This past week has seen numerous events of interest to music therapists that have highlighted music therapy on a global scale.
First and foremost was the 13th World Congress of Music Therapy, held in Seoul, South Korea between July 5-9, 2011. For the very first time, Western and Eastern philosophies of music, music therapy training and music therapy practice in some of the most heavily populated countries of world were consciously organized and presented. According to the website, linked above, there were to be 124 concurrent sessions, 32 workshops, 8 roundtables, 5 clinical forums, and 48 poster sessions featuring presenters from 34 countries. To get further details you can view the proceedings via the new edition of Music Therapy Today, recently released and published by the World Federation of Music Therapy (WFMT). (The proceedings of past World Congresses are also available via the Congress website.). Another excellent, and free, online e-magazine entitled Voices also features a global perspective on music therapy.
Individual contributions to the global music therapy community were evidenced this week by the passing of Dr. Tony Wigram. Tributes came from around the world as news of his passing was shared and reshared by friends and fellow professionals. Indeed, Dr. Wigram was a globally recognized, and much sought after speaker, educator, clinician and editor of many textbooks and articles concerning music therapy. He will be greatly missed.
This morning, I listened to another fantastic podcast by the gals of the Music Therapy Roundtable in which they discussed “Long Distance Communication for Music Therapists”. Initially the podcast focused on overcoming the transition from being a student, where you are amongst a group of fellow and like-minded individuals, to being a professional in your own community, where “you may be the only music therapist in your workplace, or even your city.” After some enlightening examples of ways to network locally, the discussion shifted to networking globally via one of my personal favorite tools – online social networking.
Indeed, I have personally found it increasingly easy to identify and connect with music therapists globally via social media such as Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. Music therapy conferences have begun using Twitter hashtags (i.e. #OCMT2011, #WCMT2011) and organizing Tweetups (meetings involving persons on Twitter) at conferences. Other online resources such as blogs (e.g. Music Therapy Research Blog), podcasts (The Music Therapy Radio Show with Janice Harris), and specialty resources such as Skype and FaceTime (Mac specific) are also useful. That doesn’t mean you have to constantly be on all of these social networks, try them out and see what works best for you and your music therapy practice. Please feel free to contact me if you need some assistance and I will be happy to help you out, give you advice and get to know you better.
Here are some of the ways to get in touch with me:
Facebook: John Lawrence
LinkedIn: John Lawrence MMT, MTA
Do you like to get the news? How would you like a newspaper format document that gives you news about music therapy on a global basis? Using Twitter posts, and links posted on the web, there are two daily papers about music therapy by the organization Paper.li. You can read the daily #musictherapy or Musicothérapie by simply clicking on the link provided in your e-mail inbox. Today’s edition of Musicothérapie featured contributions from 27 different contributors. Talk about a global community!
Finally, I hate to admit it, but a webpage for your business or organization, music therapy chapter or event, can also be useful. Although I have come to generally see websites as “dull” and “static” entities, they do serve a purpose. To this end, I want to let you know that the website for the American Music Therapy Association (AMTA), arguably one of the most important and significant music therapy associations in the world, will be updated shortly. I was involved in the redesign and can safely say that it will have a MUCH different look and feel from the present website.
Do you have a theme idea for the next Online Conference for Music Therapy (OCMT2012)? We are currently evaluating proposals submitted to us, and will be announcing the theme shortly. Submit your idea to: firstname.lastname@example.org