Communicate to Advocate
What happens in a client’s music therapy session? This question is a great way to educate the world about the music therapy profession. This question is one that is answered by music therapist multiple times a day. Whether the answer is addressed to a supervisor in a hospital or healthcare setting, teacher or principal in a school setting, or to a parent who sees a therapist privately, this question is very important when it comes to advocating for the profession.
How is communicating important for the music therapist? I have found that parents who sign up for music therapy often are excited to start but are not sure what they are signing up for. I have had many families who are very excited when I tell them that their child worked on improving their social skills, fine motor skills, receptive language skills, and speech skills all in one session. The parents are often excited about that news but what does it really mean? I like to share some of the activities that we did to address all these different goal domains (and more) so that the parents can get a picture of what happens in a session. The more the parents are aware of what it is the therapist is doing, the more likely they will continue to be involved in the therapy itself.
What about the parent’s role in communicating with the therapist? The parent’s role is very important in the process. Parents should always feel free to ask questions and contact the therapist with any concerns they may have. As a parent receiving music therapy services, you should feel comfortable asking questions and making sure you are aware of what your child is working on in his music therapy session. Parents are also a wonderful resource to other parents who have not heard of music therapy. By learning more about your child’s music therapy sessions, you will be able to answer other parent’s questions about what music therapy really is.
Let the conversations begin!