Certification, Part 2

I originally wrote this week's post shortly after the last one. But since then, things have blown up on Facebook, with well over 150 comments/posts in response to last week's blog. Some of the discussion took a turn off on a tangent, so I'd like to address that before presenting this week's blog post.

A number of people in the UK brought up that in order to get insurance, covering their sound healing practice, they need a certificate showing that they have completed some sort of course. While I understand this, it's a completely different subject that has nothing to do with what I was talking about. 

As these Facebook discussions go, they often vere off into various tangents, bringing up related subject matter. This has happened numerous times in response to blog posts of mine. I always welcome it, because as a writer, getting people to both think and respond to what I write, is my whole purpose of writing in the 1st place. Writing is one of those strange things where you put your work out there, but don't always know if it has even been read. 

Even after 50 years, I'm still excited and intrigued by the possibilities that music/sound has as a communication medium. 

Keep playing.
Keep discussing it.


Now onto this week's blog post:

Certification, Part 2

If you haven't already, please read last week's post: Are You A Certified Gong or Bowl Practitioner?

This week I just want to clear up a few loose ends. While I wrote at length about what I feel is the futility of certification for Gongs, Singing Bowls, etc., I want to clarify a couple of important points:
  • Understand that I'm not attacking anyone out there who offers some sort of course/training and provides a certificate upon completion.
  • I am aware of a lot of very good people out there who offer legitimate training and provide you with a certificate upon completion of their course.
  • What I wrote about also has nothing to do with studying at university level to become a certified sound therapist (that is a completely different thing).
  • There is no one governing body or association (at least here in the States) that has established a curriculum covering using Gongs, Singing Bowls, etc. for meditation, therapy, or sound healing; so it's pretty much everyone for themselves.

Buyer Beware

Doreen Virtue

A recent news event that I think plays into this topic is that of former psychic, Doreen Virtue. If you look her up on the web, you will see that she has recently discovered Jesus and disavowed her past work with oracles and anything psychic. Now a Christian, she has apparently cut herself off from any of her former teachings and certifications! So that means that if you took any of her courses and were certified, it basically doesn't mean anything today: your certifications are worthless! Many people are apparently suing her to get their money back for all the courses they took with her.

So how does that affect the Gong & Singing Bowl community? Well, the same thing could happen here, where someone offering courses suddenly decides that the whole sound meditation/therapy/healing thing is BS. How's that certificate on your wall look now?

So What?

Now if you've read my blogs for any length of time, you'll know that I'm against the overnight Gong Master, who took a weekend course, and now thinks they can teach the world how to do it. I am in no way against people studying and getting training for working with these instruments. In fact, I'm all for studying the sound healing arts and believe it's an ongoing, life long process. I have been teaching drums & percussion for over 40 years, both in private sessions and group workshops. I also have people who come study Gongs/Bowls/Bells/ with me.

The thing is, if you are thinking of studying with anyone, do a background check. Don't just go looking for a piece of paper that says you took their course. Check them out. Talk to others who have studied with them. See if what they have to offer aligns with how you feel, but also don't be put off if it's somewhat different, because we all need to be stretched and to grow.

Remember people, this is a life long journey you are on. Be in it for the distance.

~ MB

Chop Wood / Carry water / Play Gongs™ / Study Always


  1. The Harmonic Therapy Association (HTA) only recognizes a few organizations that offer college level Sound Therapy programs. So if you don't see a program that certified you, most likely it did not pass their review process. Nearly 100 programs were reviewed. This review process was conducted by university professors. Here's their link: http://harmonictherapyassociation.org/education


Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

Cracking/Breaking Gongs

What's The Best Gong To Buy?

Gong Makers - A Further Look