Category Archives: Books and Resources

The Open Movement and Education – Part Two (Copyright)

This is my second in a series of blog posts about the “Open” movement and education.  Here’s a link for those of you who missed reading Part One – The “Open” movement(s) and education – can they work together?.  Having discussed some of the motivations for both sides of the “Open” movement, it is time to address another important issue – copyright.

Copyright legislation and education have a long and connected history.  Authors and publishers of educational content have, very rightly, used copyright to protect their ideas and their material from theft and illegal use with and without profit.  Enter – the digital age.  Materials and new educational resources are no longer predominantly printed, now they can literally be any type of media including media such as videos, blog posts, webinars, proprietary software, etc.  In addition, these various types of media are being created and shared by individuals from around the world.  Copyright legislation could not keep up and many thought that there had to be a better way.

Indeed, a better way was found – Creative Commons (CC) licensing.  In early 2001, three individuals founded a non-profit organization called Creative Commons.  It allowed ordinary individuals and organizations to license their digital work(s) in a variety of ways, with legally binding licenses in a wide range of countries, for free.  Most revolutionary, in my opinion, was the opportunity that individuals had to license their works/intellectual property in a variety of ways.  These included:  commercial and non-commercial, as an exact duplicate or modified content/repurposed content, with attribution and without attribution, for educational use and/or public use.  Obtaining a copyright was, in contrast, time intensive, costly, and singular in scope – the various options available to the Creative Commons licensee were not available to the copyright holder.

By 2008, according to Wikipedia, there were an estimated 130 million works licensed under Creative Commons.  Since then, the number of licenses has grown tremendously with some major social platforms such as Flickr and YouTube allowing you to attribute a CC license to your picture or videos respectively.  Indeed, the addition of CC licensing on YouTube has already resulted in at least 10,000 new videos for public use and resuse!

If you are a music therapist with videos on YouTube – consider assigning your older and new videos a Creative Commons license to:          a)  better protect your video and its’ content from theft and piracy, and b) ensure that people can use it in educational and continuing         education contexts

Courses, such as those found on MoodleCommons.org, developed with Learning Management Systems (LMS) such as Moodle also allow you to assign CC licenses.  Finally, you can assign a CC license to your blog postings, on platforms such as WordPress, and to Wikipedia entries.

Many people, as well as myself,  rightly feel that this is a tremendous step forward in the development of open education and open resources,  There is, however, one area where CC licensing is challenged – evaluation of the resource in question.  Just because you can post something then assign it a CC license does not mean that the content is accurate or trustworthy.  Using the previous method of protection, namely copyrighting something, meant that your content had been peer reviewed for accuracy (i.e.  in a proprietary journal or a book edited by a known authoritative figure in that particular field).  With widespread sharing of content, blogging, and CC licensing, anyone, from anywhere, can post something that may or may not be accurate.  The contentious, and very public,  debate found in this recent blog (and its’ commentary) is but one example of how issues may now by skewed in one direction or the other direction for both honest and/or negative purposes.

So should we scrap CC licensing?  Definitely not!  How then, can we ensure that content published under a CC license is accurate?  In my next posting, in this series on the “Open” movements, I am going to suggest the creation and use of official digital repositories.  In the meantime, please feel free to comment and reflect on this posting.

Related Links

Adding a Creative Commons license to a YouTube video

Adding a Creative Commons license to a WordPress blog

Using Creative Commons licensed photos on Flickr

 

John Lawrence MMT, MTA

For the record – I am a music therapist with over 15 years experience in clinical settings, predominantly involving geriatric clients.  I obtained my Master’s degree in Music Therapy from Temple University in 1995 and have subsequently served in a wide range of appointments and positions related to the field of music therapy.  For the past 8 yrs I have served as a sessional instructor in music therapy at a number of post-secondary institutions and most recently served as chairperson for the first Online Conference for Music Therapy (OCMT2011) held in March 2011.  You can reach me using:  E-mail:  jlmt@telus.net, Twitter@JLisaMT, FacebookJohn Lawrence and LinkedIn:  John Lawrence MMT, MTA.

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Filed under Books and Resources, Business Tools, Education, Global Education, Music Therapy, Open Platforms/Software, Organizations, Pedagogy, PR/Advertising, Web 2.0 Tools

Can you feel it?

There is a definite buzz in the air about music therapy!  Can you feel it?

I’m not sure how it started, I only know why – because music therapy works!  Recently, music therapy has been all over the airwaves, the news, in books and in a feature length Hollywood film.  And yet, as a recent discussion on the MUSTHP-L listserv highlighted, many music therapists continue to have to describe and defend their work on a daily basis.  Why is that?  Here are some of my thoughts as well as observations from a student in my “Introduction to Music Therapy” class from this past semester.

