Sun. Jan 29th, 2023

It’s time for the state of Washington to acknowledge the important function that music remedy can play in therapeutic and restoration, and to take the mandatory steps to guard sufferers by licensing music therapists.

The latest Seattle Instances Op-Ed “Altering hearts and minds by way of music” highlights the ability of music to construct communities and create connections between people from completely different backgrounds. As co-chairs of the Washington State Music Remedy Process Drive, we couldn’t agree extra with this sentiment. However the advantages of music go far past simply constructing bridges — music remedy is an evidence-based medical occupation that may enhance cognitive operate, improve studying, construct life expertise, alleviate PTSD signs and deal with psychological well being situations reminiscent of despair, nervousness and substance abuse. Licensure laws would supply a stage of oversight and accountability that may safeguard sufferers, improve entry and be certain that they obtain the very best care. 

One instance of the transformative energy of music remedy is a veteran with PTSD who suffered from recurrent nightmares, resulting in power sleep deprivation. Music therapists are skilled to know how the mind processes music and use this data to pick secure and efficient music inputs that may assist alleviate the signs of PTSD. With the skilled steering of a music therapist, the veteran is ready to use music as a robust software for leisure, efficiently overcoming damaging feelings and ideas, and discovering lasting aid.

Music remedy additionally had a profound influence on an autistic baby, serving to them to develop communication expertise, emotional regulation expertise and make connections with others. The structured and motivating nature of music remedy allowed the kid to make important progress of their social and communication expertise and higher have interaction with their friends. Consequently, the kid has been in a position to thrive in social conditions and make significant connections with others.

Music remedy is a rising allied well being occupation in Washington, with board-certified therapists serving an estimated 16,000 residents yearly. These therapists work in early intervention, colleges, hospitals, together with Seattle Kids’s and Swedish, assisted residing services and the Washington State Division of Veterans Affairs. To turn into a board-certified music therapist, one should full a bachelor’s diploma in music remedy, a supervised internship and cross a nationwide certification examination. Persevering with training can be required to take care of certification. 

Adhering to the rigorous coaching and training requirements is crucial to keep away from hurt to sufferers. Triggering lyrics, advanced rhythms, or sudden dynamic modifications can exacerbate signs and should improve disorganization or urges for self-harm. Music therapists are uniquely skilled to make use of music therapeutically and guarantee its secure and efficient software in remedy.

That’s why the Washington Music Remedy Process Drive, a grassroots staff of seven music therapists, is working with the state Legislature on a cost-neutral licensure invoice that features title and scope safety and acknowledges the nationwide coaching and training requirements set by the Certification Board for Music Therapists. Licensure is the usual in well being care to make sure certified clinicians are delivering high quality providers, and in Washington, this could solely be achieved by way of the state Legislature. Defending the title and scope of apply of music therapists will be certain that solely certified professionals are in a position to present music remedy providers, and can assist to advertise the supply of high-quality care to sufferers.

It’s time for Washington to embrace the transformative energy of music remedy and take motion to guard sufferers by licensing music therapists. The Legislature ought to cross SB 5214, sponsored by Sens. Noel Body and Annette Cleveland. From bettering cognitive operate to relieving PTSD signs, music remedy has the flexibility to facilitate therapeutic and restoration. Licensure would supply the mandatory oversight and accountability to safeguard sufferers and improve equitable entry to care. By guaranteeing that music therapists are correctly skilled and controlled, we are able to assist the very best high quality of look after these in want. Let’s acknowledge the therapeutic potential of music remedy and take motion to assist restoration.

Evelyn Stagnaro is a board-certified music therapist, co-chair of the Washington State Music Remedy Process Drive, founding father of Life On Music, and adjunct professor of music remedy at Seattle Pacific College.

Megumi Azekawa is a board-certified music therapist, co-chair of the Washington State Music Remedy Process Drive, founding father of Puget Sound Music Remedy, and the music remedy coordinator of Ted Brown Music Outreach.

By Admin

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