Lately, we’ve been involved in a whirlwind of events (all great things, mind you!); one being the Golden Hat Foundation parade and celebration (more about the event and the wonderful organization, HERE). Preparing Music Therapy of Austin’s booth for the event’s resource fair was both a head-scratcher and an exciting planning process.
The head-scratcher part:
How does one represent such a hands-on, individualized therapy in a way that accurately portrays the field to someone in what could be a two-second walk-by?
And how can I somehow extend those two seconds into a few minutes of conversation to convey and explain a field for which I am so passionate?
The exciting part:
The creative process of “putting it all together to fit on a 6 ft. folding table” is a challenge that I welcomed and became immediately jazzed about (jazzed…a word that I haven’t used in years…I should really pull this one out more often).
As I was picking out the few items, printing out the information cards, and ordering the marketing materials, I thought…”I should really share this process with other therapists out there who may have to go through the same thing in the future!”
Hence, my photo journal of what ended up going on the booth’s table, why I purchased it, and where I obtained the items (or how I made them). I’m also including a couple of downloadable .pdfs for you music therapists to use, if you’d like!
Things I knew I wanted to do right away:
1. Create a booth with a “gold” theme (to go along with the Golden Hat Foundation), while still staying true to my logo and overall look/colors/image.
2. Have as many pictures as possible to “bring music therapy to life”, in a sense. Seeing it in action and talking about it in person are two very different things. If I can bring both, then hopefully, I’ll accurately portray this dream profession of mine. (All photos used are with client/parent permission, of course!)
3. Provide an instrument petting zoo. This is an idea gleaned from one of the music therapy message boards and I loved the thought of it! Bring in a few instruments – but nothing too loud, overstimulating, valuable, or breakable – for the children (or adults!) to play as they walked by without being too bothersome to the other booths next to me…i.e., the cymbals are out :).
4. Engage people in a conversation about music therapy, why it is of value, how it can potentially help those on the autism spectrum, my philosophy as a music therapist and how Music Therapy Services of Austin, LLC, provides services.
The following video shows the final product. We had a BLAST and it was such a great time getting to meet all of the families, volunteers, and other professionals! Thank YOU!
As promised, a few .pdfs for music therapists or for parents/families who would like to download more information about music therapy and the materials/items/instruments we had at our table. Feel free to use them, change them, crop them….whatever works best for your needs!