I’m getting ready to fly out to this year’s AMTA National conference!  I had a great time at last year’s in St. Charles, IL and I’m hoping this one brings new and exciting opportunities!  Although I am attending as a guest and not as a presenter, perhaps while I am there I will share my Panama experiences with other music therapists around the US and spark inspiration for more music therapy endeavors abroad!

MTI14

This past weekend, me and two other Panamaniacs (and Patricia Zarate, the trip organizer/coordinator) presented on our service trip to Panama this past weekend at PASSAGES, held at Lesley University.

MTI13

We talked about the work we did, the challenges and cultural differences, and how our great teamwork helped make for an awesome trip.  Cynthia even gave the blog a shout out!

We’re hoping a return trip is possible, but we may need to wait until last minute to see if we can get the trip sponsored, which will make it much more likely to happen.  I will keep you posted, though!

I was very intrigued when I caught wind of a music therapy magazine after seeing this article:  Petra Kern publishes music therapy magazine.

MTI12

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Seems like a great idea, especially because this day and age, people are more likely to pay attention to a publication presented in an online multimedia format than reading music therapy journals. In addition, the magazines should be more enjoyable and useful to read, as they focus more on applied evidence-based practice, as opposed to journal articles about studies which may be less applicable to a music therapist’s practice.

Currently, this magazine focuses only on music therapy for children ages 0 to 5, and I do not know of any similar resources for other populations.  Hopefully they will expand their target audience by including more populations, or collaborate with others that plan to undertake such an endeavor.  Music therapists must be able to adapt to modern technology to remain relevant in today’s fast-changing environment, and efforts to adapt to internet-friendly media will certainly help with this.

This was a neat article about Berklee’s music therapy program’s effort to provide and educate the public about music therapy this past weekend in a “flash mob for health”:

Berklee brings music therapy to the 75 pianos around the city’s public spaces

Image

This was a smart and creative way to educate the public about music therapy, in a way that didn’t inconvenience anyone and provided education and music therapy for free.

I do wish, however, that the article went into a little more depth, as it did not describe what music therapy is and only said “If you’re curious about music therapy…don’t hesitate to visit one of the pianos around the city on September 29th to learn more.  Considering this article was only published the afternoon of the day before, there is likely to be many people who saw the article but could not attend one of these sessions on that day.  While it’s difficult to explain too much about music therapy in a short article, one short paragraph by someone knowledgeable in the field could say enough to give people a general idea and break down some common misconceptions about music therapy. 

Still, I look forward to hearing more about the outcome and impact of this event!

I must say I was shocked when I read the first sentence of this article… “On May 1 of last year, Georgia became the third state in the nation to require licensure for music therapists.”  If that surprised you to hear that licensure isn’t required in every state, much less only 3 out of the 50, I highly recommend you read this article.

Sweet music to their ears

Image

In the music therapy community in which I was surrounded by at Berklee, it was just generally accepted that all music therapists require an MT-BC before they can practice.   But I remember signing up for a free massage during business week when the masseuse hands me his card that says “massage and music therapist”.  I asked him about his training and it was instantly clear he had no idea what music therapy actually was, and here it was, “music therapist”, right on his business card.

The idea that there are charlatans who are getting employed to practice “music therapy” without formal training in 47 of the 50 U.S. states is a scary thought indeed, and although many professionals are well-informed enough to know about the significance of board certification, the system definitely allows some bad apples to split through the cracks, and potentially spoil the reputation of the field.

While progress in plugging these holes in the system is going in the right direction, hopefully this grassroots standard for accepting MT-BC certification as the bare minimum for music therapists will be recognized by state governments nationwide for the security and respect we deserve.

Here’s a news update from my post on the Music Therapy Ride!

Music Therapy Ride raises over $65,000

Image

Patrick Zulinov, the organizer, says it’s great to see it get bigger and bigger every year, and he hopes to break the $75,000 mark next year.  He also said that selling ride spots is never a problem, but having more corporate sponsors would help.

I would love to see more large-scale music therapy fundraisers like this here in the U.S. and around the world.  It’s a relatively simple and effective way to raise awareness and funds necessary for new programs and technologies.  I’ll let you know if I discover any other good ones!

As the name of this blog implies, I am very enthusiastic about any efforts to expand music therapy beyond the United States.  My music therapy service trip to Panama was a transformational experience, and especially in Latin America right now, there is so much room for growth and education about the field.  That’s why I was thrilled to find out that my friends at Berklee College of Music have received a grant from the Pollination Project this past week for a music therapy service trip to Mexico!

Image

The goal of this service trip is to demonstrate the use of music therapy in medical settings.  The article elaborates: “The team will provide training sessions in various public hospitals in Guadalajara and also do an inservice for over 200 local doctors, nurses and musicians so they can learn about music therapy, what research supports it and why it works.”

I think what’s even better about this trip is that my friend Dany Orozco, one of the music therapists making the trip, will be moving back to Mexico (she is from Guadalajara) and this will make follow-through much easier.  After service trips, when everyone returns home, people may inevitably lose attachment to the seeds they had planted abroad as they become busy with more immediate concerns.  However, Daniela will have a wonderful opportunity to continue spreading education about music therapy there after the service trip, and potentially playing a key role in advocating for implementation of music therapy programs in Mexico. 

More updates on this exciting development will be coming soon!

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.