World Music Therapy Week – 10 th – 15 th April
The World Federation of Music Therapy has voted in favor of a World Music Therapy Week (WMTW), to take place from 10 th to 15 th April each year. During World Music Therapy Week, music therapists and supporters are encouraged to engage in activities that increase awareness of and advocacy for music therapy. World Music Therapy Week also serves to highlight the global connectedness of music therapy, which can be especially important for developing countries.
Awareness weeks are common throughout the world and provide opportunities for people to choose a day or days, within the week (or perhaps building up to the week), that they might engage in an advocacy activity. In moving from a day to a week the WFMT does not anticipate that it will be necessary for music therapists to engage in more tasks, or expend more time and energy, than we did for Music Therapy Day. Rather we believe the week will provide us with more flexibility to choose a day or days within the week that we might execute our tasks.
The process of choosing an international music therapy day, week, or month that works for universities and other relevant workplaces and does not coincide with other important awareness days or anniversaries, has been complex. We have worked hard to ensure that the dates we have chosen will not cause further harm. However, we recognise that there cannot be a perfect solution, and that in addition to complications we know of, there may be more that we have not uncovered.
However, as a global organization, we have gathered a variety of international perspectives and it seems that holding Music Therapy Week from 10th – 15th April will provide a positive solution which does the least harm to our members. We have also chosen dates that we think will be easy to remember. We believe six days provides enough time/space for multiple reflections, collaborations, and/or events, and allows people to turn their awareness to other activities/causes on a particular day/s should they choose to.
Disability Day of Mourning
Music Therapy Week will replace World Music Therapy Day, previously held on the 1 st of March. The 1 st of March continues as the Disability Day of Mourning. On this day, the World Federation of Music Therapy encourages music therapists to stand by their disabled colleagues and clients, to remember people with disabilities murdered by their families, and to reflect on ableist issues that exist within societies, and within our own profession.
We are deeply sorry for the harm that has been caused by the previous coinciding of World Music Therapy Day and the Disability Day of Mourning, and extremely grateful to the people who have engaged with us, helped us to listen and learn, and to find a new way forward.
Dr. Anita L Swanson
World Federation of Music Therapy