The Zen of Music Therapy Advocacy: The Circle of Advocating
Over the past several weeks, we’ve shared with you a few of the ways the GCMT crew advocates for music therapy, and offered you a few tips on how you can advocate in your community. But what happens after you’ve made that initial connection and shared your advocacy story with someone? Ideally, that person will share that information with someone else, and then they’ll tell someone else, and so forth until that seemingly small act changes someone’s life…
Which is exactly what happened to me.
This is the story of how I found music therapy, or rather, how it found me.
I first heard the term during a conversation with my dad. I was applying to colleges at the time, and very concerned with figuring out what on earth I was going to do with my life. It was then that Dad told me I should consider studying music therapy.
“What is music therapy?” I asked. Dad proceeded to explain it to me. “Andrea,” he said, “This is YOU. You would love this.”
But wait! How exactly did my dad, an aerospace engineer, know about music therapy?
Because a music therapist told him.
My dad, who is also a musician, found out about the profession during a conversation with his friend Beth, a music therapist at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta. They had both been members of the local community orchestra in the metro-Atlanta area for several years. As they were talking together after a performance, Dad must have expressed some concern over my search for my life’s calling, because Beth asked if I had considered studying music therapy.
“What is music therapy?” asked Dad. Beth proceeded to explain it to him, he told me, and you all know the rest.
Well, that is my story, but it is not a story about me. It’s a story about community members coming together, the connections they make, and the lives they can change. Dad and Beth still play with what is now the Georgia Symphony Orchestra, and I join them as often as I can. I am thankful for the friendships built among this community of people, and for each opportunity I get to answer the question “What is music therapy?”After all, I know first-hand just how much of an impact the answer can hold!
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