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.

TAKE 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

Federal Issues

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.

State Issues

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

Starting in 2011, dozens of music therapy bloggers and podcasters working with the American Music Therapy Association and Certification Board for Music Therapists (CBMT) have successfully spread the word about music therapy advocacy and the State Recognition Operational Plan through multiple social media channels. Throughout the month of January, music therapy bloggers and podcasters share 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.

In 2014, we explored and honored the music therapy profession as a distinct profession, unique from other professions and professionals with which we work. Over 45 bloggers and podcasters participating, publishing a total of 72 posts on the subject.A full listing of blog posts, podcast episodes, and videos can be found by visiting:
www.musictherapystaterecognition.blogspot.com.

We are grateful to the following blogs and bloggers that have participated in the annual social media advocacy projects:

…in the practice room. A Music Therapy Blog (Tania Cordobes: 2013, 2014)
Access Music Therapy Services (Jody Tucker: 2014)
All Things Healing (Bernice Chu, Rebecca McClary, Melinda Wilson: 2012)
Back Mountain Music Therapy (Antoinette Morrison: 2013, 2014)
Beyond the Music MT (Michelle Strutzel: 2012)
Bill Matney (2012, 2013, 2014)
Coast Music Therapy (Michelle Lazar: 2014)
CODA Quips (Kellee Coviak Hansen: 2013, 2014)
Connecticut Music Therapy Services (Jennifer Sokira: 2012, 2014)
Developing Melodies (Meryl Brown: 2012, 2013, 2014)
Do It In Public: A Jim Ernst Project (2012)
Dr. John Carpente’s Music and Child Development Blog (2012)
Earthtones Music Therapy Serivces (Jodi Winnwalker: 2014)
Eclectic Guitar (Sara Sendlbeck: 2012)
Giving Song (Kristin Noel Veteto: 2014)
Golden State Music Therapy (Kalani: 2014)
Heartbeat Music Therapy (Janice Lindstrom: 2013, 2014)
Helping Harmonies (Noa Elimelech: 2013)
Judith Pinkerton (2012)
Kalani (2012, 2014)
Key Changes Music Therapy (Natalie Mullis: 2012, 2013, 2014)
MTI in the ATL (Andrew Littlefield: 2012)
KNV Music Therapy (Kristin Veveto: 2012)
Listen and Learn Music (Rachel Rambach: 2012, 2013, 2014)
Metro Music Therapy (Mallory Even: 2014)
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, 2014)
Music Matters (Kate Legge: 2012, 2013)
Music Moves (Natasha Thomas: 2012, 2013, 2014)
Music Sparks (JoAnn Jordan: 2012, 2013, 2014)
Music Therapy and End-of-Life Care (Jillian Argue, Meghan Hinman, Kristen O’Grady, Noah Potvin: 2014)
Music Therapy Annex (Megan Resig: 2013)
Music Therapy Ed (Kat Fulton and Julie Palmieri: 2013, 2014)
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, 2014)
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, 2014)
Music Therapy Services of Austin (Rachel See: 2012, 2014)
Music Therapy Source (Matt Logan: 2012, 2013, 2014)
Music Therapy Tween (Michelle Erfurt: 2012, 2013, 2014)
Musically Thinking (Megumi Azekawa: 2012, 2013)
On a Good Note (Katey Kratz: 2014)
On the Go Studio (Megan Resig and Wade Richards: 2013)
Pathways in Music (Diana Hereld: 2014)
Prelude (Annie Walljasper: 2012)
Rehabilitative Rhythms (Sarah Thompson: 2013, 2014)
Rhythm For Good (Kat Fulton: 2012, 2013)
Roots and Wings Music Therapy (Stacey Surratt: 2013, 2014)
Slippery Rock University Music Therapy Program (Nicole Hahna and SRU music therapy students: 2013)
Songs for Success (Kerry Cornelius: 2014)
Sound Starts Music Therapy (Mary Altom: 2014)
Soundscape Music Therapy (Rachelle Norman: 2012, 2013, 2014)
Spectrum Creative Arts (Noa Elimelech and Wade Richards: 2014)
SMWC Music Therapy Blog (Sharon Boyle: 2013, 2014)
The Adventures of Runner Girl (Michelle Kennemer: 2013, 2014)
The George Center (Jamie George, Andrew Littlefield, and the George Center staff: 2013, 2014)
The Groovy Garfoose (Bonnie Hayhurst: 2012, 2013)
The Mindful Music Therapist (Roia Rafieyan: 2012, 2013, 2014)
The Music From Within (Dean Quick: 2012)
The Music Therapy Diva (Katelyn Farris: 2013)
The Music Therapy Show with Janice Lindstrom (2012, 2014)
The Musical Autist (CJ Shiloh: 2012, 2013, 2014)
The Rhythm Tree (Ryan Judd: 2013, 2014)
The Rhythmic Mind (Stephanie Scheffel: 2012, 2013, 2014)
Time for Music (Wade Richards: 2012, 2013, 2014)
Toneworks Music Therapy Services (Andrea Yun-Springer: 2013, 2014)
Tuned In To Learning (Michelle Lazar: 2014)
Tuneful Learning (Kathy Schumacher: 2013)
Unstrange Mind (2013)
Urban Therapists (Andrea Yun-Springer: 2013, 2014)
Wholesome Harmonies Music Therapy! (Amy Kalas: 2012, 2013)