hospital Makes a Big Difference – as originally reported in the Los Angeles Times. (2012)

Learn More

Palliative Care

(pronounced pal-lee-uh-tiv)

Palliative care is specialized medical care for people with serious illnesses.  It focuses on providing patients with relief from the symptoms and stress of a serious illness.  The goal is to improve quality of life for both the patient and the family.

Palliative care is provided by a specially trained team of doctors, nurses and specialists (including Certified Music Practitioners) who work together to provide an extra layer of support.  It is appropriate at any age and at any stage in a serious illness and can be provided along with curative treatment.

When used in conjunction with modern medicine, Live Therapeutic Music is a form of palliative care that is highly effective in providing comfort for patients experiencing pain, agitation or anxiety in virtually any condition. By assessing and continually monitoring the patient’s condition, the Music Practitioner adjusts the music based on the patient’s response. Many patients fall asleep within minutes of beginning a session. Therapeutic Music and traditional medicine often work together to provide a more effective and natural treatment for the patient.

Common Terms

Strings of Mercy only partners with CMP’s who have studied LTM and have obtained their certification through MHTP.

Learn More at MHTP

Live Therapeutic Music (LTM)

How is Live Therapeutic Music Different from other types of Music
Live Therapeutic Music is music played on an acoustic instrument which generally results in greater effective patient responses over responses to recorded music.  This is believed to be, at least in part, because of the increased vibrational quality of most live music relative to vibrations of recorded music, and the compassionate presence of the CMP. See this chart from that describes the differences in Music Practitioners, their goals, and education. 

Certified Music Practitioner (CMP)

How is a Certified Music Practitioner different from a Music Therapist?
This specially-trained musician graduated from MHTP, and provides live acoustic music at bedside, one-on-one, for therapeutic purposes.  A CMP’s work is focused on the patient with the aim of bringing in-the-moment comfort to the patient’s whole being by having the patient be in the presence of the music.  A CMP uses only live music, and has no goal other than addressing a patient’s immediate needs to provide a healing environment.

Music for Healing & Transition Program™ (MHTP)

What does it mean to be certified through MHTP?
A graduate of MHTP is called a Certified Music Practitioner (CMP).This specially-trained, certified musician provides live acoustic music at bedside, one-on-one, for therapeutic purposes. A CMP uses only live music, and has no goal other than addressing a patient’s immediate needs to provide a healing environment in the presence of live music. A CMP works within the CMP Scope of Practice and adheres to the MHTP Code of Ethics and Conduct.