This month I’m excited to participate in my organization’s social media advocacy push for music therapy.  Both the American Music Therapy Association and the Certification Board for Music Therapists have been collaborating for years on a music therapy state recognition operational plan to get music therapy and our MT-BC credential recognized by individual states so that citizens can more easily access our services. Through the grass roots efforts of 35 state task forces, 2 bills have passed in 2011 and an estimated 10 more bills are being filed in 2012. Awesome, right!?  But how did we get to this point?  I would suggest 4 reasons the profession of music therapy is beginning to receive the recognition it deserves:

Music Therapy is a recognized allied health profession.  Music therapy has been a profession for over 60 years. 60!  From the start, music therapists, clinicians, researchers, regulators, legislators and so many more have worked long and hard to demonstrate that music therapy is reliable and viable therapy for individuals with cognitive, social, language, motor, emotional and spiritual needs.  Advocacy at the local, state and federal level.

Music Therapy is research based. Music therapy research has not only impacted how we support, motivate and teach our clients it has impacted science.  From studies on music and the brain to studies on Autism Spectrum Disorders to studies with premature infants, music therapy is influencing science. Advocacy at the scientific level.

Music Therapy is life changing.  Because music therapy takes place within a therapeutic relationship, it has the power to change not only the lives of the individuals that experience it but the lives of those supporting those individuals on their journey to fulfillment and happiness.  There is nothing better than hearing or sharing heart warming stories of a client’s success in music therapy.  Advocacy at the clinical level and personal level.

Music Therapy is in the news.  How could you have NOT heard about music therapy in 2011?!  Music therapy was tweeted, reported, videoed, blogged, facebooked, written up and shared so many times this year it made NPR’s  noteworthy word cloud for 2011. If that’s not advocacy in the media, I’m not sure I know what is!

So, what does all this mean for us in 2012? It means that we need to continue the momentum by sharing the impact of music therapy on the local, state, federal, scientific, clinical, personal and media level for the betterment of our profession, our clients and our world.

To learn more about how to take part in music therapy advocacy take the music therapy advocacy quiz or follow the hashtag #mtadvocacy on Twitter as music therapist’s share their advocacy tips and insight all this month. =)