Certification classes slated for musical healing

Posted: Wednesday, September 12, 2001

Singing and playing music to create a beneficial, healing environment is the purpose of Music for Healing and Transitions Program, which will offer classes in Juneau beginning in October. Registration deadline is Sept. 19.

MHTP is headquartered in Hillsdale, N.Y., and received its nonprofit status in 1993. It has training sites throughout the United States and Canada, including an affiliation with Nevada University to provide credentials and undergraduate credit for students taking courses on campus. Graduates receive the title, Certified Music Practitioner.

MHTP trains people to serve the dying, the critically ill, the chronically ill, the elderly, premature babies, surgical patients, birthing mothers and the injured. In this context, "healing" does not mean "curing." It means relaxing, bridging, relief from emotional and physical tension, peaceful surrender, a freeing from pain and cares.

Courses are held in five intensive weekend modules, said Jane Roodenburg, an in-home volunteer for Juneau Hospice and Homecare who is coordinating the course offerings here. The courses are open to all vocalists and acoustic instrumentalists.

All modules are 15 hours. Module 1 (Oct. 19, 20 and 21) will be taught by Stella Benson of MHTP. Carol Glenn is instructor for Module 2 (Feb. 22, 23 and 24), while Paula Lalish will instruct for Modules 3 and 4, Roodenburg said. Module 3 is next April; Module 4 is June 2002. Module 5 has not been announced. Classes will be held at the KTOO conference room, 360 Egan Drive.

Cost for the classes is $375 per module, plus a one-time $100 registration fee due no later than 30 days before the first module date.

Students can begin the program with any Module and should plan to complete the requirements of classes, internship, selected reading and reporting and musical development within two years. A mentor advises each student during his studies, Roodenburg said.

Roodenburg, a vocalist who plays guitar, has been interested in MHTP for some time, and talking to Hospice about it for a year. "In terms of serving Juneau, we thought it would be better not just to have music for the dying but for others, like residents of nursing homes." She expects to schedule an MHTP demonstration concert during the early holiday season.

"I have talked to people who have studied MHTP, and they were happy with it," Roodenburg said. "It's prohibitively expensive to fly Outside to study, which is why I am coordinating the classes here."

For details, call Roodenburg at 463-6714 or e-mail her at munkysmum@aol.com.

Ann Chandonnet can be contacted at achandonnet@juneauempire.com.

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