Session Planning

I started the day yesterday with no idea what I was going to do in my group sessions.

Let me explain a bit about what it is that I do. I provide 60 minutes of music therapy for every classroom per week so "teachers can get their plan time." There are no other guidelines offered by my administration, so I have freedom in what I do with my students when they arrive. I just have to keep them for 60 minutes. I have some basic treatment guidelines, but nothing really very formal. Music therapy is considered an "educational enrichment" service at the school - something offered for the benefit of students, but without requirements to be tied to the IEPs of clients (fortunately - I don't think I could handle attending 110 IEPs every year and the paperwork would be extremely daunting - ugh). My basic treatment guidelines are to address impulse control, social interactions, appropriate communication of wants and needs, and frustration tolerance/coping skill development. U…

Music-Filled Monday

It is Monday, and I am trying to adjust to the facts that I've not been sleeping well and that I have to go to work. It's interesting that I can't sleep on weekdays, but I have no problem sleeping on weekends. Maybe I'm becoming more like my mother than I want to admit - she had anxiety-related issues with going to work.

Anyway, I've been thinking about what the day will have in store for me and for my clients. I have no idea of what I'll do during sessions, but something will come to me. Last week, we played music therapy games and made music using hand-held percussion instruments. Next week is the Musician of the Month reveal, but this week has no real direction - yet.

I always strive to fill my sessions with as much music and making music as possible, but I have lots of adolescents who actively resist making music in front of their peers. I don't push them into making music, but it gets lonely when they don't want to sing, and I do. Some of my groups e…

Just A Song Sunday: William Sears - Part One - Introduction

I am continuing my quest back into the basics of music therapy (as I was taught about them). My educational foundation is that of E. Thayer Gaston and William W. Sears - their writings in 1968 form the groundwork of what I believe to be true about music therapy. Even after 24 years of professional experience, lots of graduate coursework, and reading many many theories, outlooks, and opinions about music therapy, I still feel that Gaston and (ESPECIALLY) Sears are my bedrock of belief about music as therapeutic medium.

It's funny, but I didn't realize how many of us music therapists out there weren't exposed to these two writers during our educations. My interns have really broadened my own awareness of the differences between educational programs, and I really like to know what introductory texts they were exposed to - the decades of work have led to many more textbooks than were available when I was a student. Even with therapists my own age, many were not exposed to the s…

News, News, Newsletter!

I am going to do something that I've wanted to do for a long time - start a newsletter! If this is something you might be interested in, please head to this page to sign up.

I am going to start slowly - newsletters every three months. There will be four pages in this first edition (scheduled to be released on April 30, 2017). I want to include information from all of my music therapy interests, including therapeutic music experiences (TMEs) and everything else that I like doing for the greater music therapy community.

If you are interested in hearing a bit more about what I do over here at the website, this is an opportunity for you! I hope that you will sign up for the newsletter.

That's it for now. I'm going to get ready for my Online Conference for Music Therapy Board meeting and a day of picking things up off the floor! Newsletter edition 1:1 is coming soon! Please sign up.

Personality Thoughts

My friend (who happens to be the art therapist at my full-time job) and I have been talking about personality quite a bit lately. She's been speaking to another friend (who I will get to meet in about two weeks at an art/faith retreat run by my friend) about two of the characteristics of the Myers Briggs personality inventory - intuitive/sensing.

I am someone who waffles between two types. My mother feels that the fact that I am not easily typed is just part of my overall experience with life - she says that, even as an infant, I had my emotional cycles that somewhat mystified her, but that we figured out. She states that I am moon child in many different ways. When we had our types analyzed using a full-scale test, the person who scored the test said that I scored exactly in between the thinking/feeling scale, so she felt that she needed to meet me. Once she did, she still couldn't figure out where I landed on the thinking/feeling scale, so she told me that I was both and woul…
Today is the culmination of months of planning - The Luau at the Zoo. We made it through this super-secret planning time with only three students asking questions. One made a statement that the luau was today. I am really looking forward to next year when the super-secret special event (S-SSE) will NOT be a luau. Then, when students say things like, "The luau is tomorrow," I will be able to honestly say, "Nope. There is no luau tomorrow." It won't take our day students long before they figure us all out and change their terminology, but we'll have them snockered for a year or two.

We have two bouncy things. One is an alligator where students will enter through the mouth and exit out of the tail (I find that really funny, for some reason). The other has a couple of slides, a secret pathway, and two basketball-type goals. I don't envy the person who has to be in that thing to provide supervision. (I cannot tolerate constant movement without getting sick wh…

I'm Getting Lazy About Self-Care...and It Shows

This is one of those times when I am slacking on my self-care, and it is starting to take its toll on me. I can tell. Some of this self-care issue is schedule-based. It's been a busy couple of weeks. The complicated schedule continues with special events, lots of appointments, and things that need to be done NOW to accommodate the schedules of others. Most of this will be over by Thursday, but not all of it. I need to take time to do what I know needs to be done, and I will start out on a healthier path of care of self and others.

One of the things that I am striving to do in my quest back to self-care is making music just for me.

That isn't enough, though.

I have a day off on Friday which will include a visit to the car dealer for a recall repair. I'm a bit nervous about that because the lady who scheduled it said that they wouldn't let me just wait in the lobby, but would have to take me somewhere else. I'm not sure why that is, but I guess I will get into the van a…