1.  Music is universal

The universality of music is wnquestionable.  It has existed in every known culture since the beginning of man even though, curiously, it has no “inherent survival value” like food or shelter  (Davis, Gfeller, Thaut. 2008).  This is both a blessing and a detriment to the understanding of the term, “music therapy (MT)”.  Yes, people understand the term, “music” but that has become synonymous with “entertainment” in today’s modern culture.  Hence, when people hear about MT they immediately think that it is something that is entertaining, not healing – at least in the medical sense.  As one of the class members described,

“I knew from my personal experience with music that it moved me, however I did not know how in depth music therapy really was.”

(A.B.  Used with permission)

2.  Music works with all age groups

Music therapists work with all age groups, from infants in the uterine environment to adults in the last stage of their life.  How can something that works with such a vast range of clients, work in reality?  When music therapy began as an organized profession, it initially began with a psychological focus.  Since that time, specialty areas within the field have grown and expanded tremendously.  Hence, increasingly, music therapists are choosing to work with a particular clientele, rather than attempting to work with a variety of clients, throughout the lifespan.    Some of these include:   work with premature infants (NICU-MT),  neurological rehabilitation (NMT), Nordoff-Robbins Music Therapy (NR-MT), Therapeutic Drumming, Music and Imagery (Bonny Method of GIM) and Community Music Therapy (CMT).

3.  Music therapists train extensively and must pass rigorous examination

Just as you wouldn’t want to see a doctor who has never attended medical school, you shouldn’t see someone who is calling themselves a music therapist without the proper training.  Sadly, at this time, there is no means of legally protecting the title “music therapist” in either Canada or the United States.  There are ways, however, to determine whether an individual has completed the requisite education and professional training.

In order to become a music therapist, individuals must first complete four years of undergraduate training in music therapy.  This is the minimal standard and many music therapists continue onto graduate level education.  They must also complete an internship of approximately six months duration (1000-1050 hours in North America).  Only then, may they apply to become a Music Therapist Accredited (MTA – Canada) or a Music Therapist – Board Certified (MT-BC, USA).  Before granting these designations, a music therapist must complete additional examinations.  In addition, those designations are only maintained by the ongoing completion of continuing education related to professional practice and skills.

Being a part of their national and/or regional association also means that a music therapist must abide by professional standards of practice and a code of professional ethics.  When a music therapist agrees to take you on as a client, you begin a professional relationship, not a casual or friendly relationship.  As such, there is specific protection of things such as:  patient-therapist confidentiality and protection from abuse in the relationship (financial, physical, emotional, psychological and sexual). By all means, check out your music therapists and ask them about their credentials.  They should be happy to share these with you!

So what can we do as music therapists to improve your understanding of music therapy amongst the general public?

1.  Maintain our memberships in national and regional music therapy associations.

2.  Making the promotion of music therapy a priority in our national and regional music therapy associations.

3.  Open up our newsletters and research to the public through use of vehicles such as YouTube, Blogs, and Creative Commons licensing instead of keeping them locked away behind “member only” walls and proprietary journals.

4.  Continue to respond to questions about the topic – “What is music therapy?” even though we are sometimes “sick” of having to describe and defend our profession.

References

Davis, W. B., Gfeller, K. E, & Thaut, M. H.  (2008).  An introduction to music therapy:  Theory and practice (3rd ed.).  Silver Spring, MD:  American Music   Therapy Association, p. 17.

How can we improve your understanding of music therapy?

Please feel free to comment below.

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Filed under Books and Resources, Clinicial Skills, Introductions, Music Therapy

What’s on your reading list?

I am a dedicated life-long learner.  There, I said it!  I can’t go a day without finding something that peaks my interest and curiosity.  Today it might be a new web page, tomorrow a new piece of software, an infographic or newly released book about an aspect of music therapy.  Sometimes I find something useful, other times I find that something doesn’t really apply.  The point is, I am always looking for ways to improve and enhance my professional practice and knowledge and – that can’t be bad!

So what are some of the tools that I use and what are some of the recent books that I have read?  For things internet, I lean heavily on a few blogs and a tool called StumbleUpon.  It depends on users to literally “stumble” across and promote websites that they like using their web browser.  I also use information gleaned from the postings on Twitter, organized and monitored by the TweetDeck application (there are also other Twitter feed aggregators such as HootSuite and Twitter for Mac).  Finally, I listen to a variety of podcasts such as the Music Therapy Roundtable and the Music Therapy Show with Janice Harris.

