The Big Turn Off: Are You Making This Mistake?

Sometimes the worst mistake you can make when advocating for music therapy is bringing up music therapy.


While that seems totally counterintuitive, it all comes down to the idea of reacting versus responding. When someone (a client, a family member, a support staff, an administrator) comes to you gushing about the impact of music they just experienced or learned about, don’t smother that spark with defensiveness. Validate that experience (because we know how powerful music is!), share in their awe and excitement, and when the time is right use that as a catalyst to bring them into YOUR world. Listen in as Brittney & Kat discuss how to avoid the mistake of turning people off to music therapy in the video below.

Read The Biggest Funding Mistake Transcript

Kat Fulton: What are the biggest mistakes that we make that move people away from advocacy efforts and down the ladder of buying in? You speak about this ladder in your course, and so what moves people away? What do we do? Because I know I’ve been guilty of this.

Brittany Tachkov, MT-BC: Reacting versus responding. This may be a common phrase these days, but I’ve been hearing it a lot and I think about that when it comes to these moments is sometimes we react to that music moment that someone else is telling us, especially when they call it music therapy, and that reaction, that gut reaction is okay, as long as it doesn’t come straight out of that person. Because, yes, that is a signal that we need to be educating and finding a way to reframe that for them. But maybe that’s not the first thing we’re going to do.

First thing we’re going to do is be in awe of the fact that they get it at some level. They’re right there in it, in this idea of how music can impact someone. I had someone tell me about a sister who helped their family write a song for their loved one on their birthday. I was so touched because I helped facilitate that for so many people, and she knows exactly what that moment feels like when that song is performed at the exact right moment. They get it.

Kat: Yeah.

Brittany: We can connect right at that level. I could respond to her in awe of the fact that her sister did that for her family.

Kat: Yeah.

Brittany: That doesn’t mean her sister’s a music therapist, that doesn’t mean that music therapy isn’t needed for all of these other people who don’t happen to have a sister, brother, parent, child who will just think of this.

Kat: Right.

Brittany: It does mean that we can sit with them in that mutual understanding of the power that music has, and sit there first. Then think about how can we also share about what music therapy might do in a different or unique way, but maybe not in that moment, maybe not that day, maybe not right away. Just fell like you’re in that moment, in that connected moment and that connected space, and just respond to them moment. Then you can think about responding later to this gut instinct, of the need to make sure they understand that that might not need music therapy.

Do You Want Funding NOW?

If you’re ready to grow your program but aren’t sure where to start, then check out Funding & Program Development with Brittany Tachkov, MT-BC, for 3 CMTES! By taking the course, you will:

  • Learn and practice communication skills that will captivate decision-makers
  • Set yourself up for success by building a resource-rich framework for your program
  • Advocate for your role and impact within organizations
  • Create a proposal to get the funding and support you deserve as a leader in healthcare!

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