Focus on continuity of care. Not a great way to keep you interested in the rest of this article by providing the answer in the first line, I know, but stay with me for a moment.
Technology currently rules our lives, whether you want it to or not. Even more so than it used to, and that may be really hard to fathom, but it just like the Christmas carol gleefully shares; “it doesn’t show signs of stopping”. And even though I have days that technology isn’t how I want to connect with people, I’ll still take it over the snow we get here in Canada.
Why will shifting focus to continuity of care house my love for the music therapy profession during such a challenging time?
Have you ever tried to design and implement something to support a client and their outcome achievement on the six days that they don’t see you in the clinical space? I have. And whether it was implemented by another professional like an OT, PT SLP or other medical professional or a caregiver, I could never be confident it was being delivered effectively and ethically and I also had no way of measuring these moments except by what I observed in the next clinical session. Not particularly helpful, and actually offering the potential for harm.
Over my 15-year career as a professional music psychotherapist, I have written hundreds and hundreds of songs, pieces, and lyrics, some that had already come together and some pieces of music that were looking to fit together. Publishing them to share as a resource would have been effective and even making audio recordings and accompanying videos would have enhanced this into a great package, but I kept coming back to the lack of confidence in application and the lack of data collection.
The puzzle came together for me when I partnered with two forward thinking companies – Point Motion and Mundo Pato, and I finally had a collaborative team to bring my songs together into a virtual format that cannot only support music therapists in their clinical practice, OTs, PTs, SLPs, caregivers, teachers, etc., but it is also alive. Huh? Yup.
The Connecting In Rhythm (CIR) curriculum gives a home to my original music and music intervention while providing confident and accurate data collection for both assessment and treatment, with an emphasis on client-centered care, where the music features also allow CIR to become customizable through adding client preferred music (instruments, genres, timbres, etc.) and client preferred images (including images of the client), for their goal area.
CIR curriculum supports clinical music therapy and blows it up into an accessible, worldwide support for the sensorimotor needs of neurodiverse children. I wake up every day and can still serve the needs of my clients through continuity of care and client-centered work.
UnitusTI provides endless ways to share collected qualitative and quantitative client data, and displays the information in a variety of visual graph or a table total of numbers. Continuously collecting client responses from assessment through to termination provides a baseline in addition to real time feedback and an opportunity to fine tune and support a client with accurate and detailed information.
I’ve never believed in the efficacy of our profession more than I have during these times. When it comes to survival, no one knows better than a music therapist. Give yourself the gift of continuity of care through the self-work of transforming your music and interventions and giving access to the benefits to the world!