Winding Down

The American Music Therapy Association's national conference is coming to a close. This conference has been a tremendous experience and has been so refreshing to me in so many ways.

I have actually met many of the people that I have engaged with in a purely online format. This has been interesting. I have talked to these folks many times via meeting software and emails, but have never seen them face-to-face before now. I am always interested in how tall or short they are, what their voices actually sound like, and if we will get along differently when we see each other in person. (We did.)

The themes of this conference seemed to be looking towards the future, developing leadership, and thinking about moving to the Master's-level entry into the profession. For me, one of the best moments was during the keynote speech when Ken Bruscia appeared to be saying that we as therapists HAVE to be inclusive of all others - even those therapists who have different philosophical viewpoints from our own. This seemed to be at once obvious and then profound, especially when Dr. Bruscia said it.

Recently, I have had some struggles in my job that are not at all related to being a music therapist. The conference has been a good period of positive reinforcement for me - lots of affirming comments by therapists I respect that tell me that I can go back into my struggles with renewed commitment and a refreshed sense of what my role is at my facility.

I spoke to many music therapy students yesterday during the Internship Fair. Folks asked me great questions. I love working with students because they ask questions and honestly listen to the answers. They have the chance to explore the life of a music therapist from the beginning. They do. They inspire me.

Isn't this what conference is all about?

Thank you, music therapy friends.


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