Synthesis Sunday: Pavlicevic's Chapter 10 - Meaning in Relationship

In Chapter 10 of Music therapy in context: Music, meaning and relationship, Mercedes Pavlicevic continues to discuss the perspective of the importance of relationship to the therapy process. She avers that you cannot completely separate music and the client from the client and therapist interaction. This supports what I've been telling interns for the past five years during intern webinars - without the music, the client, and the therapist, music therapy cannot happen. You have to have all three of these elements in place in order to have music therapy. Now, Pavlicevic didn't say this - I did, but I like it when I find something that supports what I believe about music therapy.


The rest of the chapter offers a perspective on psychodynamic theory and how music therapy fits within that perspective. I have to admit, this is not a theory that I am completely comfortable with - often the folks that I've met who practice within this framework have been very dismissive of m…


In my most recent posts, I've been lamenting the fact that I made a choice to get behind in my clinical documentation. Let me be COMPLETELY clear about this - I CHOSE to get behind, and I paid the consequences. I didn't do the work when I had the time to do the work, and I had to adapt and not get to do what I wanted to do because I (and ONLY I) made a choice.

I am happy to report that I am no longer behind in my documentation.

That's right. I finished all of my clinical notes. I am completely caught up with my professional responsibilities. I have 20 more sessions and 186 more notes to do before Winter Break, but that is the normal amount of notes and sessions that I do every week. I can get those done at the usual time (as long as I keep up with them the way I usually do...).

It is easy, isn't it, to find excuses for not doing the work that is expected of each of us. I'm a champion procrastinator, so I am used to putting things off, even when I know that it isn'…

The "Must Do" Rather Than the "Want To Do" List

I am a product of my behaviorist background when it comes to personal and professional management. I use incentives, reinforcers, and clear expectations for myself so I can get through the things that I must do and the things that I want to do. This is the basis of my "30 minutes on, 30 minutes off" chore process. I have to spend 30 minutes on something that I must do in order to get 30 minutes of time to do something that I want to do.

That's my plan for today - "30 minutes on, 30 minutes off" is my mantra for this Friday.

I made headway on the pile of documentation that I need to finish for the week, but I'm not finished yet. So, today will be a day of "30 minutes on, 30 minutes off" until all the notes are done. The problem is that I don't have much that I want to do that I can do at work. Maybe I'll spend some time playing the piano during my want to do times. Maybe not.

To organize myself, I will make my lists - my "Must Do" an…

Thoughtful Thursday: Searching for Interest in What I Have to Do Rather Than What I Want to Do!

I have a problem. It's not a major issue as far as life goes, but it is coloring everything I do lately.
I'm not interested.
Have you ever had a time when you just weren't interested in what you had to do? Now, I'm still interested in my clients, but the other stuff is boring me. I would rather sit and listen to music for my upcoming theme (Future/Dreams/Occupations) than do my documentation. I'm not interested in cleaning my office because I am too busy organizing my sensory closet (it looks BEAUTIFUL!!). I haven't spent much time in my administrative duties because I am too wrapped up in my creation process.

This could be a problem.

I know that putting off my documentation is something that will get me in the end. Documentation has to be done, so the list of classes that need to be finished is growing rather than shrinking. I will have to tackle that list specifically this morning and tomorrow as well in order to catch up. Since I chose to put off those notes, I…

General Updates of Things I Do...

Looking back over the school year at this point, I realize that I've tried several new things. I've found a bullet journal format that works for me for session strategizing, and I've also worked through including centers in some of my music therapy sessions. I've also included a "daily happiness" routine and attended some presentations and training about topics that are not part of my regular way of doing things. All of these things were challenging and fruitful. None of them were easy to find my way, but that's what life is - if it offers a challenge, I enjoy it. If it is too easy, I find it boring and not worth talking about.

Here are updates of where I am in my list of things that I do on a daily basis:
Bullet Journal Schedule Strategizing - On a weekly basis (usually on Friday afternoons), I sit down with my bullet journal and strategize for upcoming sessions. Right now, I am able to plan about 2-3 weeks out from the current session. I sit down, look at…

TME Tuesday: Button, Button

I missed a post yesterday because my computer decided it needed to upgrade to the new version of Windows, and, after two and a half hours of waiting, it was still only at 28% downloaded. I had to go. As a result, no mindbending post from me yesterday. (It's amazing how amazing I am in my own imagination!) Today, though, the computer is upgraded, and I have a game to share.

It's not fully fleshed out into a therapeutic music experience, but it is one of my Grandmother's favorite games, and I enjoy playing it with my students. When we play it in music therapy, I add a musical stimulus or beat for entrainment purposes. Other than that, it doesn't have any music paired with it. Make up your own song to go with the game. Enjoy!

Therapeutic Experience Button, Button Mary Jane Landaker, MME, MT-BC

Synthesis Sunday: Chapter Nine - Music in Dynamic Form and Dynamic Form in Music

It is Sunday again, and it is time to dive into the next chapter of Mercedes Pavlicevic's book, Music Therapy in Context: Music, Meaning and Relationship. Chapter nine, "Music in Dynamic Form and Dynamic Form in Music," begins with the reminder that musicality is innate and emotional in nature. We use sounds to communicate prior to the development of speech, and we learn to adapt sounds to let others know what we want or need. We have those "that's her sleepy cry" moments when we are getting to know infants.

"In clinical work, is usually the distortion of this innate musicality that is addressed, that points the way towards how the person can be brought towards a state of equilibrium and balanced flexibility, signalling a fully mutual expressive being." (p. 118)

Dynamic Form - "the intrinisically organised dynamic forms of emotions which are present from birth and generated in interpersonal relating" (p. 118).

So, when I place this tho…