March is an interesting month around here. It is a combination of down time after the big event and gearing up for everything we have going on in the spring and summer (make sure to check our website and mark your calendars!). It is also grant and conference season for me, which means a lot of research and writing. Last week I received an unexpected email challenging the evidence-based legitimacy of music therapy. I was taken aback at this, but it reminded me that we as music therapists still have a long way to go in presenting evidence that our services provide a beneficial and cost effective addition to other forms of care.
Like music therapists across the country, we in Nevada are advocating for Medicaid, Medicare, and insurance reimbursement. There is an abundance of anecdotal evidence showing the value of music therapy in improving physical and mental health. We are good at sharing stories, but we need to be better at communicating the many research-based outcomes of music therapy. Stories are important – they are why we do what we do – but data is as important, if not more. Sara and I both have a passion for research, and we are in the process of designing a couple of exciting research projects. Believe it or not, I think it’s going to be fun, and I am really looking forward to the opportunity to improve the recognition and legitimacy of our field, both in Nevada and across the country!