Are Music Therapists Authors?
Creativity is a big part of a music therapist’s life at work. We all have a stack of songs, worksheets, and visual aides that we’ve created for sessions. Through the years of using these resources, we edit and modify them so that they are at their most efficient. But for some reason, whenever Rachel and I ask people why they don’t package those resources together in the form of an ebook, a common answer that comes back is “But I don’t know how to write a book!”.
Listen, you are doing a lot of writing just by doing your job. Many different forms of writing, in fact. You are already a writer. Let me show you…
- Goal setting – Using your assessment, you determine and write goals for every single person you work with. We do this so often that it’s second nature for us, but believe me… this is a skill that people are not born with. When you write a goal, you are able to clearly communicate a very specific and complicated concept. In one sentence, you are laying out the who, what, when, and how many that guides the course of treatment for your client. Don’t take for granted how much skill you have because you are able to write this one sentence… it is a really powerful sentence.
- Charting – No matter what population you work with or workplace you are employed, you are writing about the behavior of your clients. You are taking note of unbiased, observable actions that happened during a session. Then, at the end, you write down your professional opinion and plan for future sessions. Your writing needs to be articulate so that everyone who reads this chart can understand what is going on.
- Songwriting – This is putting words and music together so that they flow aesthetically while communicating a concept or giving a direction. And some of you are doing this on the spot whenever you’re doing in session improvisation.
- Marketing – You are making informational materials that communicate what music therapy is, how people can get it from you, and why they should want to do that. This is something that all music therapists make regardless of if they’re the owner of a private practice or a worker within a department. You always need to market your service to your audience.
So why does writing an ebook seem like such a big stretch whey you’re writing so much anyway? My guess is because “book” implies that it’s something big and permanent… a monumental achievement. But the reality is that ebooks are made up of many parts and you are already writing little parts of things now. You can totally do this!