Not everyone understands what we do as music therapists. And not everyone is going to. Some people will question everything, some people will claim it’s a bunch of hooey, some people will deny that it is a real profession. On the other hand, some will testify to it’s wonders, some will refer new clients to you over and over again, some will even push for Music therapy to be in other facilities if they see it’s benefits. But let me ask you a question… If you want others to know and love music therapy, where do you think that has to start? You’re right… WITH YOU!
Music therapy is becoming more and more well known in the medical field. We are being taken more seriously and professionally sought out by other therapists for referrals, which is obviously amazing! Even though many people have heard about music therapy from Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, TV, and other media sources, the way for MT advocacy is straight from our mouths and actions! In this blog I’ve included 5 different ways to advocate for the Music Therapy field! So here we go:
1. Website- Everything is online nowadays, so why aren’t you?!? Websites can be extremely inexpensive and easy to set up. Even if you don’t have your own business, having a website is great for advocating by simply redirecting them back to AMTA website, creating some videos of your client (with parent/guardian permission) in a session for visual examples, . A website creates credibility for not only yourself but the MT profession.
2. Business cards- This is a huge way to advocate on the go! Having business card with you credentials, email, website and phone allows you to quickly give someone access to more information. And if you have your website set up and on your cards, they can then go right to your site to learn more about you and what you do! There are even digital business cards now that you can keep on your phone and send right to
3. Career Fairs- An amazing way to advocate is to make sure that Music Therapy is represented at your local career fairs for those considering a new or first career path. These are easy to find online or in your local newspaper. Be prepared with brochures, business cards, slideshows, videos, data, etc. Remember also that for some this may be the first time they are hearing about music therapy, so represent well!
4. Social Media- Some people discourage posting about their services in groups or on pages through social media but I strongly encourage it! Think about it: Everyone has a Facebook… literally everybody. And when people are looking for help, they usually let everyone know. So make sure you’re there to solve their problem and make them aware of what Music Therapy has to offer!
5. Tell a friend to tell a friend- I’m sure that most of your friends already know what you do, but do they tell others if it could help them? Explain to your friends that if they meet a family with a child with special needs, a woman whose mother has dementia, or someone who could simply use the relaxation that music therapy can provide, that they should tell them about their friend that is a music therapist. Some friends will spread the word out of common sense, but in order to REALLY advocate you should talk to them and give them some business cards. The more people that talk about music therapy, the more people that can have their lives changed by what we have to offer!
This list does not just apply to business owners but to all music therapists! You don’t need to have a private practice or to see clients privately in order to tell people about what you do. You just need to know how they can get access to the services.
So whatever you do, JUST KEEP ADVOCATING! Set a goal that once a day you will tell someone about music therapy or offer your services to someone you meet! And make it a point this week to work on at least 3 of these advocating techniques. If we all work together, we can make music therapy known and available to everyone in the world!
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Let us know in the comments below how you advocate for your field!