This is definitely an exciting time for music therapy advocacy, especially here in Georgia, and our GCMT friends and families are no strangers to just how far-reaching their advocacy efforts can be. In early 2012, we all came together in a grassroots effort to support the passing of SB 414 for Music Therapy Licensure, and saw firsthand that no act of advocacy is too small. Client families and healthcare professionals inundated their legislators with emails, phone calls, and testimonials. An intrepid team of music therapists beat feet all over the Georgia State Capitol building to educate people about their profession. The Georgia Music Therapy Task Force worked tirelessly for months on end, attending a multitude of meetings and hearings, and maintaining communication with organizations, legislators, and other music therapy professionals and advocates across the country. Through these combined efforts, we finally saw the passing of SB 414, making Georgia the 3rd state in the country to pass a bill for music therapy licensure!
Whether your state has recently passed a bill for music therapy licensure, is in the process of doing so, or has a newly formed task force, the time is always right for advocacy on any level. There are a few steps you can take to connect and communicate with your state legislators.
1. Know who your legislators are.
You can find them and their contact information by going to www.votesmart.org and entering your zip code.
Whether it be by phone, email, social media, or a face to face meeting, it is important to let your legislator know you are their constituent.
You may not have to limit yourself to 140 characters (unless you follow them on Twitter!), but your legislators will have many issues vying for their time, so it is important for your communications to be concise, factual, and to-the-point.
4. Follow Up
Keep the lines of communication open, answer questions, and look for opportunities to invite them to see music therapy in action!
So, whether you are advocating at your state capitol or in the school carpool line, if you are able to share any information about what music therapists do, where they work, and how music therapy can benefit others, then you have advocated successfully.
Ready to get started with music therapy? Contact us today and let us tell you more about what we do!