Taking Music Therapy Mainstream

Taking Music Therapy Mainstream

January is Social Media Advocacy Month in the music therapy world! This year’s theme is re:VISION, and many bloggers, including myself, are sharing our own stories about how we advocate for music therapy.

For the first 7 years as a practicing music therapist, my work has been contained within schools, facilities, and my home private practice. But this past year, I had the unique opportunity to change that by moving my private practice into a very public location.

No longer is my presence known only to my clients, their caregivers, administrators, and the occasional visitor; it is now visible to the community at large. The Music Therapy Connections private practice and teaching studio is now located inside of a well-respected and highly-trafficked music store here in Springfield.

Just by going to work, I am spreading the word about music therapy. I meet new people at the store every day, and naturally they are curious about what I do. The management and staff at the store are familiar with our work now as well, and will frequently bring customers by our studios to explain our services.

We are now receiving more new client referrals than ever before, and I have no doubt that taking music therapy “mainstream” has a lot to do with that. But there are SO many ways to be an advocate for music therapy beyond doing your work in the public eye.

If you’re a music therapist yourself:

  • Develop your music therapy “elevator speech” and give it. Often.
  • Share information about the work you do with friends and colleagues in related fields.
  • Give our your cards and brochures to anyone and in anyplace you think might benefit from music therapy.
  • Seize every opportunity to participate in fairs, expos, and other public events.
  • Take to social media! Use and follow the #mtadvocacy hashtag on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram to stay current with the latest happenings.

If you have benefited from music therapy or know someone who has:

  • Spread the word about what music therapy can do.
  • Share music therapy success stories with your healthcare providers and other professionals.
  • Support and attend music therapy-related events and programs. Invite your friends.
  • Give referrals to others who you think may be able to benefit from music therapy.

2015 is a very exciting year for our field, as there some big changes in effect! Read about them below, and be sure to visit the Music Therapy State Recognition website for more posts about #MTadvocacy throughout the month of January.

As the profession of music therapy has been moving forward with recognition at the state level, it has been identified that a document was needed to reflect a similar format to other health care professional organizations’ Scopes of Practice. CBMT and AMTA worked together to create a Scope of Music Therapy Practice (2015) for the profession based on published documents from both organizations. This new document entitled Scope of Music Therapy Practice (2015) is available as an educational tool and legislative support document that broadly defines the range of responsibilities of a fully qualified music therapy professional with requisite education, clinical training, and board certification. Click here to read the Scope of Music Therapy Practice (2015).

The Year is 2015

2015 Album Cover

How is it possible that this is the 8th “song of the year” I’ve written since becoming a music therapist?! When I wrote my first one way back in 2008, I thought about how challenging it would be to write a new song that essentially says the same thing — just with a different number at the end — every year.

But it has been much easier than I originally imagined, and I’ll probably be here another 8 years from now sharing my song for 2023. What a crazy thought!

As always, this song includes not only the name of the year, but also the number of months, weeks and days. It’s catchy, short, simple, and repetitive…ingredients that make for a good song to sing all year long.

This is only the first of MANY songs I’ll be sharing with you in 2015. As I mentioned back in December, I have a whole slew already written and recorded, just waiting to be posted.

Even though I didn’t make any official resolutions for the new year, my plan is to get better at posting new tunes in a timely fashion! You’re more than welcome to remind me of that goal if I go too long in between songs ;)

P.S. Did you know that you can gain instant access to a vast collection of over 200 songs (mp3, lead sheet, and instrumental track), videos, tutorials, and visual aides, plus ALL new releases from Listen & Learn Music?

Learn more about Listen & Learn Plus

Hello, New Year!

2015 Goals & Plans

Happy New Year, friends. I hope 2015 is off to an amazing start for you. This year has already been a bit of a whirlwind for me — we ended 2014 by moving into a new house and started 2015 surrounded by lots and lots of boxes waiting to be unpacked. Needless to say, I’m just a little exhausted from my “vacation” as I head back to work today.

As I sat down to write this post, I started thinking about the big work-related goals and plans I’ve made in years past. A new song every week, a new blog post every day…yep, those were definitely in the pre-baby era.

Instead of making resolutions this year, I’m going to continue focusing on the goals I’ve been working toward over the last few months: 1) continuing to grow my early childhood classes; 2) establishing a new contract with our local hospital; 3) expanding the Music Therapy Connections team; and finally, 4) writing more songs and creating more resources for music therapists.

But in 2015, I’m going to give myself more GRACE as I work towards those goals. Last year was full of changes and growth and challenges, and I know that I stretched myself a little too thin at times. Now with a baby girl (!) on the way in May, I need to be kind to my body and soul both for her sake and for my own sanity.

I’m grateful to have a place to share my thoughts with you, as well as all my creative endeavors. Thank you for taking the time to read, and I hope this year brings you nothing but the best. Up next: a brand-new song for and all about 2015!

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