Monday, January 24, 2011

What is Music Therapy?

What is Music Therapy?

Music Therapy is....wait....I have to explain this again?!?!

This is the question I answer the most, and often daily. But, I always answer this question because I feel it is very important to educate other professionals, teachers and parents about what I do.

As a music therapist, I've witnessed first hand the numerous ways in which music can reach a person and bring about therapeutic change over a period of time. How do I relate this to someone who is deciding whether or not to create a Music Therapy position in their facility? Will existing programs continue to value music therapy and its many therapeutic benefits?

This week, I will be posting about a very important topic for music therapists and the field of Music Therapy itself: Advocacy.

First of all, what is Advocacy?

Advocacy is for anyone. Advocacy happens everywhere, any day of the week, any time you are engaging in a professional capacity. You can advocate at every level (e.g. from grassroots to state agencies and governors to national legislators). Any opportunity, any conversation is a way to advocate for the profession.

Advocacy is a language. You need to know your audience and tailor your advocacy skills for that audience. It's just like tailoring your clinical skills for different clinical populations. And experience is the best teacher--having your audience experience music therapy first hand is very powerful.

We all advocate for things everyday. Whether we convince a friend to try a dish at a restaurant, or encourage a friend to buy a certain brand of shoes because they feel so comfortable, we're advocating. We're informing, sharing, and relating our own experiences to others. We can also do this with Music Therapy!

Don't forget to stop by tomorrow for another post on advocating for Music Therapy.

Thanks for stopping by!

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