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Session Details

W. Music Therapy Business Owners (MTBOs): Growing Pains & Grit
(Event: 2019 AMTA Conference - Innovate! Integrate! Motivate!)

Nov 21, 2019 9:30 am - Nov 21, 2019 12:30 pm
Session Type: Additional Course
Track: .


If you are a well-established music therapy business owner with employees, this training is for you.  Hear about lessons learned and growing pains experienced with the following topics: opening a brick & mortar, hiring and managing employees, systems and procedures, and finding grit to pursue your passion while striving for balance.


Objective #1: Participants will gain understanding of multiple approaches of effective business management tasks that are involved in effectively running an ethical business. (CBMT Domain IV. B. 16)

Objective #2: Participants will be able to state at least three  approaches of effective business management tasks that are involved in effectively running an ethical business. (CBMT Domain IV. B. 16)

Objective #3: Participants will demonstrate the ability to articulate the importance of effective communication and collaboration with other music therapists as well as other disciplines throughout the community in order to accurately represent, educate and advocate for the field of music therapy.  (CBMT Domain IV. B. 6, 7, 8, 12, 20)

Objective #4 Participants will engage in a self-care relaxation intervention which will provide them with various take away ideas that can be implemented into their own professional and personal practices.  (CBMT Domain IV. A. 1, 4,)


Hour 1:
20 minutes: Welcome & Intro of each MTBO:
-5 minute welcome/housekeeping for CMTE etc
-5 minutes: Christina
-5 minutes: Emily
-5 minutes: Erica

50 minutes: Hiring & Managing Employees
-Job Descriptions
-Making the Job Offer: setting the pay, benefits (AMTA, CMTEs, liability insurance, work comp, taxes, health insurance, retirement/IRAs, etc)
-Orientation Schedule
-Supervision & Training
- Boundaries and Ethical Leadership
-Office Coordinators: EF & CW: Tasks, role

-Different models: salary (EF), hourly flat rate (CW), hourly tiered rate (EW). Contract (CW)

-Ongoing check-ins & support
-Professional Development
-Documentation check-ins

-Informal support: team networking, music-making outside of work, journal club, team-
building (sailing, winery, going to hear live music together), employee recognition (birthdays, work anniversaries, shout-outs for good work), Holiday Celebrations (Christmas….what do you do?), Gift-Giving (Christmas party/food/events, gifts, SWAG, cash)

50 min Opening a Brick & Mortar:
-Finding a Place: Handicap accessible, Soundproofing, cost-effective, own vs rent,
-ORGANIZING the place: instruments, office supplies, furniture, desks, CONFIDENTIAL
files (clients & employees)
-Security: do you allow parents to leave? Do you lock doors when nobody is there?
-Paying the bills
-Cleaning---I’m not your mother! LOL
-Video tours of each of our places: 15 minutes (5 min each)
-Discussion: 10 minutes+

50 min: Systems & Procedures to Keep us Running Smoothly:
-Documentation: Google forms standardized for groups & 1:1s, Hospital/Hospice EMR as
-Scheduling: Google Calendars (CW)
-Timecards: Google Sheets created by HRMT (CW)
-PTO Requests
-Checkout system for equipment
-Discussion: 10 min+

Closing-self-care experiential session (if there’s time.  Otherwise self-care tips and discussion)

10 min: BREAK = 3 hours total




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