My Worst Fear About Our Field

Powerful WomanPeople are not going to “like” you when you achieve professional success in our field. We know from the research that “likeability” is negatively correlated with success for women, but positively correlated with success for men. I learned that from Sheryl Sandberg in the video below. She quotes the research.

My Burning Question

Have you spoken to your music therapy colleagues lately about their latest salary negotiation? I encourage you to talk to peers about negotiation. I’ve spoken to fellow music therapists and found out that instead of negotiating their salaries up, they’ve negotiated down. This makes no sense to me.

It’s a true story, specific to a colleague of mine, and a story for which I am not at liberty to share the details. But if this is the case for one of my colleagues, then I wonder — Where else and to whom else is this happening in our field?

The point is that my colleague’s story of down-negotiating is not hers alone. That delicate place of speaking to an authority, in front of someone who could at any moment CLOSE the door on you and say NO, while shivers run up and down your legs and into your spine, and then in the moment you hear that little voice that says you are NOT worthy, and so you back off, back down, and speak out of apology… this place is visited by tons of people every day, in many industries, seeking out ALL job levels (executive down to newbies).

And that’s OK. But what we want to do is to hear that voice, feel those shivers, see the door shutting, and ASK FOR A HIGHER SALARY ANYWAY. I’m not kidding. It’s as easy as that. And those fears, and those shivers, and those scary images? Those do not define YOU or your actions. YOU control your actions.

There has been discussion among music therapy business owners about “those new workforce millennials who expect a ridiculously high salary” after graduating from college. To that I say, YES! Expect a high wage! Demand great compensation! Keep us job providers in check! Motivate our music therapy employers to charge what we’re worth! Don’t settle! Don’t cave! When you cave, you hurt all of us…

I’m proud to say that both of my employees negotiated their salaries UP. =) I love my employees. It would seriously make me wonder if they hadn’t. So here it is…

My worst fear about music therapy’s future:

The women of our field will NOT realize their potential and


Women make up 89% of our entire field [enter sinking feeling in my gut]. It’s not that I don’t believe in the women of our field. It’s that I don’t believe that we believe in ourselves.

We need HELP, and we need it now. So, I offer 3 educational pieces for YOU to start stepping into your power. Reaching for those promotions, negotiating UP with your salary, and saying NO to less-than-honorable professional agreements require daily practice. It’s not an easy fix. There is no magical button we can press to elevate our field. This is scratching the surface, but I hope that these pieces can help you get on the right path that takes our AMAZING industry ONWARDS and UPWARDS.

Step Into Your Power #1

Have you seen this video? Get out your clipboard, notepad, and pen. Take some serious notes on this:

Step Into Your Power #2

Steve Jobs was an incredible negotiator. Read his emails about how he showed steadfast, strong, pure VALUE in negotiating an historical deal.

Step Into Your Power #3

Take our most power-injected, rocket-fueled course that is tailor-made for music therapists to RISE above as a true executive. In order to step into our power, we must see ourselves as powerful. That’s how I see you. Take the course, look in the mirror, and say YES. We have a deadline of Friday, August 2 at noon for you to get the MOST out of this course.

Be well, feel good, and step into your power. We are 100% beside you, standing tall and proud, witnessing YOUR brilliance,

Kat Fulton, Curator

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  1. Finding this topic here is incredibly valuable right now as I court many would-be contracts and find that EVERYONE wants to dumb-down the rate (including me if I feel uneasy about having the level of work I want). My husband is a very strong advocate, believing so strongly in both me and our field, which helps a lot. I continuously work on educating about the VALUE first before money is ever discussed. Unfortunately, some people will always view us as the “music lady”. And they probably don’t even play an instrument. 🙂

    • Hi Leslie! I think a lot of people can relate to your challenges here. Thanks for commenting! Let’s all stand up together. “United we stand.” =)

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