sparkle2013 has been a whirlwind of a year. I know that I don’t just speak for myself, but for Laura and Janelle as well, when I say that 2013 has brought some pretty astounding change to Key Changes, as well as to the families and facilities that we serve.

At the end of the year, I like to highlight the achievements of the past year and set the tone for the coming one.  In honor of 2013, here are what I feel were our biggest achievements!

Over 25% of all of our billings went directly to insurance companies.

If you have ever had a conversation with me about insurance, you understand the hurdles that we jump through to ensure that our families are eligible for and receive insurance coverage for music therapy. While we have a long way to go, I’m proud of this accomplishment. That over a quarter of our services were reimbursable is phenomenal when you consider that most Columbia residents participate in health plans that specifically do not cover music therapy.

My intention for 2014: To see that number increase, but also to continue our work in changing the insurance landscape in Columbia so that more families are eligible for reimbursement for their music therapy services.

2013 saw a 100% increase in amount of services provided.

That’s right. We doubled. There are now twice as many children and adults benefitting from music therapy in the Columbia area as there were this time last year.

I just want to sit with that for a moment.

A lot—and by a lot, I mean almost every working moment that I don’t spend with a client—of my time goes towards furthering the awareness of music therapy in South Carolina. If I am not calling a facility about starting a contract, I’m putting together a presentation. If I’m not doing that, I’m e-mailing local therapists to connect. If I’m not doing that, I’m trying to figure out a new way to reach people that I haven’t already thought of. As long as there is someone in the midlands who can say to me, “Music therapy? What’s that?” I still have a job to do.

My intention for 2014: More opportunities to reach more people. More time in front of people talking about music therapy, the benefits, and how it can change their lives.

We increased our staff.

This year welcomed two new faces: One temporarily and one for the long haul. Laurie Peebles, MT-BC provided stellar Saturday morning music sessions this fall, and Janelle Sikora, MM, MT-BC joined our staff in October. The need for more therapists echoed the growth in the amount of services provided, and truly the timing couldn’t have worked out any better.

The growth in our staff echoes the growth of Key Changes and its evolution into being more than just me balancing 20 plates at once.

My intention for 2014: To empower my staff to be the face of Key Changes when I step back a bit in June (eek!). To increase our caseloads so much that Laura and Janelle beg for another therapist.

From my vantage as Mama Bear of Key Changes, everything I loved about 2013 boiled down to those three points. Encapsulated in each of those bold sentences are the faces of our clients, the hoorays from the therapists, the praise from the families, the acknowledgements from other professionals, and the rewarding feeling that we get from providing high quality music therapy services in Columbia.

We’ve had a blast being here this year, and we hope to see you and many more faces in 2014.