Showing posts from November, 2009
Where are we going?
I often wonder what the professional of music therapy will look like 40 years from now. Why 40 years? I figure that the last of my generation of MTs will be dying and in assisted living facilities, and I like that number. That's all. I get an insane giggle that bubbles up in my throat when I think of the music that MT students will have to learn as "typical repertoire" for working with folks my age. Early Madonna, Guns and Roses, songs by Tiffany and Debbie Gibson. No more You Are My Sunshine for my crowd!

I also wonder about how technology will change our profession. Will MTs have to be in the same room as their clients? Will we have become isolated to the point that all interaction will be electronic and remote? I think we will lose lots of skills as humans if we get to that point. Can therapy occur if there is no human contact? Will we get used to the idea of isolation? Is this making any sense at all?

Just some musings for this Thanksgiving Weekend.
Crossing the Line
I think that we, as music therapists, must be aware of habits and attitudes that interfere with our growth and development as professionals. One such attitude is that of "if a music therapist isn't present, then others cannot use music as a medium for therapy." This attitude is often presented when we feel threatened that another professional can do our jobs simply by adding music into psychotherapy or into speech-language treatment. I feel that any use of music in any form of therapy is a good advertisement for music therapy - familiarity with the power of music as a therapeutic medium often opens the door for a music therapist.

The issue for me comes when professionals from other disciplines state that they offer "music therapy." I am often approached by educators on how to incorporate music therapy into their educational programming. When I talk to them further, they reveal that they do not want to pay a music therapist to facilitate therapy,…
I am in San Diego, on day 2 of the AMTA conference.

I love conferences as they are generally a time for me to reflect and celebrate the reasons that I became a music therapist and reinforce the dedication that I have to my job and vocation. I often find myself absolutely exhausted after the 6-day event, but I also tend to be renewed by the opportunity to share "war stories" with others who go through the same hassles, issues, joys, and musical collaboration that I go through. There is comfort in knowing that other music therapists experience the same kinds of things that I experience daily, whether it be the excitement that a client gets when they learn how to play their first chords on a guitar or the frustrations that can also occur when trying to explain or adapt that same set of guitar chords for a client who is having difficulty with the motor component of guitar playing.

The camaraderie and social aspects are wonderful, but there is lots of work to be…