Image via Groovy Garfoose
Do you advocate for music therapy? January is Music Therapy Social Media Advocacy Month and Toneworks Music Therapy is excited to share what we are and have been doing to advocate for music therapy! The Music Therapy Maven shares why advocacy is important for us as clinicians and for our clients. Here are a few ways that we advocate for music therapy!
1) The Little Things
Every time someone asks me “what do you do for a living?”, I take the opportunity and go into my “elevator speech” version of what music therapy is and what music therapy looks like. Usually people will respond with, “oh, I have a cousin who plays the piano for people at a nursing home too” or “are you going to play your violin/viola for me so I can feel happy?”.
I find that people understand more clearly what music therapy is when I explain that the results are not about the music. However, the music facilitates the physical, social/emotional, and cognitive changes that the music therapists assesses and plans for the client. In addition, specific examples that relate to the person I’m talking to (e.g. do they have a loved one that was in hospice or a child that is on the Autism Spectrum) and how music therapy would help in that specific situation helps people understand how music therapy works.
2) The Not-so-Little Things
In opening our private practice we have been giving in-services to many facilities and parent groups. In these presentations we have a powerpoint about what music therapy is and what credentials we have along with music therapy research that supports what we do in sessions. We usually have an experiential portion as well so parents can see what their children are capable of and how music can be used to get children to interact, move, and learn. We do not expect everyone to choose us as their music therapist and we get excited when parents ask us for music therapists in their area!
This Saturday, we are also excited to advocate for music therapy at a local health & fitness expo. We will be spreading the word how music therapy can be used for wellness and prevention, development in children and adults, and maintenance for older adults. We will have lots of examples of therapeutic music interventions, instruments, and AMTA fact sheets to help people understand how music therapy can have a positive effect on their lives.
3) The Big Things
Getting involved at the state level to participate in Day on the Hill to speak with legislators about licensure is one way of advocating for music therapy on a large scale. We are excited to participate in MN this spring for the Day on the Hill. Sharing personal stories of how we impact lives is an important part of advocacy. If you invite lawmakers to participate in music therapy social media advocacy month, even better! If you’re on twitter be sure to use #lovemusictherapy and #MTadvocacy when sharing during MT social media advocacy month.
These are just a few ways to advocate for music therapy in person and in social media. We are excited for the growth in our field and in awareness of what music therapy can do for clients during January. We are looking forward to posting client success stories during the month of January on our blog.