January is Music Therapy Social Media Advocacy Month, and this year we are selecting and sharing songs that could serve as an advocacy song for our profession. Before choosing my song, I wanted to consider the American Music Therapy Association’s definition of an advocate. In their words, “a successful advocate is someone with passion and commitment to an idea, who tells a convincing story expressing their beliefs and passion.” With this in mind, I selected the song “Sing” originally by My Chemical Romance as my advocacy song of choice.
I believe the song showcases a passion for singing out in any circumstance, despite any adversity that may stand in the way. Music therapists similarly need to speak out to anyone who will listen to further inform the world about our profession. While music therapy has been an established, credentialed profession for many decades, many people still have not heard of music therapy or the many benefits it can provide. Through advocacy efforts, music therapists can continue to educate their communities and increase accessibility to music therapy services.
The chorus of the song mentions singing for all (the boys, the girls, the Deaf, the blind, to name a few). As music therapists, we should “sing” for, and more importantly, sing with, those who may have difficulty standing up for themselves. We advocate not only for our profession, but for the rights of our clients. Another stand-out section of the song comes in the second verse, where the band sings, “You’ve got to make the choice if the music drowns you out. And raise your voice every single time they try and shut your mouth.” Music therapists have to carry on with our advocacy efforts even when other professions, legislation, or members of the community may try to silence our words. Music therapists must persevere to continually speak up for the importance and validity of our profession.
I think “Sing” encapsulates this overall sentiment of standing up for your beliefs quite well. “Sing” was also covered on the hit show Glee, which provides a pop-style arrangement that further popularized the song. My Chemical Romance gives the song an alternative rock feel, and the intensity of the emotion behind the lyrics really shines through. I encourage you to listen to the full song from the link below!
Valerie Kamen, Senior Intern