Saturday, December 3, 2011

"Musical" Therapy Still Thriving

The Daily Muse     

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I recently attended the music therapy national conference in Atlanta. The American Music Therapy Association usually presents one or more non-music therapists with a friends of music therapy award. This year was no different, with two state legislators in attendance who had been instrumental in getting state licensure for music therapy passed in a couple different states. Each of the legislators made some short remarks after receiving their awards. At least one of them referred to music therapy as "musical" therapy several times. I only remember this because I heard and felt audible sighs and cringes from some of the people sitting around me. Music therapists do not like being called "musical" therapists. That brings me to a recent story out of News 5 in Charleston, SC, which had this headline:

Musical Therapy a Big Hit With Patients at a Local Hospital

I do not want to be critical of this news station at all!  They wrote a wonderful story about a local music therapist doing some great work.  They even referred to our work as "music therapy" correctly in the article. But it does raise the point that we are still striving for recognition and authenticity as a profession.  It would be nice if news people got the details right every time, but I think in this case any publicity is good publicity!  Let's just hope the word keeps getting out about evidence-based music therapy and we can help people with the terminology as the cases come up!   

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