WHAT IS ADVOCACY?
Simply put, advocates are people in the community who make their voices heard. As an advocate for music therapy, you are educating your legislators, state administration department heads, state regulatory agencies, and other key decision makers about music therapy and how it benefits the citizens they serve.
Advocacy, as specifically related to our certificants, involves education and information sharing about the profession that includes, but is not limited to, scope of practice for the profession, where music therapists work, and what the benefits are to clients and their families. Professional advocacy also includes protecting the right of MT-BCs to practice by monitoring the regulations and related legislation of other related professions to ensure that policy and language changes do not infringe on the music therapists right to practice.
There are many reasons to be an advocate for music therapy:
- To increase access to services for clients
- To increase access to funding sources for services
- To make the music therapy profession and it’s members known and available as resources on related issues
- For increased respect and recognition
- To educate legislators about music therapy and issues affecting clients and practices
- For increased employment opportunities and enhanced benefits
- To have legislators and staff associate music therapy with other healthcare and education consumer groups
It takes time and perseverance to become a successful advocate. Advocacy requires a series of contacts to develop a relationship of respect. These contacts can include email, phone, face-to-face, or online communications designed to educate, explain, propose solutions, or ask for an action.
Interested in being an advocate for music therapy? Contact the chair of your state task force to learn how you can contribute and help advance the profession in your state.
TOP ADVOCACY PRIORITIES
The American Music Therapy Association Government Relations staff and Committee work to represent the profession of music therapy in Washington DC. Click here to learn more about AMTA’s top federal advocacy priorities.
CBMT works in collaboration with AMTA and State Task Forces on the State Recognition Operational Plan. Click here to learn more about what’s happening in your state.
THE SOCIAL MEDIA ADVOCACY PROJECT
In January 2012, the American Music Therapy Association and Certification Board for Music Therapists (CBMT) successfully spread the word about music therapy advocacy and government relations through the social media airwaves.
Throughout the month, music therapy bloggers and podcasters shared their thoughts, ideas, and questions about what it means to be a music therapy advocate, what the State Recognition Operational Plan entails, and how you can be involved.
In 2012, a total of 40 bloggers and podcasters participated in this project, publishing a total of 50 articles, 5 podcast episodes, and 3 advocacy videos.
In 2013, a total of 48 bloggers and podcasters participated in this project, publishing a total of 71 posts, including 7 podcast episodes, 5 advocacy music videos, and 2 infographics.
We are grateful to the following blogs and bloggers that participated in the social media advocacy project:
…in the practice room. A Music Therapy Blog (Tania Cordobes: 2013)
Access Music Therapy Services (Jody St. George: 2013)
All Things Healing (Bernice Chu, Rebecca McClary, Melinda Wilson: 2012)
Backmountain Music Therapy (Antoinette Morrison: 2013)
Beyond the Music MT (Michelle Strutzel: 2012)
Bill Matney (2012, 2013)
CODA Music Therapy Services (Kellee Coviak Hansen: 2013)
Connecticut Music Therapy Services (Jennifer Sokira: 2012)
Developing Melodies (Meryl Brown: 2012, 2013)
Do It In Public: A Jim Ernst Project (2012)
Dr. John Carpente’s Music and Child Development Blog (2012)
Eclectic Guitar (Sara Sendlbeck: 2012)
Heartbeat Music Therapy (Janice Lindstrom: 2013)
Helping Harmonies (Noa Elimelech: 2013)
Judith Pinkerton (2012)
Key Changes Music Therapy (Natalie Mullis: 2012, 2013)
MTI in the ATL (Andrew Littlefield: 2012)
KNV Music Therapy (Kristin Veveto: 2012)
Listen and Learn Music (Rachel Rambach: 2012, 2013)
Mind-Full Music Therapy Services (Debi Kret-Melton: 2012)
Mundana Music Therapy (Megan Resig: 2012)
Music 4 Life podcast (Judith Pinkerton: 2012)
Music Makes Sense (Daniel Tague: 2012, 2013)
Music Matters (Kate Legge: 2012, 2013)
Music Moves (Natasha Thomas: 2012, 2013)
Music Sparks (JoAnn Jordan: 2012, 2013)
Music Therapy Annex (Megan Resig: 2013)
Music Therapy Ed (Kat Fulton: 2013)
Music Therapy Equals Love (Ashley Lundquist: 2012, 2013)
Music Therapy Ideas (Connie Cheila Huettner: 2013)
Music Therapy in Thailand (Dena Register: 2013)
Music Therapy Maven (Kimberly Sena Moore: 2012, 2013)
Music Therapy Moves (Hilary Yip: 2013)
Music Therapy Musings (Emily Keeling: 2013)
Music Therapy Research Blog (Blythe LaGasse: 2013)
Music Therapy Research Blog Podcast (Andrew Knight and Blythe Lagasse: 2012)
Music Therapy Round Table Podcast (Michelle Erfurt, Rachel Rambach, Kimberly Sena Moore: 2012, 2013)
Music Therapy Services of Austin (Rachel See Smith: 2012)
Music Therapy Source (Matt Logan: 2012, 2013)
Music Therapy Tween (Michelle Erfurt: 2012, 2013)
Musically Thinking (Megumi Azekawa: 2012, 2013)
On the Go Studio (Megan Resig and Wade Richards: 2013)
Prelude (Annie Walljasper: 2012)
Rehabilitative Rhythms (Sarah Thompson: 2013)
Rhythm For Good (Kat Fulton: 2012, 2013)
Roots and Wings Music Therapy (Stacey Hargis: 2013)
Slippery Rock University Music Therapy Program (Nicole Hahna and SRU music therapy students: 2013)
Soundscape Music Therapy (Rachelle Norman: 2012, 2013)
St. Mary-in-the-Woods College Music Therapy Program (Sharon Boyle: 2013)
The Adventures of Runner Girl (Michelle Kennemer: 2013)
The George Center (Jamie George, Andrew Littlefield, and the George Center staff: 2013)
The Groovy Garfoose (Bonnie Hayhurst: 2012, 2013)
The Mindful Music Therapist (Roia Rafieyan: 2012, 2013)
The Music From Within (Dean Quick: 2012)
The Music Therapy Diva (Katelyn Farris: 2013)
The Music Therapy Show with Janice Lindstrom (2012)
The Musical Autist (CJ Diachenko: 2012, 2013)
The Rhythm Tree (Ryan Judd: 2013)
The Rhythmic Mind (Stephanie Scheffel: 2012, 2013)
Time for Music (Wade Richards: 2012, 2013)
Toneworks Music Therapy Services (Andrea Yun-Springer: 2013)
Tuneful Learning (Kathy Schumacher: 2013)
Unstrange Mind (2013)
Urban Therapists (Andrea and Tyler: 2013)
Wholesome Harmonies Music Therapy! (Amy Kalas: 2012, 2013)