January is #mtadvocacy (music therapy advocacy) month
Are you a connector, reflector, or director? The following article written by Dena Register, PhD, MT-BC explains what that means. While I am not a music therapist by trade, I love the profession and am humbled to consider myself/Bear Paw Creek to be a connector. From our movement props that facilitate connecting with others from all age ranges and walks of life, to connecting with our customers through social media and events – I love it!
I am going to give away one of our Music Therapy Makes a Difference tote bags to one lucky music therapist. I wish I could give one to every mt out there!
Click to enter!
Dena Register, PhD, MT-BC Certification Board for Music Therapists Regulatory Affairs Advisor
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, Reflectors and Directors. 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.
“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.
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.
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.
So how about you? Are you a Connector, Reflector, or Director? Or maybe there is another description you would use? We would like to hear from you about other characteristics or personalities that you find “key” in advocacy.
The American Music Therapy Association Conference is in our backyard this year and I sure wish I was attending in person. I am looking forward to meeting many of those that will be there – someday. The other part that makes this more personal, is that the location is a place I have looked at on all our treks to Children’s Mercy Hospital for our daughter’s cancer treatments.
I am so excited about the opportunities Bear Paw Creek will be part of at the conference this year. So if you’re going, I hope you’ll find us there in the following ways.
Take-A-Chance Ticket Prize Donation
We donated three “Music Therapy Makes a Difference” bags of movement props/cd to the following: “AMTA will be offering its conference attendees an opportunity to “win” a prize through “Take-A-Chance” tickets bidding. Participants will be able to purchase “chances” to win one of our big ticket items that will be prominently displayed during our Opening Session event. All proceeds from the “Take-A-Chance” ticket bids will go to support AMTA’s mission of public education and awareness.”
We are supporting the Cadenza 5K to raise awareness for music therapy and support for student scholarships. This happens on Saturday, November 14 at 8 p.m. and I can’t wait to see pictures from this fun event.
Innovations in Music Therapy Interventions – Strategies
for Adapting Music
I sent Michelle four connect-a-bands and hub to play with and I’m looking forward to see the creative way she incorporates it. Here is the information on that.
Room: Chicago C
Presenter(s): Laurie Farnan, MMT, WMTR, MT‑BC; Michelle Schumacher,
MSE, WMTR, RMT
This presentation will explore innovative strategies for adapting
popular and classical music to meet client goals. Methods and
strategies of pre-listening will be explored to identify and find
repeated sections of melody, rhythm or lyrics. Selected instruments
will be suggested for optimal interaction and active participation
to meet client goals.
Not quite sure where they will pop up, but Brianna over at The MT Marketplace and her Tribe sure have some fun goings on happening, and we sent connect-a-bands and a hub over for them to play with. Will add more as the information comes out.
Since 2002 our products have been exhibited by West Music at all the national conferences, and some regional conferences as well. I hope you’ll stop by and enjoy seeing them, and while your at it, tell them you appreciate them carrying our USA manufactured products!
Fighting Cancer with Music Therapy
On Dec. 3, I took our five year old daughter to the doctor as she just hadn’t been feeling well for a few weeks. Very pale and puny with occasional pains. Within 15 minutes of being at the doctors, he sent us to the ER as her blood counts were very low. Within the next three hours we were told she had a type of Leukemia and we were transported to Children’s Mercy in Kansas City.
By the following afternoon we had a diagnosis of Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia (ALL). If you have to have leukemia – this is the one to have.They have a 90% cure rate.
Why do I tell you all of this? Business may be a little different over the next few months as we fight cancer. BUT the main reason is – during this process we have been connected with music therapist, Liesel Stephens MT-BC!
Some of you know – Bear Paw Creek was originally founded to create products for music therapists and I have a love for their profession, who they are, and what they do.
I never imagined we would be on the receiving end of it – but we are. The first day she came was about 10 minutes into a new chemo treatment our little one had to have before we were released from the hospital. My husband and I were tense and nervous as the possible side effect sheet was down right scary. In comes Ms. Liesel! I know Piper enjoyed the time playing drums, reading books and singing – but it made a huge difference in us as parents as we could feel the tension release from us and the room. Another fun part was that Liesel asked Piper is she had any favorite songs. She said the “Wheels on the Bus” book we do at our circle time at home. You guessed it – Liesel pulled the same book out! It sounds a lot better with an accomplished guitar player and singer!
We will be making weekly trips to KC for the next months. Our first clinic day and second – Liesel showed up.
It’s been an amazing experience to actually be on the receiving end of music therapy, and I am humbled by it. I also get a kick out of seeing a traveling music therapist live in action. You guys truly ROCK!
Our first experience with music therapist Liesel Stephens.