Certificate in Song Therapy

Online study

Course outline

This is a flexible e-learning course, delivered online over ten to twelve months but you can take up to three years to complete the course if required. You can start the course in January, May or September and study at your own pace to fit in with other commitments in your life.

Our training celebrates a truth perhaps, that the positive impact of any therapeutic intervention is ultimately linked to the way we perceive and consider the needs of others and indeed the needs of ourselves. It is the quality of these relationships, with ourselves and with others, that lies at the very heart of our exploration.

We explore in a very practical way music as a language, music as a friend and music as medicine. We discover the very particular practical ways that we can use our music to help others who might be facing specific health challenges in their lives.

A hundred years of invaluable research has established clear links between music, relaxation, good health and well being. As a result many people nowadays are turning to informal singing and music groups to help them face up to particular health challenges in their lives; social isolation, anxiety, depression, learning disability, neurological conditions including multiple sclerosis, dementia, parkinson’s disease, autism, stroke and brain injury, these are all examples but there are many more.

Informal singing and music groups offer very specific therapeutic benefits to their participants by; encouraging positive mood, social inclusion, acceptance and self worth; bringing people together in inclusive singing and music making groups; using music as medicine to aid verbal and physical rehabilitation (stroke and brain injury) or to relieve and delay some symptoms of life limiting neurological challenges such as dementia, parkinson’s disease or multiple sclerosis; using music as a language, helping communication for those unable to indicate preference and encouraging self expression through song writing and music improvisation; promoting physical exercise through movement and dance; coordination and motor skills; stimulating cognition; reminiscence; concentration and learning; music as a diversion to rest the mind of dark thoughts or physical pain; music as recreation to fill leisure time with enjoyable, fulfilling and creative activity encouraging relaxation, social interaction and communication.

Very importantly our course looks at self awareness in depth, a subject that is at the heart of leadership training in all walks of life including the arts. How we think about ourselves and the world around us profoundly affects the quality of our relationships with others, including those with whom we share our music.

On the same theme we introduce developmental psychology; theories of childhood development and the influence of survival theory; shining a light upon the effect that the experience of life’s journey has on the way we think and react to others; group dynamics too and why we might act differently when working in groups.

We promote the importance of self care and the responsibility we have to look after ourselves properly if we are ever to maximize the potential impact of our music on others.

We look at the physics of sound, harmonics and resonance and use this as a key to understanding why certain types of music are so suited to sharing with others depending on the health challenges they might be facing.

We drift into the world of neuroscience and the chemistry of the brain and how some of our behaviours, feelings, and thoughts are rooted in the mystery of our minds and the tapestry of our life’s journey. We take a brief look at emotion theory and consider the importance of emotions as a factor in the way we think and behave and as a possible measure of our well being.

We enjoy regular gentle diversions into modern philosophy and suggest that there are some philosophical traditions that some of us might consider adopting as an ethical foundation to our work, providing us with principles that we can depend on when times get hard.


We explore person centred thinking through the prism of rogerian theory and the person centred counselling tradition and suggest that we can learn from their values of empathy, positive regard, authenticity and honesty, rooted in the philosophical traditions of humanism and the tao.

Finally, given that music is such a powerful force in people’s lives we flag some of the potential dangers too. We establish clear distinctions between song therapy, a recreational physiological music intervention and the established healthcare profession of music therapy a clinical psychological music intervention. This has important implications for the therapeutic goals that can be responsibly pursued by trained song therapists in community and social care settings. These are important lines that we draw at the very beginning of our study.

Indeed the whole area of professional practice and the responsibilities we have to those with whom we share our music is one of the corner stones of our study programme.

Please note that for those who wish to register as certified song therapists, we offer an enhanced certificate option that requires the submission of video evidence of your practical work in the community. Further information on this is provided in the introduction to the first module.





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