Breathing is Difficult Again, But Things are Still Happening

The heat and humidity are climbing again, and my breathing is more and more difficult. I had to leave work last week because of not being able to breathe, so I took my nebulizer to work yesterday, and I'll be doing treatments once I get to my office this morning. With the treatments, I tend to get sleepy (even though it is supposed to hype me up), so this should be an interesting therapy day.

We are FINISHING the Carnival of the Animals this week. I'm glad that I decided to do this theme-based summer session series because it has given me a framework. I haven't had to plan too much because I had the music of Mr. Saint-Saens to be my structure. I have managed to get the concept of music therapy centers into the heads of my fellow staff members and my students, and the centers seem to be going well. I also have found ways to turn the theme into the TMEs that my clients appear to need as part of their therapy process. I am ready to finish this theme, however. It is time to get…

TME Tuesday: The Allergy Song

TME Tuesday - the picture with the sheet music didn't transfer - if you are interested in getting a copy of the melody, let me know in the comments.

Happy Tuesday, all!

Over 12 Hours Late

You know how you can start the day out with all sorts of good intentions and then one thing happens that interrupts all of that?

It happened to me today.

I was up, I was ready to go, I was organizing my day at work and getting ready to blog at the computer when it happened. The tell-tale sparkles that I get when it is time for a migraine headache. Basically, before the headache starts, I get what is called an "ocular migraine." This is my warning system that tells me what is coming, but it has an interesting side effect. Basically, I go blind for a bit.

I was ready for work. I had spent the weekend in bed between breathing treatments, and I needed to get out and about, but it wasn't in the cards for today. So, I called in with the proviso that I might make it, and took my medicine. I went back to bed where I knew I would be able to stay somewhat safe (surrounded by pillows and blankets) until my vision cleared.

Three hours later, I was still having difficulty focusing my eye…

Just a Song Sunday: Matching the Song to a Client

Did you know, that as music therapists, we have inner knowledge of an amazing therapeutic medium that can be shaped and adapted to any and all clients with a modicum of effort?

Of course you did. You are a fellow music therapist who has studied music theory, psychology, neurology, and the theory of music therapy.

Can you explain what you are doing with the music during a therapeutic music experience to support your client in his or her goal attainment? Do you think about it or do you just do it?

I go between just going on instinct and really analyzing the music I am engaged with during sessions, but I can often identify the ways that I shift the music to either lead clients or follow clients. I know when I am matching the tempo of the music to a behavioral indication. I know when I am changing the tempo and the volume of the music presentation to assist a client in calming. I know when my music just isn't working with the group of clients that are before me. I (eventually) know when …

It's Almost Newsletter Time!!

One of the things that I set out to do this year was to start a newsletter for music therapists. It is almost time for the second edition to be released (July 31 is the launch date!). Right now, it's not very sophisticated, but it is all mine!!

I enjoy projects like newsletters and have been trying to figure out how to get one of my own off the ground since I started my website in 1996! I have finally begun to just do the things that I've been dreaming about for many years, and it feels really good to get something started.

I am still figuring out things like MailChimp and subscription pop-ups, so bear with me as I engage in a learning situation that challenges me. If you are interested in subscribing to this quarterly newsletter, here's the link. I include things like a therapeutic music experience, something to make or get through the website, a blog article, and a tool that I've found to be beneficial in my music therapy practice. There's also a calendar for upcom…

Thoughtful Thursday: TIna Turner and Care for Self

I am in search of something inspirational this morning. These days I don't hear much that I like on the news, so I am avoiding it. I've reached the end of the videos that the iPod will store, so I am going to be diving into my queue of podcasts for something that won't be a downer but will engage my brain in something other than the place where it is right now.

My desk is messy right now, so it's been difficult to see the quote box I received from Music Therapy Mailings a while back (that reminds me, I need to re-up my subscription to that service. I like it lots!) I went digging for it this morning, trying to find a thought that would keep me going through this very hot, very group-filled day. Tina Turner came to the rescue.

My friend, the art therapist at work, went home on Tuesday with the beginnings of bronchitis. She lasted half the day, but started to get sick after the first three sessions of the day. She talked to me about 30 minutes about needing to go home, but…

The Way I Fixed My Therapeutic Music Experience Writing

Gather 'round, all, to hear a tale of music therapy education many years ago.

Once upon a time, when I was a younger person, I entered school to become a music therapist. While I was there, I became what is known as a practicum student, engaging in learning about how to be a music therapist by working with clients and fellow student therapists in weekly sessions. I struggled with these practicum settings, as so many student music therapists do. In my five settings, I had five very different supervisors, all who had very different ideas of what I should be doing in my sessions, and worse of all for me, in my paperwork.

We, of course, had ONE way to write therapeutic music experiences (TMEs) - by the way, back then we called them "applications" which was an upgrade from the term "activities." I now call them TMEs because I feel that term more accurately describes what I try to write for myself and for my fellow music therapists. TANGENT!!

The problem with having onl…