Finding Grace for Myself and My Faults

I am my own worst critic.

Anyone else find that to be true? No other person ever seems to think that my failings are as catastrophic as I find them to be. I lie awake and think about every misstep that I have taken in my life and I end up in anxiety patterns that interrupt lots of other situations.

This seems to be a trend in those of us who are music therapists. We are naturally drawn to be with others. We love music so much that we want to share it with everyone in a way that allows those others to experience music with a therapeutic benefit. We constantly face skeptics and naysayers and people who think that they can do what we do because they have made a playlist. We fight for recognition in almost every interaction that we have with other people, and it can become exhausting. We often figure that our lack of recognition has much to do with our selves rather than with our society, and that is easy to personalize to the point of fatigue.

I have to stop and remind myself that I do what…

Tuesdays at Teachers Pay Teachers: 2 Learn Play and Grow

My featured resource today is a Teachers Pay Teachers store, 2 Learn Play and Grow. I have the Circle Songs Growing Bundle and have found lots of song suggestions in that particular file. I'm not going to use these with my current clientele due to the simplicity of the files, but I enjoy having these resources in my library for inspiration.

There are 17 free files offered on the site, and most of them have very little to do with my role as a music therapist, but are things that I could see using if I was teaching. The store does offer three free music-related resources - a Learning Letters Circle Time Song set, a set of songs for fall circle time, and a toothbrushing song set. I love free resources, and these are very visually engaging.

One of the best things about Teachers Pay Teachers (in my opinion) is that every time I browse, I end up with more TME ideas than I can accomplish. I can find lesson resources on almost any topic ever, and this always stirs my creative juices to the …

Synthesis Sunday: Winnicott - The Theory of the Parent-Infant Relationship

After a hiatus, I am getting back into my process of reading things and starting to look at them from my professional perspective. Inspired by several of the folks that I heard during the Online Conference for Music Therapy, I decided to FINALLY read Winnicott's writings about holding and relationships and every single thing I could find on the internet for free. (I don't have lots of extra money to be spending on subscriptions, and I could use my state library card to get access to more, but I'm not exactly sure how to do that, so I'm not going to dedicate time to that process right now...) The first thing that I found was an article that was written in 1960.

Winnicott, D.W. (1960). The Theory of the Parent-Infant Relationship1. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 41:585-595

It was free, so I have it printed out and am ready to start reading.

Here's what I know about Winnicott before starting to read all of this. Lots of people reference his writing, especially in the internationa…

Time to Buckle Down and Get Going

To-Do List:
Board of Directors Annual Meeting for OCMTMake file folder activities for MWRAMTA in AprilLaundryDishesVacuumCat BoxCat WaterBloggingMaking other things for MWRAMTA's booth Change filters in my waterSet up new work plannerWrite TMEs for May release - sing about mini editionPrepare talk to local high school for Monday at 1pmGrocery shopCook large meals and portion them out for freezingTaxesOrganize every little thing around me!!Sounds realistic for a three day weekend, right?

I like three day weekends better than longer vacations. Three days is enough to get lots of things done, and they tend to refresh me better than a week off. In a week, I just get into the habit of afternoon naps when it is time to head back to work. If I can get through two weeks of napping, I tend to saturate on naps and I want to go back to work. We don't get two weeks of vacation anymore so I never really feel completely rested. Anyway...

Three days is enough time to get a bit of rest and is al…

Ugh. Valentine's Day.

I am such a holiday Scrooge sometimes. I am not a fan of holiday hype of almost any kind, but I really don't like Halloween or Valentine's Day. I don't know why, but it's probably based in years of having to celebrate in an extroverted way - cards for everyone! Costumes and opening the doors and going to people's houses - not really something that I like a whole lot. 

I don't really get into too much celebration in the music therapy room. This may be because I really don't care about the holidays, but I also justify it in the fact that kids often get REALLY wrapped up in strong emotions around the holidays. (Wow, three "really"s in one paragraph...I need to get out my thesaurus!) If I'm going to spend some time and effort on coming up with something new to do in the month of February, I will usually focus on historical events or Groundhog's Day or something completely unrelated.

For me, the day will be a planning/preparation day at work. I d…

Ice Day - I'm Staying Home!: Thoughtful Thursday

I have always made it part of my pride that I was able to go to work even on the most snowy days. I used to spend the night at work when the weather was really bad so that I didn't have to get out and be a problem for the transportation department. I spent nights camped out on the music therapy room floor, somewhat comfortable on couch cushions borrowed from around the facility. I no longer do that.

Today I awoke to find that it was slick and icy outside. Now, I went to the transportation department's website where it indicated that all the roads that I take were "partially covered." Translation? There may have been a couple of treatments done, but nothing is clear yet. I went outside to check - sidewalks are very slick and the drive is also slick. There isn't much sense in trying to drive 50 miles when getting out the drive takes 15 minutes (it's 147 feet to the street). The folks on the street were not going very fast, so I opted for safety for myself and my…

When Illness is All Around You...

I am currently in the throes of my February ick - something I get every year at this time, something undefined and vague, but something that happens in February every single year. I went to the doctor last week and had a flu test (because that bug has descended upon my primary workspace) which came back negative (after starting a nosebleed that lasted for about 25 minutes). My clients have a combination of influenza and/or strep, and I'm actually thankful for my own kind of ick because a)no one has the same symptoms as me AT ALL, and b)this ick seems to protect me from the other forms of ick going around.

Now, here's where I stress the idea of using universal precautions.

The idea of universal precautions means that you treat the bodily fluids of every single person as possible sources of germs...which they are...and treat them the same way all the time. Hand washing, disinfecting surfaces and instruments, and wearing gloves when needed are basic ideas and tenets to this concept…