Don’t Be Territorial. Give Others A Chance.

by Kimberly on May 28, 2009 · 0 comments

We can be territorial.

It’s true. Mention another musician, volunteer or otherwise, coming in to play for clients in the name of helping them out and we can bristle.

Are we worried about job security? That administrators won’t understand the difference between playing music for a person and providing music therapy services? Possibly (but not if we are doing our job right).

Are we worried that it will promote the idea that music therapy is “entertainment.” That even though it may look like we are having “fun” (one of the perks of being a music therapist, I must admit), we are actually working on pro-social skills…or on increasing upper body range of motion…or on sustained attention…or on state regulation…or hissingon increasing functional language skills…Perhaps (but again, not if we are doing our job right).

It’s true that, as music therapists, we will need to consistently (and often daily) answer the question “What is music therapy?” But it’s also true that people are really interested in music therapy.

Take, for example, Andrew Rosenblum. Andrew is a reporter who recently made a pitch to Spot.Us (Spot.us has pioneered “community funded reporting.” They raise money to pay reporters, like Andrew, to write about important stories not commonly covered in big news media).

Andrew’s pitch? How are Bay Area hospitals using music therapy to treat neurological diseases?

Cool, huh? Andrew is one of many trying to get the word out about music therapy. We are relatively few in numbers (just under 5,000 of us in the United States) and there is only so much we can do. We are busy with clients, documentation, conferences, friends, husbands, wives, children, pets. When do we have time to reach out and talk about our field?

Yet it’s important for music therapy, as a profession, to continue educating the public and it’s vital we use our friends to help us. There are many ways to spread the word: presentations, workshops, newspaper articles, books, magazine articles, radio shows, TV shows, movies, etc.

And we can’t do it alone. So thank you, Andrew Rosenblum, for sharing our story. I look forward to reading your work.

To see how you can support Andrew in his efforts, please click here.

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