Strings of Mercy

Changing the way we care for the suffering through Live Therapeutic Music

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What is LTM?

LTM stands for Live Therapeutic Music.  Why "Live?"  LTM must be live so that the Music Practitioner (CMP) can adjust the music as the patient listens and responds. Recorded music cannot be modified should the patient require a change of mode, tempo, or volume, nor can recorded music be adjusted to entrain with a patient.

What is a CMP?

CMP Stands for Certified Music Practitioner. This designation is given to musicians who complete a two-year course of study with the Music for Healing and Transition Program (MHTP), or other governing body.

Who can benefit from LTM?

Any patient can benefit from a Live Therapeutic Music session. Patients who benefit the most are patients who show symptoms of pain, anxiety, agitation, terminal agitation, dementia or patients who are at the end of life. The LTM session is not based on a diagnosis or prognosis, but on the physical condition of the patient at the time of that the LTM is provided.

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How long is a LTM Session?

Sessions vary in length depending on the condition and circumstances surrounding the patient.  They typically range from 20-40 minutes.

What is Palliative Care?

Palliative Care can be better described as Comfort Care. This is when the medical staff, patient and family arrive at the conclusion that simply keeping the patient comfortable while continuing to manage symptoms of pain is in the patient’s best interest. Most hospitals now provide some measure of palliative care while the patient is in the hospital or residing at a skilled nursing facility. Palliative Care is not the same as Hospice care, though the two treatment methods do overlap to some extent.

How does someone become a CMP?

Interested musicians become CMPs by requesting admission into the Music for Healing and Transition Program. The candidate is screened for musical proficiency prior to and after taking the required course work. The CMP candidate then participates in a supervised MHTP Practicum and Intern program. Upon completing these requirements, the student must pass a final exam of the five training modules and submit recordings of various music that is prescribed for specific patient conditions. Upon completion of these requirements, the student is then certified by MHTP as a Certified Music Practitioner.

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What instruments work best with LTM?

The harp provides the most expansive range of tones and frequencies used for LTM. Other stringed instruments include Dulcimer, guitar, violin, viola, cello.  Banjos and Mandolins typically produce tones that too high and cannot produce lower frequencies. Many CMPs also sing or hum a cappella.

Where can CMPs go to work with patients?

CMPs work with patients in various healthcare institutions, including hospitals, skilled nursing facilities, hospice or memory care facilities. CMPs also work with patients at assisted living, nursing homes, and infusion centers.

How can I find a CMP near me?

A list of CMPs who are current with MHTP can be found on MHTP’s website at http://www.mhtp.org.

LTM is usually played on acoustic instruments or the human voice; however, some CMPs use electronic keyboards. Acoustic instruments are preferred as the tonal qualities of acoustic (stringed instruments) have harmonic overtones that are not present in recorded or music produced on electric instruments.  These overtones improve the process of sympathetic vibration and entrainment, which are foundational elements of LTM.

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What instruments work best with LTM?

The harp provides the most expansive range of tones and frequencies used for LTM. Other stringed instruments include Dulcimer, guitar, violin, viola, cello.  Banjos and Mandolins typically produce tones that too high and cannot produce lower frequencies. Many CMPs also sing or hum a cappella.

Where can CMPs go to work with patients?

CMPs work with patients in various healthcare institutions, including hospitals, skilled nursing facilities, hospice or memory care facilities. CMPs also work with patients at assisted living, nursing homes, and infusion centers.

How can I find a CMP near me?

A list of CMPs who are current with MHTP can be found on MHTP’s website at http://www.mhtp.org.

Are CMPs associated with any standards boards?

Yes.  The National Standards Board for Therapeutic Musicians reviews and sets standards for Music Practitioners who are certified with MHTP, the International Harp Therapy Program and the Bedside Harp Therapy Program.

Does insurance cover LTM?

Live Therapeutic Music is not a reimbursable from private insurance or Medicare.  

Is all LTM played on acoustic instruments?

LTM is usually played on acoustic instruments or the human voice; however, some CMPs use electronic keyboards. Acoustic instruments are preferred as the tonal qualities of acoustic (stringed instruments) have harmonic overtones that are not present in recorded or music produced on electric instruments.  These overtones improve the process of sympathetic vibration and entrainment, which are foundational elements of LTM.

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