The professional field of music therapy has been recognized by the medical and educational communities since the 1950’s, and in fact, the American Music Therapy Association national headquarters is located in Silver Spring (just outside Washington DC, and about 50 mins away from Annapolis). Yet, Board Certified Music Therapists (MT-BCs) are few and far between in Anne Arundel County, and as a growing music therapy private practice in this region, we are finding there is still SO MUCH advocacy work to be done!
For example, many parents and professionals in Anne Arundel County Public Schools are unaware of the fact that by state and federal law, a music therapy assessment can be requested, and if proven educationally necessary, music therapy can be added to a student’s IEP as a related service. Likewise, in hospitals such as Baltimore Washington Medical Center, doctors, nurses and staff in the cancer treatment clinic were completely unaware (and extremely interested!) in the evidence-based research showing the positive effects of music therapy for patients who are terminally ill. (Check out the –>Scope of Practice <– of music therapy. You’ll be seriously impressed!)
Above the advocacy work we’ve been doing on a daily basis, January is a very special month because of this:
Since I began the nonprofit organization, The Musical Autist, in 2011, I’ve been advocating for disability rights and music therapy, both online and “on the street.” In fact, I’ve been part of the #MTadvocacy project every January since it began in 2012. You can read my posts here (2012) here, here and here (2013) and here (2014). During these years, I was extremely busy with my work as a disability rights advocate (and am still) and seeing only a handful of private clients.
But since the Spring of 2014, when I teamed up with two fabulous music therapists, Molly Wilkerson and Kerry Cornelius (go check out her #MTadvocacy post on her awesome blog, SongsforSuccessMT!) and we became Annapolis Music Therapy Services, we’ve had the honor of serving more and more people in our county.
And this is only the beginning!
The #MTadvocacy theme this year is all about VISION. How we Value and Imagine Success, despite challenges, and how we Invest in advocacy Opportunities Now.
Join with us in advocating for music therapy in Central Maryland, by sharing this blog post on your social media pages or in an email. We need YOU! Chances are, you know someone who would be interested in learning more about music therapy. Maybe a family who has a child with special needs, or an adolescent with mental health issues, someone with a terminal illness, or an older adult who struggles with memory or staying active. Or perhaps you even know “someone-who-knows-someone at the top” at AAMC or BWMC hospitals…
Thank you for reading this post, and thank you for sharing!