Serving the LGBTQ Community: Exploring Attitudes and Education Within the Music Therapy Profession

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This presentation provides an overview of preliminary data from an international 2012 study exploring music therapists’ attitudes regarding the LGBTQ community. Analysis of the results, both qualitative and quantitative, will be presented as well as an overview of LGBTQ best practices in the United States. This research applies not only to daily clinical practice, but also has implications for educational needs of our students and continuing educational needs of our professionals.

Learner Objectives:

  1. Participants will gain greater understanding of music therapists’ attitudes and beliefs about the LGBTQ community.
  2. Understand music therapy LGBTQ best practices.
  3. Learn ways to advocate for members of LGBTQ community.
  4. Provide opportunities to discuss LGBTQ best practice.

About the Presenters:

Annette Whitehead-Pleaux, MA, MT-BC works with pediatric burn survivors at Shriners Hospitals for Children-Boston. She has been an advocate for LGBTQ civil rights and volunteered with queer youth.

Leah Oswanski, MA, LPC, MT-BC is a Licensed Professional Counselor in New Jersey, Board Certified Music Therapist, and professional musician. She has been a clinician for 13 years, andhas been the Coordinator of Music Therapy at the Carol G. Simon Cancer Center at Morristown Medical Center since 2002

Xueli Tan, MM, MT-BC is a presidential fellow at the University of Iowa, with joint appointments as a teaching/research assistant. Her experience includes working with the burn population, oncology patients, and people with developmental disabilities.

Spencer Hardy is a Board Certified Music Therapist. He attended Berklee College of Music in Boston, MA where he received his Bachelor of Music in Music Therapy in 2008. He now co-owns his own music therapy business, Rainbow Music Therapy Services, in the San Francisco Bay Area working with children, teens, and young adults with special needs.