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Natural Awakenings New York City

The Open Center’s Sound and Music Healing Program Goes Virtual

The Open Center’s Sound and Music Institute (SMI) certificate program will be held online this year for the first time in its 13-year history, beginning October 17. This new virtual format provides the opportunity for The Open Center to create new relationships and networks outside the immediate New York City area and extend its courses to a global audience.

The integrative SMI certificate program is a comprehensive multi-cultural, multi-disciplinary, and highly experiential approach to the study of sound, music, and voice and their effect on the mind, body, and spirit. This training offers students first-hand experience with sound-healing practices and applications, with the intent of developing and maintaining a sound practice of their own. 

This nine-month, 130-hour hands-on learning experience covers techniques from indigenous cultural practices to modern scientific approaches. A certificate of completion is offered to those who meet the program requirements. No previous experience in music and sound work is required.

Topics covered in this program include the therapeutic and esoteric properties of sound from western scientific, Eastern philosophical, and shamanic belief systems; sound-, voice-, rhythm- and music-healing modalities; the principles of modern sound healing; how sound makes positive changes to the body; psychoacoustic science (tuning forks, singing bowls, and gongs); sacred sound and cross-cultural music-healing practices and vocal cultures; and professional applications (a sound-healing practicum and practitioner toolkit).

According to The Open Center, the SMI certification can be applied to a number of healing and therapeutic occupations. In general, the program is designed to better equip students to serve as practitioners and specialists, as well as in a private healing or counseling practice or in creative performance. 

Among the many clinical and wellness settings where there is a growing need for people with a background in sound and music healing are psychiatric hospitals, rehabilitation facilities, mental health clinics, outpatient facilities, substance abuse programs, facilities for people with developmental disabilities, bodywork clinics, yoga studios, geriatric centers, correctional institutions, hospice programs, children’s health centers, and acupuncture and alternative medicine centers.

The SMI program faculty features renowned experts in their fields, including Grammy-nominated composer Silvia Nakkach; four-time Grammy-winning master drummer Glen Velez; sound-healing pioneer John Beaulieu, Ph.D.; and composer and choral clinician Ysaye M. Barnwell, Ph.D. 

For more information or to register, visit