Now that I’m coming up for a little air from the AMTA conference in Atlanta, I’d like to share with you a few bold statements:
1. Twitter is more powerful than your rolled eyes can handle. The only reason Ben Folds learned about music therapy and attended our conference is because of Twitter. The gate-keepers have come down, people. The ivory towers are burning down to the ground, at the same time that you are reading this post right now.
If you would like to reach out to a famous person, or the CEO of a large corporation, or big-time decision makers, or a big grant-funder then Twitter is one of your answers. If that high profiler is not on Twitter, then you probably don’t need to waste your time getting in touch anyway, because they are not as hip and progressive-minded as you.
Instead of 3-page long fan mail, high profilers can skim through extremely short fan blurbs from massive amounts of people. When they see something that strikes their fancy, they respond and take action.
I would add that Twitter is not just for fun, goofy, time-sucking social time. Twitter is for serious business exchange. Try following @CNNHeroes to find a local healthcare professional with clout who just might love music therapy. Follow the hashtag #SLPeeps to find a rich, incredible community of speech therapists all coming together to swap info and collaborate with music therapists. But that’s only the beginning.
Participate in live, online chats with older adult care providers with this hashtag #ElderCareChat every other Wednesday. The list goes on.
I get all my news from Twitter. Twitter allows for you to CHOOSE what you follow and what you don’t. Say goodbye to the old days of fighting to get a spot on big networks, paying big bucks to get your ad on TV, and getting interrupted by obnoxious commercials.
Ok, I’m coming down from my Twitter soapbox. Join us =) Here’s my list of music therapists on Twitter. Come see what we’re all talking about over there. Once you spend a little time exploring and getting past the learning curve, I promise you can do Twitter in 5-15 per day with ease and efficiency. It enhances your life, relationships, AND business. Ok, now I’m off the soapbox.
2. The producers are getting ahead while the non-producers are left behind. This brings me to my last post about producing as much as you consume, online and offline. I noticed that everyone in our social media panel at the conference contributes VALUE to the world. Watch my video about it.
3. Music therapists have brilliant minds and ideas, far more than are realized. A student sitting in a 200+ audience presentation at the conference had an iPad out and open. I would assume this student was probably googling terms she didn’t understand, taking notes, tweeting about the presentation content, etc. Everyone else had pens and pads out, taking notes, so why not use the iPad and spare a few sheets of paper. An older music therapist came by to whisper “Are you getting anything at all out of this presentation?” and looked down at her iPad suspiciously.
Let’s get real, the scolding music therapist is part of the ivory towers that are crumbling to the ground. I think everyone should have iPads open in every presentation, taking notes, Googling unknown terms, marking events on the calendar, and interacting with other presentation attendees on Twitter – BRILLIANT!
In fact, if you come to any of my presentations, I invite you to please turn on the flame app and wave it around like you’re at a Lynyrd Skynyrd concert.
I guarantee you that the scolding music therapist is not on Twitter…
Seriously though, some people will never “approve of” or “understand” the technological explosion going on around them. The power of Twitter, blogging, webinars, sharing, taking notes on your iPad, etc. That’s ok. We’ll keep on keepin on, sharing our brilliant ideas online. 😉
Some day soon, we will have Twitter streams displayed on the big screen at our music therapy conferences. The ivory towers will be very afraid, but we will demand it, and it will happen.
And some day soon, the keynote speaker will invite the crowd to tweet #AMTA12 for #CHICAGO so we can make the conference TREND on Twitter! Ah yes. That’s a fun dream. Let’s make it happen next year.
4. Music therapists who come from different therapeutic approaches can get along. We can offer an eclectic approach in our practice. Thank you, Ken Bruscia.
5. Membership in AMTA rocks, and I invite you to be a member every year. You know all that press music therapy has gotten recently? The best-selling authors’ books, the award-winning films, the ABC, CNN, and CBS coverage? How about the legislature that has passed in N Dakota and Nevada, ensuring access to our services? AMTA has been involved in all of these projects, making sure our field is represented accurately the whole way through. They need us as much as we need them. Make sure to renew your AMTA dues here, then we’ll bug them about the live Twitter feeds for next year’s conference!
And finally, a note from the Ben Folds catalyst, Rachel See Smith:
Thanks for checking out this post, and stay tuned for some older adults + drumming posts soon!
By the way, are you on Twitter? Did I include you in my list?