A couple weekends ago some very monumental things happened for The Musical Autist. First, we pulled off THREE hugely successfully Sensory Friendly Concerts on the same day. Then when CJ got home from the SFC in Maryland, she found out that WE GOT OUR TRADEMARK!!
This means we are now registered with the US national trademark office and we can use the ® symbol instead of the ™ symbol. It also means that we have the legal right to sue the organizers of any event promoting itself as a “Sensory Friendly Concert” if they are doing so without our consent. We sure hope that never happens!!
Why did our organization do this? Because we are protecting our opportunities in the field of Music Therapy. These are opportunities which more specifically fall within the category of “Community Music Therapy.” It means that ANY credentialed music therapist can facilitate a Sensory Friendly Concert® under our supervision. It means that these are the ONLY people who we will allow to organize these events. (If you are an MT-BC (or WFMT equivalent) go here to find out more.)
Our mission is for Sensory Friendly Concerts® to happen around the world, and in every single one of these events that people of neurodiversity would be respected, accommodated, and given a platform for self-advocacy!
And that’s exactly what happened in our SFCs a couple weeks ago. In Indiana, we made it on the evening news and in the local newspaper for such an innovative and progressive concept. In New Jersey, they had a huge turnout for their first SFC and Community Music Therapy Team members there are already planning their next one. Here in Maryland, our SFC was truly a benchmark for us. Our professional performing artists also happened to be Maryland music therapists! We had our very own Nadine Wobus and Carolyn Sonnen performing. CJ put it this way, “for myself and many other music therapists, these are the shoulders we stand on.” Both Nadine and Carolyn have been frontrunners of the music therapy field since the 1970’s. Carolyn was a dear friend of the late Helen Bonny and brings a wealth of experience and insight to her performances. Nadine has been a fearless champion for disability rights within the music therapy field and our community at large, for decades. CJ is extremely honored to have these two on board the Community Music Therapy Team.
For the next six months CJ, Sunny, and others on our Board of Directors will be hard at work in several different projects, including the development of online courses which will give music therapists everything they need to facilitate Sensory Friendly Concerts® in their own communities. We want to advocate for the Neurodiversity Movement as it pertains to autistic rights and acceptance within our society, and we firmly believe that our first steps in this work will be to educate music therapists to this end, in order to serve their clients and their communities in new and innovative ways.
Join us in our efforts by signing up for our monthly newsletter, and let us help you get connected with a credentialed music therapist near you!