Helping Others Understand the Nature of Music Therapy

A music therapy colleague was talking about her difficulty in helping administrators of funding agencies understand the nature of her music therapy services. Having dealt with that issue since entering the profession in the early 1970’s, I offer one way of approaching this issue.¬† Sometimes, despite my best efforts over many years, administrators and boards do not exactly understand music therapy. For example, some still think I am a “sweet lady who is willing to share music with all those cute little kids with disabilities” or have other mistaken notions. I’ve learned not to worry too much about that as long as they keep funding my services :-) I decided about 30 years ago to provide accurate, succinct information about music therapy, then to focus my time and energy on providing excellent services to individuals, teachers, families, group home staff, etc. rather than trying to make sure every administrator and member of the public understood exactly the nature of music therapy. Over the years, consistent, top-quality direct services have been the best advertisement and marketing tool. Some people still do not “get it,” but support continues to grow. This¬† approach is not, of course, appropriate in every situation, but it has worked for me in my thriving music therapy practice here in north-central Texas.