6 Predictions for the Future at The George Center: a Look Ahead to 2013

As Jamie wrote on Wednesday, 2012 has been a remarkable year for us here at The George Center. We’ve been grinding hard, but the pay-off has been immensely rewarding. We’ve experienced growth that we only dreamed of, and have been able to advocate for our field on a national (even international!) level. Our wonderful clients make this possible, and we can’t thank you enough for allowing us to serve you everyday. I want all of you to know that it is our pleasure to provide music therapy services for you.

With all that sap at of the way, I want to look forward to 2013! So let’s take a look at my 6 predictions for 2013 at The George Center. When we write next year’s top moments post, what will we see? Here’s what I see in the cards:

1. We'll experience an increased rate of success with insurance reimbursement.

Insurance reimbursement is the name of the game in the music therapy world right now, particularly in private practice, and I’m not above bragging on behalf of our fearless leader Jamie George. Thanks to her tireless efforts (along with more than a little help from the fabulous Christy Deneau), we’re proud to say that The George Center successfully bills insurance for a remarkable 80% of our clients! This opens up music therapy services to a very wide range of clients of all ages, allowing us to do what we love! We’re leading our field in this area, and Jamie even teaches an online class on this very topic.

That’s not to say that there isn’t room for improvement. There are still some hurdles to clear, but let me tell you why I think 2013 will see an improvement in this area. For one, we soon will all be required to hold a license in the state of Georgia to practice music therapy. This will give our field even more legitimacy (for the first time at a legal level), and encourage insurance providers to recognize the legitimacy of what we do. Additionally, each and every time we bill insurance, we learn something new that helps us become more efficient in this process. Finally, we’re looking toward the future and will be updating our documentation and billing procedures/software in the coming months, which will allow us to streamline this process.

2. Music therapy will receive press coverage from a major traditional media outlet in Atlanta.

Bold prediction here. Let me let you in on a little secret. This blog is all about getting our voice heard. When you work in a field as small as music therapy, you can’t really rely on the old methods of getting attention. So you have to take matters in your own hands and go grab attention for yourself. We do that by providing high quality music therapy content on this very webpage. From our highly popular infographics, to our videos (like the new “Music Therapy Minute” segment), and just plain old posts, our hope is that you read this information, and enjoy it enough that you share it with someone else. Hopefully somewhere along that line of sharing is someone who is interested in music therapy, and gives us a call!

In this blog’s young life, we’ve been able to accomplish just that. Our content has been featured on many music therapy blogs, passed around on social media, featured on the Autism Speaks blog, and our “Science Style” music video has over 2,300 views in just 2 months!

So what’s the next step? Well, typically the traditional media outlets start to take notice. Newspapers, local news, radio, etc. This is a bold prediction, but I’m prepared to stand by it: in the next 12 months, an Atlanta media outlet will run a story on music therapy. If our wonderful readers keep on sharing our content like they have been, we might just be lucky enough to be the ones they reach out to for information on music therapy! Nothing would make us happier than to advocate for our field on such a big stage. Hey AJC, 11Alive, 106.7, have we got a story for YOU!

3. We’ll welcome a new intern to our team

Taking on a music therapy intern is a big responsibility. Without question, the time in your education where you lean the most about music therapy is during your internship. It’s that intense 6-month period where you’re finally taking everything you learned in class into practice for 40-hours a week. And the pressure is on, it’s make or break time.

Sounds intense for the interns, but there are also some major expectations on the internship site! These music therapy professors are handing off their babies they’ve had for four years and trusting us with the final piece of their education. Internship supervisors must guide, teach, mentor, and counsel these budding professionals.

But as the old saying goes, nothing ensures mastery of a topic like teaching it to someone else. We’re honored and excited to take on this kind of responsibility and I’m going to predict that come this Summer, we’ll have a new intern ready to start their career with us!

4. More Growth

You can’t expect us to slow down now, can you? While I won’t predict a repeat of the 200% increase in staff size we experienced in 2012, I do think the quality of our services will result in growth that warrants welcoming a new music therapist to our family. But we know that wanting it is not good enough, we must continue to serve our clients with the highest quality, research-based music therapy practices that keep our current clients coming back, and new faces coming in!

5. The George Center will venture into uncharted territory

I’m cheating a bit on this one by being vague, but I can’t quite zero in on just what I think this will be. However, in the next 365 days, I think we’re going to venture into something completely new for us that stretches our abilities and pushes us out of our comfort zone juuuuuust a little bit.

I don’t mean to say that we’re going to lose focus on our mission. Trust me, we’re laser-focused on providing Atlanta with the best music therapy services around everyday. I just see something in our near future that will be very exciting, new, and provide us with a whole new world of possibilities. After all, I’m of the belief that if you feel totally comfortable and safe, you’re not going fast enough. Break out of the routine and get into something that tests your mettle. Stretching just beyond your limits is what we ask our clients to do everyday. That’s where real growth comes from.

6. Our clients will experience significant improvements towards goals

This one isn’t so bold; I’m 100% confident we’ll see lots and lots of this in 2013! Seeing our clients make improvement to their individual goals is why we do what we do as music therapists. If we ever stop seeing that progress, then there’s just no point to coming in to work anymore. I know that our team is going to work hard to bring results for our clients, and I see that continuing in a BIG way in the New Year.

We would LOVE for you to be a part of our 2013!  Sign up for a consultation today and let us tell YOU what music therapy can do!