My Role in #MTAdvocacy

SM Advocacy Badge 2012_150x150In the guest post by Dena Register, she outlined three roles that music therapy advocates take: Connectors, Reflectors, and Directors.

I think I do a little of all three roles. I’m on the Texas State Task Force which is working towards State Recognition of the MT-BC. I’m also a past president of SWAMTA, so music therapists in the region know me and contact me when they have a question or a problem or want to get more involved. This is where I’m a Connector: I know a lot about what’s going on in our region, and I help new music therapists (and those that are not so new) connect with the role or task that might suit their needs and talents best. I enjoy this role best, I think, because I like helping people be successful. As a Music Therapy Advocate, I help music therapists understand different jobs and so they can decide how to get involved. I help connect job seekers with job openings. I help connect non-music therapists who advocate for music therapy with those that can benefit from their services.

Reflector is the most difficult role for me. I like to surround myself with Reflectors because they help me see situations more clearly. However, I can also do this role well, it just takes more effort from me. I do this easily when I’m helping someone else with a problem–I can see the different perspectives and identify what people are really trying to say–but only if I’m not personally involved in the situation. If it directly affects me, I have more difficulty having a broad perspective and identifying the salient points. In advocacy, I do this most often when thinking about the work that our task force is doing. We often get bogged down in the details, and I feel like I can take in information and reflect what we are trying to accomplish. Or at least ask a question that will lead us back to what our goals are.

Director might be where I have the most skill and talent, even though I’m reluctant to take on more responsibility. Because I’ve held leadership roles, I can see more of the big picture. In hindsight, I now know that when I held other roles that had a smaller scope of responsibility, I was only viewing the situation from a skewed perspective, and not seeing the big picture. But since I have a broad range of experiences (clinician, student, educator, business owner, employee, supervisor, etc), I am more able to see the bigger picture and help delegate and direct others to work towards that. I’ve resisted taking on leadership roles on the task force, but I tend to break down tasks and assign parts anyway, because I’m good at it and because have a vision for that.

What are your roles in advocacy?