2016 Social Media Advocacy Month

Introduction: Advocacy —> Recognition —> Access

Since 2005, the American Music Therapy Association (AMTA) and the Certification Board for Music Therapists (CBMT) have collaborated on a State Recognition Operational Plan. The primary purpose of this plan is to get music therapy and the MT-BC credential recognized by individual states so that citizens can more easily access our services. The AMTA Government Relations staff and the CBMT Regulatory Affairs staff provide guidance and technical support to state task forces throughout the country as they work towards state recognition. To date, their work has resulted in over 40 active state task forces, and a growing number bills filed each legislative session. In addition, state recognition efforts have led to the creation of a:
  • music therapy licenses in Georgia (2012), Nevada (2011), North Dakota (2011), and Oregon (2015)
  • music therapy state certification in Utah (2014)
  • music therapy registry in Rhode Island (2014)
None of these efforts would have been successful without the grassroots advocacy efforts of music therapists across the country.

This month, our focus is on YOU and on getting you excited about advocacy.



About the Project

Each New Year brings the opportunity to reflect on all that we have accomplished and to determine what is needed in the coming year to move forward. As the Regulatory Affairs (CBMT) and Government Relations (AMTA) teams reflect on the first 10 years of the State Recognition Operational Plan, we are grateful for the number of individuals that have actively engaged in the advocacy process. We have had the incredible fortune to watch groups of diverse individuals pull together, capitalize on their strengths, and create access to services for clients and families that benefit greatly from music therapy.

One of the observations we reflect on regularly is what makes an advocacy team successful. The teams that stand out are those that have 3 different kinds of participants:


CONNECTORS - Building Bridges

“Connectors” are people who are gifted at building bridges by bringing others together and recognizing complimentary skill sets in those that they know. Connectors enjoy creating opportunities for people from diverse background and experiences to meet and interact. The role of the Connector in advocacy is to maximize the human resources available to them and to increase the network for their cause by helping interested parties get to know one another and discuss common interests. It is often the Connectors who are able to establish relationships with legislators or other decision makers that develops them into incredible advocates.


REFLECTORS - Holding Up the Mirror

“Reflectors” are gifted at taking in information, experiences, and perceptions and—as the name implies—reflecting back the most salient points to those around them. Reflectors often have a knack for diffusing situations by indicating an understanding and empathy for someone else’s position. Reflectors also make great advocates because of their fierce loyalty to their cause. Their ability to see issues from multiple perspectives and then to communicate that to multiple audiences brings all sides of an issue to the foreground for discussion. Reflectors unite various individuals and guide the group to a vision that recognizes the complexity of all issues.


DIRECTORS - Consulting the Compass

“Directors” are the ones who are able to see the big picture of possibilities that exist beyond the current situation. They are able to assimilate the work of the “Reflectors” and the “Connectors” and navigate a course of next steps based on that information. Directors also gather additional relevant information as they move forward and constantly attend to what course corrections are necessary to get to their end goal. Those who are most successful in this role demonstrate flexibility in their thinking and actions, which allows them to accommodate to various situations that are presented and that often change without prior notice. Directors take a broad view of an issue, projecting out beyond it’s current status or challenge and using an ideal vision or end goal to guide the day-to-day steps necessary to get there.

While this is certainly not an exhaustive list, this seems to be a “triple threat” of action-oriented personalities that are able to work in tandem and move a group forward.

Throughout the month of January, music therapy bloggers and podcasters will be sharing their stories as a Connector, Reflector, or Director, as well as their thoughts on other characteristics or personalities they find "key" in advocacy. Articles and podcast episodes will be posted to this site throughout the month. Be sure to also follow the #mtadvocacy hashtag on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram to stay current with the latest happenings.


Participating Blogs and Podcasts

Annapolis Music Therapy
Bearpaw Creek
CODA Music Therapy Services
Heartbeat Music Therapy
Kat Fulton on HuffPost Education
Listen and Learn Music
Metro Music Therapy
Music Therapy Ebooks
Music Therapy Ed
Music Therapy Kids
Music Therapy Maven
Music Therapy Repertoire Challenge
Music Therapy Round Table
Music Therapy Source 
Musical Autist 
Palm Beach Music Therapy Connections
Session Cafe
SKS Music Therapy
SMWC Music Therapy Student Resource Blog
Soundscaping Source
The George Center
The Mindful Music Therapist
The Music Therapy Show
The Music Therapy Marketplace
 The Palm Beach Music Therapy Institute
The Rhythm and Reason Blog
Tuneful Teaching

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