A bit ago, Kat Fulton wrote about her worst fear about the future of music therapy. It was that “the women of our field will NOT realize their potential and PROUDLY STEP INTO THEIR POWER.” She also brings up the always enduring topic of music therapy salary negotiations that led her to have this fear. I’m not good at explaining things… just read her post here so you can get what I’m saying.
She shared her post on some FB groups for music therapists and I saw a lot of sharing and liking and “Everyone needs to read this” types of responses. I realize that this is about a bigger issue dealing with women in society. But, in all honesty, I am still stuck on the part where there are music therapists who have negotiated their salaries down… seriously?! That actually happens?!?! (You have to read her post to catch that part.)
So, because I’m stuck on the salary negotiation bit I have this to say…
Kat is starting a movement.
This post is a call to action.
We can start working on this right now.
Here is what she’s asking us to do:
- We need national analysis from a 3rd party company to look at the actual vs living wages of music therapists including interviews of practicing music therapists and their employers. More than the sourcebook information. We need to petition AMTA for this action.
- We need HR departments for companies to have the proper comparable of music therapy to different fields. This proper comparable may differ depending on the population and type of music therapy practiced. We need this in writing from our association and it needs to be accessible so that we can share it with our employers. We need to petition AMTA to make this statement.
- We need music therapy to be listed and described in HR manuals. This way when they are hiring a music therapist it’s actually in their books and they’re not left scratching their heads trying to figure out how much to pay us. We need to petition AMTA to make this happen.
- We need to reevaluate our internship practices. Why are unpaid internships allowed? We are struggling to get reasonable wages from our employers by giving them a proposal to add an internship program which gives them MORE MT STAFF FOR FREE. We are making people work for 6 months, full time, for free. How does that teach the employers that music therapy has value and how does that teach students that they have value? We need to petition the AMTA board to stop this practice.
- We need to analyze where the value is for the various institutions out there to have music therapy. This information needs to be placed in an all encompassing report for senior administrators of the facility. This report needs to be freely available online so that anyone (music therapist, manager, administrator) can download and distribute. We need to petition AMTA to hire the company to do this. (Hey! It can probably be the same people who do #1.)
So, my questions are…
What do you think? Let’s discuss!
Will you be a part of this movement?