The Student Advocacy Project: A 3-Part Series (Part 1)

It’s advocacy month for AMTA! This week I sought after the thoughts and idea’s of my fellow students. Hearing from professionals in the music therapy field is critical, however, hearing the standpoint of the “future” of music therapy offers a unique perspective.  In this three part series, I will post on different questions (and the answers!) I posed to students, and the responses they gave in return.

ad·vo·ca·cy

(ad-vuh-kah-see)

the act of persuading for, supporting, or recommending.    

Why is it important for students to advocate for music therapy?

“We are the future practitioners and we are learning the most current, up-to-date theories, philosophies and methodologies. Advocation is necessary to promote the significance of the field and without it the field may cease to exist.”  –Megan Sumner, senior at Nazareth College

“Advocating is my opportunity to share with others my knowledge about my future field and to remind myself what I’m working towards.  As a student I have physical therapists, speech therapists, nurses, teachers, and psychologists as my classmates… if I can help them get a basic understanding of what music therapy is, what we do as students to get our degree and become certified, then when I go out in the workplace I will be greeted with open arms by my interdisciplinary teams, rather than have to fight to start a position.”  -Jessica Jarvis Nazareth College, AMTAS-President Elect

“It is important that students advocate for music therapy because we are the future of music therapy and we can have the most effect when it comes to music therapy.  We should be around for a while so anything we start doing now will continue for years to come.  We are also closest with the people who will be in government positions in the future. If we advocate and spread the word to peers now, they will grow up knowing about music therapy, and understanding the benefits.”  -Erica Stone, junior at Nazareth College

“We are the ones who are learning about the current music therapy and we are the ones that need to educate and change peoples minds about it.  We are the future- we may not be able to influence current government officials, but we can influence the future officials that are our peers. Convincing the minds of people now is more important and influential for the future of music therapy.  If we can influence them, then the generation after us will also be influenced and music therapy will become a more recognized and respected field of work in society and in the government.”  -Anonymous

“We need to advocate for our profession because we are misunderstood and sometimes not taken seriously. People are naive to the fact that music can be a source of therapy and that we need to go through extensive training before we can practice.”  -Ryan Gerling,  junior at Nazareth College

“I feel like its very important for students to advocate because it will be are duty to keep music therapy alive and prove to other professions that music therapy is a proven discipline that works for the benefit of the clients.”  -Jennifer Colombo, Nazareth College

“Many people either do not know what music therapy is, or they have an incorrect view of what it is.  It is important for us as students to advocate for music therapy because we are coming from a fresh and new foundation with music therapy- learning about all the variety and not working with one population or area.”  -Kim Miller, junior at Nazareth College

Check in for Part 2… where students explore more questions…!

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4 Comments

Filed under Music Therapy, Student Life

4 responses to “The Student Advocacy Project: A 3-Part Series (Part 1)

  1. Stephanie

    Great post! I’m enjoying the student perspective on what advocacy means – your quotes are spot-on!! 🙂

  2. Pingback: The Student Advocacy Project: A 3-Part Series (Part 2) «

  3. Pingback: Music Therapy Advocacy Month (features a Michigan music therapist!) at Michigan Music Therapists

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