Music Therapy Advocacy and Employment: Like Peas and Carrots!

It was my honor and pleasure to speak to the Music Therapy Association of North Carolina this past Saturday. The continuing music therapy education credit was split into two parts: “Professional Advocacy and State Recognition of Music Therapy from the Perspective of the Georgia Task Force”, and “Music Therapy Employees vs. Independent Contractors and Tax law”. You might wonder how these two topics relate to one another. Well, let me tell you! Advocacy and Employment go together like peas and carrots, peanut butter and jelly, or of you prefer a musical reference…. “We go together like
rama lama lama ke ding a de dinga a dong”!

As our profession continues to grow and expand into new markets, we are seeing a change in the way music therapists and facilities are hiring and utilizing music therapy services. In addition, increased success with 3rd party reimbursement and state recognition are changing the way our patients, administrators, and interdisciplinary colleagues view the professionalism and validity of music therapy.  It is our never ending job as music therapists to advocate for our profession and continue to move forward as an organization. As others begin to know more about what it is that we do, we are opening ourselves up to the public regarding the moral, ethical and legal implications of our practice. And as the old adage states, “with greater knowledge comes greater responsibility.”

I believe that music therapists need to be empowered to know their rights and the rights of the facilities and companies they work for in order to protect themselves, their clients, and our profession.

North Carolina is about to embark on another year of advocating for state recognition of the MT-BC (Music Therapist - Board Certified) credential. With a bill already penned and ready to drop, their task force is hard at work educating legislators and advocating for their profession. If there is one thing that I hope that I was able to communicate this past weekend, it is this: The task force cannot do it alone! Music Therapists (and the clients and facilities that we serve) need to present a united front regarding advocacy and state recognition. So I ask you, what can you do to help improve access to quality music therapy services and professionalism amongst music therapy colleagues and employers?

Are you interested in our music therapy workshops, consulting, and in-service options? Contact us today!

Jamie George

The George Center for Music Therapy, 12060 Etris Rd. Suite 200, Roswell, GA

JAMIE GEORGE

Jamie founded The George Center for Music Therapy, Inc. in 2010 in order to expand and increase access to quality music therapy programs in the metro Atlanta area. She is a licensed and nationally board-certified music therapist. Jamie holds additional certifications in Neurologic Music Therapy (NMT) and Neonatal Intensive Care Unit Music Therapy (NICU-MT).

Jamie received a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from Western Michigan University, and a Master of Music with a concentration in Music Therapy, from the University of Georgia. She completed her graduate research studying music therapy and its effects on children with sensory processing disorder. Jamie completed her internship working with exceptional children in the Fulton County Schools Music Therapy Department in metro Atlanta. Jamie specializes in autism and other neurologic conditions. In addition to teaching and treating, she actively consults with parents, therapists, allied health, and therapeutic and educational programs across the country.

Jamie serves on the Ethics Board for the American Music Therapy Association, and serves as Government Relations Co-Chair for the Southeastern Region of the AMTA. She serves as Reimbursement Chair for the Music Therapy Association of Georgia, having previously served as Treasurer for the organization from 2007 – 2012.  Jamie also serves on the Georgia state task forceand the Georgia Secretary of State appointed Music Therapy Advisory Committee.

Jamie is an accomplished vocalist, and comes to Atlanta after having performed for several years in New York City and Walt Disney World in Orlando, FL.

Check out some of Jamie’s work over on the blog!