So this entire month has been Social Media Awareness month for music therapy advocacy. As some of you can tell I have been back on the web and putting out new blogs, Facebook posts and even a song! I want you to understand the importance of music and what it can do in therapy. I went from being a simple flute performance major to experiencing music therapy in front of my eyes which changed my entire perspective on the power of music.
When I was a sophomore in college I was beginning to feel the nagging pressure and unfulfilment my performances were giving me. Concert after concert… rehearsal after rehearsal… I was burned out! One day I was sitting in the practice room and found myself just staring at the wall thinking “there has got to be something more to music than this!” All of a sudden I was reminded of a memory of sharing my music with my grandmother when she was struggling with brain cancer. Most days she did not respond or know who I was, but when I brought my flute and played she always seemed to be better oriented and emotionally responsive. I quickly began researching the idea of psychology and music combined (as I had always had a fascination with psychology to begin with) and discovered a music therapy program in my home town! I had never even heard of music therapy, let alone a music therapy degree. I thought to myself… “why didn’t my high school tell me about this degree?!” The degree is like many other college degrees one receives. A four year bachelor’s degree, paired with a full time internship and followed with board certification to practice. I was smitten at that moment and quickly transferred schools and have never looked back!
I couldn’t have asked for a better degree and I love every second of my job! I even went back to school for a Master’s degree in music therapy! That’s how much I am committed to the power of music and therapy! So here I am today, growing my business, supervising future music therapists at the same university I graduated from, and am beginning my online journey into advocating the power of music therapy to all of you.
I’m sure everyone has experienced a moment in their lives where they were overcome by the power of music, which made you believe in its amazing ability to help people. You can be a music therapy advocate too! Support music therapists, learn to play an instrument, write to your state’s congress, ask your school district about providing music therapy, look into reimbursement through health insurance (yes! Some insurance companies will cover it!), contact local music therapists to see about providing services for your community, read a scholarly journal regarding the effect of music therapy, google “music therapy advocacy month”… the list is never ending! Go forth and advocate for a therapy that is non-invasive, safe and already all around us 🙂
If you have a story about how music has touched your life we would love to hear it! Feel free to comment below!