Introduction: Advocacy –> Recognition –> Access
Since 2005, the American Music Therapy Association and the Certification Board for Music Therapists have collaborated on a State Recognition Operational Plan. The primary purpose of this plan is to get music therapy and our MT-BC credential recognized by individual states so that citizens can more easily access our services. The AMTA Government Relations staff and CBMT Regulatory Affairs staff provide guidance and technical support to state task forces throughout the country as they work towards state recognition. To date, their work has resulted in over 35 active state task forces, 2 licensure bills passed in 2011, 1 licensure bill passed in 2012, and an estimated 7 bills being filed in 2013 that seek to create either title protection or a licensure for music therapy. This month, our focus is on YOU and on getting you excited about advocacy.
What is Advocacy?
Advocacy is for anyone. Advocacy happens everywhere, any day of the week, any time you are engaging in a professional capacity. You can advocate at every level, from grassroots in your community to state agencies and governors to national legislators. In fact, any opportunity and conversation is a way to advocate for the profession.
Advocacy also happens within our profession–as when you talk to a person trained in music therapy about board certification. Plus, the skills needed to be an advocate are skills you already have, since you already advocate for your clients, your employment, and your pay.
Advocacy is a language. You need to know your audience and tailor your advocacy skills for that audience. It’s just like tailoring your clinical skills for different clinical populations. Don’t forget that experience is the best teacher–having your audience experience music therapy firsthand is very powerful.
What is the State Recognition Operational Plan and why is it important to music therapy?
The State Recognition Operational Plan is a national initiative being implemented jointly by CBMT and AMTA to obtain state recognition of music therapy and the MT-BC credential. This collaborative effort between AMTA Government Relations staff and CBMT Regulatory Affairs staff provides guidance and technical support to state task forces throughout the country as groups of music therapists work toward recognition as defined by their particular state.
The plan involves increasing awareness of the music therapy profession and of what it means to be board-certified. The ultimate goal is that, in all situations, the MT-BC be a minimum requirement as a service provision in every work setting.
THANK YOU FOR YOUR INVOLVEMENT!
We are wrapping up Social Media Advocacy Month on January 25 by talking with Michael Ricucci and Michelle Murphy Akaras of Terra Rising Records. They are creating a documentary on the power of music in education and therapy, making the case for keeping music education in schools and for music therapy as an essential medical treatment.
- Find the show here to listen live or to the archives. You can also subscribe in iTunes.
- The Music Therapy Show airs live on Fridays at Noon eastern/11 am Central/10 am Mountain/9 am Pacific/1700 GMT
- Social Advocacy Month: Creating Music Therapists (topmusictherapist.com)
- Social Media Advocacy Month (topmusictherapist.com)
- Music Therapy in Canada (topmusictherapist.com)
- Creative Music Therapy (topmusictherapist.com)
- The Music Therapy Show with Barbara Wheeler (topmusictherapist.com)