This is the all time question isn’t it?
Where each person you ask may give you a different answer. But as a Musician who is trained in Sound Healing, Sound Therapy, Sound Medicine and traditional Music Therapy, I feel that I can provide a most accurate and unbiased answer.
Music Therapy is a clinical intervention involving therapeutic use of musical composition, songwriting and/or song with music played live with classical or traditional instruments, by an appropriately trained and accomplished Musician and also played / sung by the clients they work with, in order to improve the emotional state of the individual by creating the uplifting moods of happiness and joy to improve health and wellbeing. By choosing and playing the right kind of music, songwriting and song to achieve the desired outcome.
The majority of Music Therapists work alongside mental health professionals from whom they receive referrals for special needs clients. Music Therapists will travel from place to place with their instruments to play music at various institutional and/or community settings. Typically Music Therapy is conducted in groups but may also be conducted individually one on one if a person’s special needs requires it.
So if you are an accomplished musician, wishing to play, sing and write songs and musical composition as a therapeutic intervention, professional study in a Master of Music Therapy may be what you are looking for.
Sound Healing/ Sound Therapy is an Energy medicine and recognised Complementary Therapy where the practitioner uses a variety of instruments to create relaxing sounds in a certain manner in order to place the client in an altered state of consciousness for relaxation and meditation, working on all energetic and physical levels of the mind and body to clear energy blockages and balance energy flow for stress reduction and self-healing on a cellular level.
Sound Healing/Sound Therapy may or may not include the use of vocal toning of certain sounds, words or mantras or spiritually channeled song, including what is known as “light language”. Most often Sound Healing/Sound Therapy is based on specific tuned or untuned sound frequencies created with different sound generating objects and/or instruments place on and/or around the body including himalayan singing bowls, tuning forks and/or certain musical instruments such as percussion, wind or stringed instruments which may be used either to create meditative sounds, or especially if the Therapist is also a musician, to play a calming and relaxing meditative musical composition.
Sound Therapy as a group experience may also be known as Sound bath meditation or Sound Journey meditation. However a depending on their training, a Sound Healing Practitioner/Sound Therapist may also choose to work in groups either at their own premises or at a variety of locations depending on demand, unlike Music Therapists they don’t rely solely on Mental Health professionals for their client referrals. Some Music Therapists do go on to further study in Sound Healing, Sound Therapy, Energy Healing, and/or indigenous Sound and Energy Healing.
Sound Healing/Sound Therapy is considered a complementary therapy not only due to it being a form of Energy Therapy, but also because it is not evidence based due to the widespread use of untuned and intuitively produced sound specific to the energies of the client and surroundings. However there are two modes of Sound Healing/Sound Therapy emerging:
- that which uses tuned sound created with precisely tuned machine made sound tools such as therapeutic grade himalayan singing bowls and/or tuning forks and/or tuned gongs, which therefore makes the Sound Healing/Sound Therapy repeatable and evidence-based. This is known internationally as Sound Medicine, and
- traditional methods which use untuned sound created with handmade objects such as himalayan singing bowls and/or gongs made for meditation purposes, which is not evidence-based as it can’t be reproduced precisely by others.
I believe that Sound Medicine has real potential with further detailed clinical research, to cross the boundary from Complementary to a Mainstream Therapy accepted and recommended by all health professionals.
If your goal is to learn to work intuitively with the energy of sound in order to assist people to heal on all levels of mind, body and spirit, and you would like to either setup your own clinical practice, work in groups, or add to your existing natural and complementary therapy offerings, professional study in either of our Diplomas and/or our Advanced Diploma of Therapeutic Sound Medicine will be perfect for you!
There has never been a better time to commence your journey with Therapeutic Sound at Pythagoras Institute of Sound & Vibrational Healing!