I am currently sitting in a local coffee shop, sipping hot coffee, and unable to fathom taking my jacket off - it is just way too cold here in Toronto! Although I am clearly not the biggest fan of the winter months in Canada, there are a few exciting things happening this month of March that are worth mentioning. The most note worthy is that March is Music Therapy Awareness Month!
I have to say that, for me, and probably for many music therapists out there - every month already feels like music therapy awareness month! Am I right?
As music therapists, we are constantly educating, advocating, and bringing awareness to our profession so that we can reach and benefit the people in our community. I have been asking myself how to make March different than every other month in an impactful way.
Here are three ideas/goals I came up with for myself this month. I hope that other music therapists find this useful and can adapt it in their way!
1. Spread awareness where you already work!
It is so tempting to try and spread the word about the benefits of music therapy in every place we can. Given our wide scope of practice, there are truly countless organizations we could reach out to, especially if you live in a big city. This can quickly feel like a very overwhelming job to take on. Instead, think about the contracts you already have or your current place of work and what else you can do to educate and advocate where you already are. Although the staff in your facility likely already know what music therapy is, they may be interested in learning more specifics about the profession including types of interventions used, education required to become a music therapist, and research in the field.
You can try setting up a small music
therapy table in a convenient location within your workplace. Let your colleagues know certain times during the month that you will be present at the table to answer questions. The CAMT has some great resources for printed materials you can use. You can also create fun questionnaires, crosswords, and of course have some instruments that people can try - we know how that always draws a crowd!
2. Go to a networking event!
Rather than going door-to-door to educate various organizations in your community- why not find a networking event that is already being organized for the purpose of you meeting allied professional? All you have to do is show up! Some events that I found in Toronto include, 'Pillars of Health - Connecting Innovators', 'Yonge Professionals Networking', 'Aging 101', and much more! Don't forget to bring along some materials including your business cards and perhaps small cards/handouts about music therapy.
3. Become a Mentor!
Do you know someone who is interested in the field of music therapy? Perhaps this month you can take them under your wing and help them to navigate their educational options. You may even let them come and observe some of your sessions to gain a better grasp on music therapy. This can be a very gratifying way to pay it forward in the music therapy field and hopefully help to generate more music therapists who can serve your community!
I hope everyone has a great rest of their month :)