It’s likely that you or someone you know has benefited from Music Therapy. You may not have been aware that it was music therapy, or that you and your loved ones could benefit from it as well.

And if you do already know about Music Therapy (which, if you are reading my blog, you probably do!), how can you get access to top notch music therapy services?

Since 2005, the American Music Therapy Association and the Certification Board for Music Therapists have collaborated on a State Recognition Operational Plan. The primary purpose of this Plan is to get music therapy and our MT-BC credential recognized by individual states so that citizens can more easily access our services. The AMTA Government Relations staff and CBMT Regulatory Affairs staff provide guidance and technical support to state task forces throughout the country as they work towards state recognition. To date, their work has resulted in 35 active state task forces, 2 licensure bills passed in 2011, and an estimated 10 bills being filed in 2012 that seek to create either a music therapy registry or license for music therapy. This month, our focus is on YOU and on getting you excited about advocacy.

As mentioned in the above quote, the primary purpose of our State Plans has been to provide access to music therapy services. I have had countless phone calls from parents and loved ones who want music therapy services, but for a variety of reasons cannot access them!

While I am a member of my state task force here in South Carolina, the job is not ours alone! If you, as someone who is receiving or wants to receive music therapy services, can get excited about the possibility of opening the gates for others to experience change through music, you can help too!

There are several ways that you can show your support of music therapy!

  • You can tell your neighbor about the stellar services you receive.
  • You can tell people in your community about the stellar services you receive.
  • You can talk to other care provides (like physicians, therapists, case managers, etc) about the stellar services you receive.
  • You can tell your state legislators about the stellar services you receive.

“Well Natalie, that sounds like a good idea, but how on earth do I do that?”

The neat thing about spreading the word about music therapy is that it is easy too!

  • You can have the conversation over coffee with a friend.
  • You can host a music therapy group at your home with those you think should experience it.
  • You can post on facebook or twitter about the awesome session you or your loved one just had (thanks to those who have already!!).
  • You can write a letter to or schedule a meeting to have a conversation with your legislator.
  • You can put your other healthcare providers in touch with your music therapist and let them be educated.

You already know that music therapy is a valuable tool. I hope you’ll join myself and others  in trying to increase access to services. I’d love to hear if you have any other ideas about how you can spread the word. Leave a comment below if you have an idea, have been involved, or would like to be involved in making music therapy available to all who need it!