Martha Vance: Certified Music Practitioner

Posted by on Jan 12, 2013 in Blog | 0 comments

I am proud to have graduated and become a Certified Music Practitioner!

Originally inspired by Lloyd Goldstein, a bassist friend and colleague, I began my studies to become a Certified Music Practitioner through the Music for Healing and Transition Program in 2007, taking classes and becoming thoroughly absorbed and enthralled with the subject of playing at the bedside of the ill, elderly or dying patients.

MarthaSeveral years of intervening life changing events created a pause in my studies. In 2010, several providential contacts with a former classmate and a MHTP teacher enabled me to restart my training and internship at the University of Maryland Medical Center in the Shock Trauma center and Knollwood Retirement Home playing for dementia residents. Quite a diverse demographic. One of the outcomes has been the feeling of sharing instead of presenting music.

The emphasis is on service, focusing on the needs of the patient or resident,  rather than on providing entertainment. There has been a tremendous response to my musical offering from patients, family members, staff, and supervisors.I continue to play at Knollwood and UMMC and hope to become more involved with the hospice community.

“My work as a CMP complements my teaching and playing vocations. The improvisation I do with my students at the beginning of each lesson carries over to my hospital work; improvising, reacting to what’s happening in the moment and being flexible are important aspects of the playing.

I’m hoping that the students see a value in the improvising; most of them enjoy it immensely and appreciate the freedom and temporary lack of constraints.

Of course, music is ‘entertainment’ but the service aspect can’t be overlooked as we musicians provide relief, distraction, relaxation, instruction and beauty to this sometimes chaotic world.

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