In this episode, Brad breaks down the seven themes and ideas he found from his Facebook post about fighting systematic racism in our field. We talk about how we can evolve and stay accountable as Music Therapists during this transformative time in world history.

Brad is a full-time music therapist with Institute for Therapy through the Arts (ITA) in Chicago, IL. Brad completed coursework for his bachelors in Music Therapy from Eastern Michigan University (EMU) in 2016 before moving to Chicago to complete his Music Therapy internship at ITA in 2017. Brad is a current student in the Foundations Certificate program with the Existential-Humanistic Institute in the bay area of California studying existential-humanistic psychotherapy and a current graduate student in the Masters in Music Therapy and Counseling program at Slippery Rock University of Pennsylvania.

Find Brad on Facebook and email him at

Find the original Facebook post here.

The 7 Themes:

“1. There is too much in the way of performative displays of allied support on social media without tangible, actionable steps toward change. This was expressed by many as a concern that conversation is “actionless” and “self-serving.”

2. There is a growing interest from white music therapists in gathering and developing resources, education, and support groups on white fragility, white accountability, and “how to be an ally.”

3. White music therapists need to balance 1) standing back to listen to and lift BIPOC voices in our field, and 2) not leaning on the overwhelmed minority of BIPOC music therapists for support and guidance – of needing to “figure it out ourselves.” This includes differing thoughts and opinions on acting, listening, and “doing both.”

4. An emphasis from many on working to avoid engaging in “white saviorism.” This includes taking caution with art- and music-making as a public display of support for BIPOC.

5. Systemic racism in the field of music therapy starts in our university programs, which are founded on the hegemony of Western-classical music traditions, provides little support in the way of scholarships and financial aid for marginalized groups in bachelors, masters, and internship education opportunities, and which struggles to integrate cultural education and diversity into coursework, research, and curriculums. This also generated some discussion regarding master’s level entry (MLE) in music therapy and its relationship with a lack of diversity in the field.

6. Music therapists are struggling to keep practices and business open during the pandemic, which affects their ability to engage meaningfully and frequently in social justice, activism, and dialogue about systemic racism in our field.

7. An expressed need to build comfortability with addressing the subject of systemic racism and injustice with music therapy clients and engaging the voices of those whom music therapists serve in the discussion on the topic of race in music therapy.”


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