This month, everyone in the online music therapy community has been talking about advocacy.
Advocacy, Advocacy, ADVOCACY!
What is advocacy? Simply put, advocacy involves passion for an idea and commitment to a cause. Advocacy is a language–it’s using your words and your stories to get someone else interested in what you have to say. And a large part of advocacy is perseverance–it’s building a relationship of trust that occurs over time and with multiple moments of connection.
Anyone and everyone can be an advocate. You may be reading this, thinking, “Ha! Not me…I’m not an advocate!” Well, I’ve got news for you…you ARE an advocate. You may just not know it yet.
In that spirit, here are 10 ways you are already an advocate…and you don’t even know it:
- You talk to your supervisor about increasing your equipment budget so that you can purchase those Orff instruments and djembes.
- You read an interesting article that highlights someone else’s music therapy work and you share it with your clients, family, and friends through email, Facebook, and Twitter.
- You give an in-service at your place of work in an attempt to help them understand what makes an appropriate referral for music therapy services.
- You willingly answer the question “what is music therapy?”
- You facilitate an educational workshop at your local community center, Rotary club, or Chamber of Commerce.
- You answer the questions of a parent or potential client.
- You respond as patiently as possible when someone sees you in the elevator, guitar strapped to your back, and says “Yay! The music lady is here!”
- You purchase copies of The Music Never Stopped or Sing You Home for family members as gifts.
- You give a presentation at a non-music therapy conference.
- You introduce yourself by saying “Hi! My name is _____ and I’m a music therapist!”
I invite you to read what other music therapy bloggers and podcasters have to say about music therapy advocacy. Click this link to catch up on the latest.
P.S. Guess what? There’s another one to add to the list! Here is #11, courtesy of Dr. Dena Register:
Every year when you write that check to renew your AMTA dues. If you haven’t done it yet for this year…go to it Those are dues that keep you in the know, keep people employed to advocate for you in Washington and around the other states in our nation and keep the music therapy “machine” going.