What's the biggest challenge facing you as a professional?
It’s an opinion piece, so be opinionated.
Set us to rights. Tell us how things should be, instead.
Push for change to make things better.
The Big Idea Soapbox gave me the chance to share about one of Music Therapists' greatest challenges in NZ Aotearoa. Here's what I had to say (click through to the article).
A musician does not equal a music therapist. Do you know why?
Well, it's an edited version of it, because it turns out people still first need to know - what is music therapy? If there had been space for more, I anticipate what I'd have to say about this particular topic would be infinite. I love my job, and I know the significance and meaning of what it is that music therapists - trained, qualified, registered music therapists - can do with their clients. So I naturally feel protective about it, and need others to gain an understanding of it, so that they too can gain respect for the profession and the fact that it does require an allied health professional, a registered music therapist, to facilitate music therapy.
You'd be surprised how time and time again it comes up that someone is misrepresenting themselves as a music therapist - sometimes without realising it's not appropriate, sometimes having been told but not acting on that information, sometimes accessing funding to provide services they're not trained or equipped to provide safely or ethically or successfully, sometimes thinking that the related training they have done is enough to warrant it. If you're not a registered music therapist, please don't misrepresent yourself - for the sake of the vulnerable people you're working with, if nothing else. If you want to become a registered music therapist, contact the NZ Music Therapy Registration Board Registrar - details here: www.musictherapy.org.nz/about-mthnz/contact-us/
I have so many more examples of what training, qualifying and registering means - essentially it's about the safety of the vulnerable people we work with.
As I encourage in the article - if you're a musician doing wonderful, giving things with your music, own the fact that you are who you are - which is most likely fantastic! - but not a music therapist.
Thanks to Music Therapy New Zealand for the opportunity through Music Therapy Week 2018, generously supported by Hugo Charitable Trust; and to Chrissy at The Big Idea and Kelly at Elephant Publicity - fantastic working with you both!
NZ Registered Music Therapist, co-creator, songbird, collaborator, advocate, lover-of-music.