Two Vitally Important Things We Learn Every Time Someone Asks "What's Music Therapy?"

Last week, I posted my presentation from the SER-AMTA Conference in Chattanooga, and I wanted to write a spin-off of that presentation regarding a point I made that I think holds some significance for our field.

In my presentation, I expressed my belief that music therapy's biggest liability can also be its biggest assest. What is this weakness that also serves as a strength?

I'm speaking of the uniqueness of music therapy.

As a music therapist, I probably get asked three times a week "What's music therapy?" It's almost a running joke in our field. In fact, the first they I was taught in my "Intro to Music Therapy" course my freshmen year at Florida State was how to answer that question.

Now, admittedly hearing this question so frequently can be disheartening. We pour ourselves into our work, and the lack of public awareness can grate on you at times. That's the liability side of this equation.

Yet there's another side to the equation which serves as an asset. Every time we're asked "What's music therapy?" we learn two things:

1. They (the asker) don't know what music therapy is (liability).

2. They WANT to know what music therapy is (asset).

That ubiquitous question lets us know that the public doesn't yet know about music therapy, but it also lets us know that they're interested in knowing about it.

That's because music therapy is attention grabbing.

There are plenty of professions out there that the public knows nothing about, yet they fail to raise an eyebrow when brought up in conversation. Doesn't make those jobs any less important, they just don't quite grab one's attention.

But "music therapy." There's a name that starts a conversation.

Have I peaked your interest? Why not have a conversation about music therapy with one of our fabulous therapists! We'd love to design a program that fits your needs.