Hello readers, this is CJ, Director of The Musical Autist. Have you noticed that our last blog post was back in April? Are you thinking – where have we been? What’s going on are we still doing Sensory Friendly Concerts?
The answer is YES. But we’ve been silent here on the blog for long enough that I feel I owe an explanation. Three major unexpected things have been happening this year, which prompted me to put blog writing on the back-burner. First, and most of you who know me personally already know, my husband was diagnosed with cancer at the end of February. That alone basically tried to steal our March through May, though I’m happy to say we won the fight and my sweetheart is cancer-free and pretty much back to his healthy self. Secondly, there’s been such awesome growth in my private practice, Shiloh Center Music Therapy Services, LLC, I hired two employees, both Board Certified Music Therapists. We extended our services between Annapolis, Baltimore and three surrounding counties. Thirdly, my hubby and I bought a farm last August so this Spring/Summer has been super busy settling into our new digs. “Farm” you say? “I thought you were in Baltimore, Annapolis, DC region? Are there actually farms there?” Well, it’s a little 3 acre property on a busy thoroughfare, it’s what you’d call an “Urban Farm” these days. We’ve got big plans for this little place and one day I’ll start a blog about that too. But for now, it’s time to rev up the blogging engines on this site again! And here’s why.
1. WE FINALLY GOT OUR 501(c)3 STATUS!!! That means that The Musical Autist is now an official nonprofit organization (it always has been, but now the IRS recognizes it as such), which means we can start applying for grant money and doing some fundraising so that Sensory Friendly Concerts can serve more and more local autism communities around the globe.
2. I’M PUBLISHED!!! My article with Dr. Blythe LaGasse about SFCs, Neurodiversity and Community Music Therapy was published in the International Journal of Community Music. You can find it and read the abstract here. Many of our readers are music therapists or other autism professionals and if that’s you, I bet you’re as excited as I am to have this information dispersed in academia, which helps to prove the validity, efficacy, and novelty of what Sensory Friendly Concerts are truly all about. Those of you who are community musicians, self-advocates, parents and caregivers, you will also enjoy reading the article. If you read it, please let me know! Leave a comment here or on our FB page.
So as you can see, things are still very much moving forward with The Musical Autist this year… it’s just been primarily behind the scenes. What’s the next step from here? I’m developing an online course for music therapists and community musicians, which will enable them to facilitate Sensory Friendly Concerts in a way that falls in line with the way it’s been trademarked. This course will be offered on Summit Music Therapy Services website. I don’t have a launch date quite yet (originally it was April, but see the first paragraph for explanation of why that didn’t happen), but my goal is to have the course go live before November.
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