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.
2012 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.
We are excited to announce that a total of 40 bloggers and podcasters participated in this project, publishing a total of 50 articles, 5 podcast episodes, and 3 advocacy videos! The participating blogs are listed below, with links to the article(s) they published. We invite you to browse through the articles and share them with your friends and colleagues.
All Things Healing
My Journey as a Music Therapy Advocate (Melinda Wilson)
Social Media: Yesterday and Today (Rebecca McClary)
What’s Your Advocacy Style? (Bernice Chu)