Round Up, August 5th

Welcome to August! And for many in Atlanta this week, welcome back to school! We're excited to jump back into the school season here, our schedules start to settle down a bit. On to the Round Up!

Tiny preemies get a boost from live lullabies (TheTandD.com)

 

 

Another article about the NICU program in Chicago! Man, that program is getting some serious press. This article mentions that "many insurers won't pay for music therapy." Clients of The George Center know that's not always true (and we're bustin' it to get more and more insurance companies to cover music therapy!)

 

Making music with your pulse -- for health and science (CNet)

 

Whoa, some wild technology here. This company has created an app that will allow users to send real time information about their heart rate and other health indicators like activity level and sleep patterns. By collecting this data, the app could recommend health changes, and could even allow users to participate in real time research studies.

Now, the music part: to incentivize people to use the app, the app makers envision enabling people to use their pulse to control beats and tempos of music. Full disclosure: even after reading the article, I'm not fulling grasping the concept. But it is interesting.

Studying movement and learning in autism (Philly.com)

Interesting research study which is looking at areas other than the brain affected by autism. The researcher believes that research focusing solely on the brain is misplaced, and that the whole sensory loop needs to be examined.

Healing Harmonies: Testing the Power of Music to Improve Senior Health (UCSF.edu)

 

Check out this study that will look at long term health benefits of singing in a choir! Looking forward to seeing the results of this one.

Interested in learning what music therapy could do for you or a loved one? Sign up for a free consultation!

 

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Is Your Music Therapist Board Certified AND Licensed?

For those readers who have been with us since last year, you most likely know that I served on our state task force seeking state recognition for music therapists in Georgia. Our efforts at the Capitol were rewarded when our music therapy licensure law passed both houses and was signed by Governor Deal on May 1, 2012. By January 1, 2014 ALL MUSIC THERAPISTS WORKING IN GEORGIA MUST BE LICENSED TO PRACTICE!

This is an exciting time because it means that for the first time the state of Georgia will require the Music Therapist-Board Certified (MT-BC) credential as the minimum requirement to practice music therapy in our state. That’s not to say that someone who is not a music therapist can’t play music in a hospital, school, or rehab setting. Of course they can! And should! The music therapy licensure law simply outlines that music therapists have completed specialized degrees, 1200 clinical training hours, and a board certification exam in order to effectively treat clients. And it means that YOU as the consumer have access to higher quality services and can rest assured that your therapist is knowledgeable in using music to attain non-musical therapeutic goals. Not to mention, all licensed MT-BC’s must complete a background check. Duh.

In fact, the Georgia Secretary of State has appointed a music therapy advisory group to lead the way in regards to rules and regulations for music therapists in the state. The advisory committee is made up of 3 music therapists, 1 consumer, and 1 medical professional. I am honored to serve on the advisory committee and happy to report that we just had our first meeting last week! The consumer and medical professional serving on the board have had extensive experience working with other licensing boards and seemed genuinely interested in helping us navigate the growth of our profession. After being sworn in, we outlined some very important items for music therapists in Georgia. For instance…

  • In Georgia, music therapists can start applying for their licenses on August 15th 2013.
  • Applications must be snail mailed (can you believe it?). They must be notarized and sent with a check or money order, background check, and proof of residency and citizenship. Also, licensees must request that the Certification Board for Music Therapists (CBMT) email proof of certification to the licensing division of the Secretary of State.
  • The license must be renewed every 2 years.

So, next time you looking to hire a music therapist, why don’t you ask to see their credentials?

The George Center is proud of the fact that all of our music therapists are board certified and will be licensed by the end of the year. Call us to consult with a credentialed music therapist today!

 

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What if Music Therapy...Went Viral?

Why do we even do Music Therapy Social Media Advocacy Month?  Really, what's the point?  Other career fields don't do what we do.  There's no Engineer Awareness Month, no Marketer Awareness Month.  So why do expend all this time and energy advocating for our field all January long?

I think there are three big reasons we find this necessary: 1) Our field is TINY compared to most other career fields, 2) our field is relatively young (post WW-II), and 3) the name "music therapy" evokes a lot of misconceptions.  Granted, this last reason is related to the others, but I think the misconceptions just come with the territory of the name.  I'll be honest, there are many times I wish my job had a different title.

Let's focus on that first point.  Let's face it, there are just not a lot of music therapists out there.  It's hard to get people educated on a career that they don't encounter in some form on a daily basis.  You may not encounter a bio-chemical engineer on a regular basis, but chances are you know somebody who knows some sort of an engineer, and you can pretty much get a good idea of what a bio-chemical engineer does as a result.

Music therapy's small size hinders us in that sense.  There's good news though: music therapists are FANTASTIC at building relationships.  There may not be many of us out there, but the good news is those who know us likely a) know what we do and b) know how passionate we are about it.  Hopefully, that passion rubs off on them.  When we leverage these networks, we can exponentially increase the size of our footprint.

It's not unlike how a video on YouTube goes viral.  The creator shares it with their network of friends.  Maybe three of those friends find it interesting/funny enough to share with their network.  Of their network, three more find it interesting/funny enough to share with THEIR network, and suddenly we have exponentially increasing traffic on a video.

What if every music therapists made it their duty to ensure that everyone in their network was educated on what music therapy was and wasn't.  That way they can go out and tell someone else about it.  Maybe just two people they share it with pass it down the line.  Are you starting to get the idea?

What if music therapy...went viral?

My wonderful parents and amazing girlfriend are great examples.  Every time I hear them explain what I do to someone, I can't help but smile.  In many ways, they're better at it than I am, because they know how to explain to someone who's never experienced it.

So music therapists, and music therapy evangelists, go out and make sure your network is educated.  Maybe show them this handy video to really drive the point home!  It all starts with you.

"Enough advocating! I just want some music therapy in my life already!"  You've come to the right place, sign up for our FREE consultation!



 

It's Finally Here! Performing Arts Class Starts TONIGHT!

It's an exciting day here at The George Center!  Tonight is the first night of our performing arts class, "Any Dream Will Do!"  No doubt, we here at The George Center will be watching the clock, but not so we can go home, so we can welcome in a group of AWESOME pre-teens and teens to our class to learn about music, performance, acting, dancing, and more!

This class was inspired by the powerful documentary produced by HBO titled "Autism: The Musical."  After viewing this movie, our owner and founder Jamie George knew she had to use the talents and resources of The George Center team to bring a program like this to metro-Atlanta!

 

It's not too late to sign up, but spots are quickly filling up!  Go to our registration page and get signed up now!