For new textbooks and resources about music therapy I depend on e-mail notifications from some of the major publishers such as JKP – Jessica Kingsley Publishers, Barcelona Press that was started and may still be owned by Ken Bruscia, and publication lists from major music therapy associations such as AMTA and Nordoff-Robbins.

I also seek out resources that are useful in my business.  I have been in private practice where you are chief cook, bottlewasher, promoter, accountant….  You get the picture.  A very useful book that I found helped me to focus and get organized was Scott Belsky’s, Making Ideas Happen.  It is specifically aimed at us creative types and has very practical and useful suggestions.  I’ve also been reading Rework by Jason Fried and David Heinemeier Hansson, founders of the very successful internet company called 37signals.  This book encourages you to “keep it simple” and “underdo your competition”.  It is a radical departure from the normal “do it better, do it smarter” type of business guidebooks. 

Finally, I recently took the opportunity to read a book about, but not about, music therapy entitled, Sing Me Home by Jodi Picoult. Several other music therapists have written reviews of this book (see the links below), that may also become movie.  It features a music therapist as one of the lead characters.

I found it a compelling read, not because of its’ advocacy of gay rights but rather because of its’ depiction of the field of musictherapy and clinical practice.  The American Music Therapy Association listserv (MUSTHP-L) has recently had a very active discussion entitled, “I think that my in-laws finally know what I do” started by M. G. that discusses the fact that we [music therapists] still often find our work misunderstood and incorrectly described.  In the book Sing You Home, I think that Ms. Picoult does a decent job of describing how music therapy works, especially as it relates to her work with Lucy, another main character in the story.

Reviews of the book by music therapists

1.  Kimberly Sena Moore (The Music Maven) – http://www.musictherapymaven.com/book-review-sing-you-home/

2.  Rachel Rambach (ListenLearnMusic) – http://listenlearnmusic.com/2011/03/friday-fave-sing-you-home-by-jodi-picoult.html

3.  Life in Harmony Music Therapy – http://www.facebook.com/pages/Life-In-Harmony-Music-Therapy-LLC/150845808287240?sk=info

These are just a few of the reviews by music therapists specifically.


So what’s in your reading list?

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Filed under Books and Resources, Business Tools, Clinicial Skills, Education, Music Therapy, Open Platforms/Software, Web 2.0 Tools

Welcome to my new blogging site!

I am beginning a new journey under the banner of MusicTherapy365.  This doesn’t mean that you will get a post everyday, simply that music therapy is an aspect of my life I cannot ignore, on a daily basis.

Who Am I?

My name is John Lawrence.  I am a music therapist and educator from Canada where I have been in private practice for the past 15 years.  My professional interests include:  Music therapy (MT) with geriatric clients and persons with Alzheimer’s type dementia, Neurological Music Therapy (NMT) and the historical and developing world of MT.  As an educator, I am interested in Online learning, Web. 2.0 and 3.0, Hybrid educational environments, Open software and open platforms, and social networking communities such as Twitter and LinkedIn.

What do I expect to achieve by blogging?

I’m very glad that you asked!  As I indicated above, “I am interested in the historical and developing world of music therapy“.  I am also a lifelong learner who likes to share what I have found.  I am hoping that my blog will allow you to better connect with, and understand the world of music therapy.  I also hope that it will become a valuable resource for current and aspiring music therapists as I share technological and innovative solutions for clinical and business issues that arise from time to time.

What are my credentials?

These days, anyone can start a blog and write about anything that interests them.  That said, I do have some specific qualifications that provide justification for this new endeavour.  I have been a music therapist in private practice for the past 15 years after obtaining a Master’s of Music Therapy degree from Temple University.  I have been instructing an “Introduction to Music Therapy” course at several post-secondary institutions and have found that I relish the opportunity to share my knowledge and skills as a teacher.  I have chaired, and will be chairing, the organizing committee for the Online Conference for Music Therapy (OCMT).  If those mean nothing to you as credentials, then I will simply say – I’m a bit of a rebel from Edmonton, AB CANADA who likes to “stir things up”!

That’s it for now – stay tuned for further blog postings.  If you need to reach me in the meantime, here are some possibilities:

John Lawrence MMT, MTA
Edmonton, AB
CANADA
 
E-mail:  jlmt@telus.net
Alternative E-mail:  john.lawrence@capitalcare.net
Facebook:  John Lawrence
Twitter:  @JLisaMT
LinkedIn:  John Lawrence MMT, MTA
 
 

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Filed under Books and Resources, Business Tools, Clinicial Skills, Conferences, Introductions, Music Therapy, Organizations, Pedagogy