49 Ways to Engage in the Music Therapy Community
This guest post is brought to you by Kimberly Sena Moore, one of the founders of Music Therapy Pro, an OCMT2014 sponsor. Music Therapy Pro offers valuable, “outside the therapy room” information on technology, communication, time management, self-care, organization, and more! It’s the brain-child of the creators behind the Music Therapy Round Table podcast, Kimberly Sena Moore, Michelle Erfurt and Rachel Rambach. They share their combined 20+ years of professional experience exclusively with Pro community members, who have exclusive access to the Pro videos, podcasts, CMTE courses, and the vibrant Pro Facebook forum, a place for discussion, support, and celebration. Join the community at www.MusicTherapyPro.com
The conversation about how lonely it can be to work as a music therapist has been around at least as long as I have been a music therapy student (and likely longer than that). It’s common for one to be the only music therapist at his or her facility. Although our colleagues, bosses, and clients may understand and support what we do, they never seem to “get” it. They never totally understand the nuances and complexities that occur in the interaction between the music, the client, and ourselves.
In some ways, being a music therapist is a bit like being a parent. When I became a parent, it dawned on me that I could understand fellow parents in a completely different way. In an instant, I could empathize and sympathize with their joys, challenges, and experiences in ways I hadn’t been able to before. Although my previous non-parenting self could certainly empathize with parents, I now had a different understanding since I was one myself.
I think the same is true for being a music therapist. In general, others may empathize and understand our experiences. But the only ones who can truly “get” what we do and what we go through are fellow music therapists.
However, many of us do not have the luxury of interacting with other music therapists on a daily basis. Thus it is often necessary for us to seek out these interactions. To initiate exchanges with other music therapists so that we feel understood, which in turn will help keep us fresh, engaged, and inspired in our work. With that in mind, here are 49 ways to engage in the music therapy community:
- Become a member of your regional, state, or local music therapy association.
- Become a member of your national music therapy association.
- Read your music therapy association newsletters.
- Connect with fellow music therapists on LinkedIn.
- Friend other music therapists in Facebook.
- Follow music therapists on Twitter, Instagram, or Pinterest.
- Share interesting music therapy-related media pieces with your music therapy friends.
- Comment on a music therapy blogger’s post.
- Connect with music therapy professors from your local university.
- Attend a local music therapy meet-up.
- Organize a local music therapy meet-up.
- Dialogue with your music therapy friends on Twitter.
- Volunteer to serve on a music therapy conference planning committee.
- Read music therapy research journals.
- Like a music therapist’s Facebook page.
- Volunteer to serve on a music therapy task force.
- Participate in a local music therapy book club.
- Start a local music therapy book club.
- Comment on a music therapist’s Instagram photo.
- Attend a local or state music therapy meeting.
- Participate in state recognition-related calls to action.
- Volunteer to serve on a national music therapy board.
- Participate in a peer music therapy supervision group.
- Start a peer music therapy supervision group.
- Attend a regional music therapy conference.
- Start a music therapy discussion group on LinkedIn.
- Invest in professional music therapy supervision.
- Submit a call-to-papers request to present at a local, state, or regional conference.
- Listen to a music therapy podcast.
- Start a music therapy blog.
- Schedule regular (or as needed) coffee dates with local music therapists.
- Schedule regular (or as needed) happy hour dates with local music therapists.
- Volunteer to serve on a local or regional music therapy board.
- Join a music therapy Facebook group.
- Attend a national music therapy conference.
- Attend a hearing for music therapy-related legislation.
- Join a music therapy discussion on LinkedIn.
- Attend the business meetings at conference.
- Submit a call-to-papers request to present at a national music therapy conference.
- Join an online music therapy subscription-based community.
- Volunteer to serve on a regional or national music therapy committee.
- Comment on a question posted in a Facebook group or LinkedIn discussion.
- Ask a question in a Facebook group or LinkedIn discussion.
- Converse with music therapy friends through Facebook messaging.
- Attend a music therapy Hill Day event.
- Attend the business meeting of a local music therapy organization.
- Send an email or gratitude to a music therapist you met at an event or conference.
- Read a recently-published music therapy book.
- Participate in the Online Conference for Music Therapy.
Now what can YOU add to this list?
About the Author: Kimberly Sena Moore is a Ph.D. Candidate at the University of Missouri-Kansas City, where her research interests explore how music can facilitate emotion regulation development, and she serves as Regulatory Affairs Associate for the Certification Board for Music Therapists. Online, Kimberly co-hosts the Music Therapy Round Table podcast, and writes the blogs “Your Musical Self” for Psychology Today and Music Therapy Maven. Engage with Kimberly directly by joining the Music Therapy Pro community.