Making Stuff

It's been some time since I've made something that I can share here on this blog, but never fear! My brain is churning around and around as I am planning my summer themed sessions, working on content for various and sundry webinars, and getting some CMTE courses pulled together. I am thinking about making some cardboard animal finger puppets for my Carnival of the Animals summer theme, but I'm not sure if I will get them finished before June 5th (the first day of the summer session).

The other thing that has been making me think about doing more pictures is my recent time on Pinterest. (Never good when I am tired and yearning for vacation! Everything on there makes me feel more tired. I should just STOP!) Anyway, I am getting ready for some time at home where I hope to clean out (still) and create.

I brought my laminator home from work last night to get ready to create some course content for my newly approved course offerings. Are you wondering what a laminator would have t…

Getting Ready to Say Goodbye

Today is graduation day at my school, and we have five graduates getting ready to transition to adulthood and the next chapter of their lives. Graduation is always a bittersweet day at my school because sometimes our graduates know what they are going to do away from us, and sometimes they do not.

As anyone who works with students knows, getting them ready to go out and away from the learning environment can be a stressful time for both student and teacher. Questions abound - "Did they learn what they need to learn to successful out there?" "Will they be able to make it?" "Did I teach them what they need to know?" Only time will tell.

Today, we will celebrate the ways that these clients have grown and learned during the years that they have been with us. After the ceremony, we will all have a barbecue (interesting, I always spell that with a "q", but spell-check doesn't like that). Most of my students who are not graduating are more interested…

Last Day of Therapy at School

Today is my last day of therapy for the 2016-2017 school year. After today, I have a day and a half of planning and cleaning to go through before school is out for our early summer break. I've spent some time thinking about my summer sessions, and I am going to start figuring out what I am going to do with the kids during the summer session.

I've decided to try center stuff again. I am going to make it a bit more casual and things that the students can do without staff assistance (but I still need staff oversight for some of the stuff). There will be coloring sheets, hat-making, and sensory boxes. We are also going to spend some time working on coping skills and listening to the music of Saint-Saens.

So, the next two days will be dedicated to coordinating the graduation choir and finalizing planning for our extended school year (ESY). I can only do that when I have the time and space to take everything out of the cabinets, closets, and corners. I can clean everything and take st…

Just A Song Sunday: Ability-Ordered Behavior

The journey through the second chapter of Music In Therapy, edited by E. T. Gaston, continues this week with an examination of the second part of William Sears' outline under the delineation of"Experience within structure." This week's thought is "music permits ability-ordered behavior."

Sears defines this thought further on page 36 of the book. "Behaviors ranging from simple to complex may coexist among several individuals, as in group performance where the behavioral requirements of one musical part are of a more simple nature, such as beating the bass drum, than those of another part, such as playing the melody on a trumpet. Also, especially desired musical experiences, such as playing a certain piece, can be modified or adapted (rearranged) to fit the capabilities of each individual" (p. 36). Under this section of the outline, Sears points out that music does a couple of different things as well - music allows humans to engage in ways that are …

Session Planning: Pinterest-Style

I admit it, I've been sucked into the world of Pinterest again. I've started a work-related account and am spending some time daily looking for TME ideas. I enjoy Pinterest, but I always start getting feelings of inadequacy when I look at it too long.

Right now, however, I am pulling together 7 weeks of session plans for our summer session. I figured that I could probably find some ideas by looking at what others have done, so I started off on Pinterest. Here's what may be happening in my music therapy clinic this summer...(if I get myself coordinated and dedicated to actually doing all of this)...

The Carnival of the Animals... I've never really used this music in therapy before, but it seems to be one of the foundation pieces of music education, so maybe my students are missing out on something. There are 14 movements, so it fits neatly within my 7 week plan. I figure we can put together fingerpuppets, hats, coloring books, instrument experimentation, and some songwrit…

Thoughtful Thursday: Grief and This Therapist

This has been a difficult couple of weeks. I found out, by reading it in an attendance list, that a former client of mine passed away. Earlier this week, a former co-worker went to sleep and did not wake up. Neither of these situations were anticipated and served to shock many of the people around me. They shock me as well, but I seem to be responding in a way different from most of the people around me.

I am thinking about these people. I'm remembering times that we spent together in various settings, but I am not prostrate with my grief. I am not crying all the time, nor am I planning to engage in the funeral that is going to happen tomorrow. I cannot.

Instead, I immerse myself in the memories.

Over the years, I've found that grief is a part of working with human beings. While I work with young clients and death is not expected, it has been a part of my life as a therapist. I've had to help other clients and staff members through their own grief. I've had to provide mus…

End of the Year Wrap-Up

I am a bit ahead of myself since I technically have another week of work before the 2016-2017 school year is finished, but I only have two therapy days left, so I am seeing the light at the end of the tunnel right now. It seems like a good day to contemplate what has happened this year.

I started this year in a small room designated for music therapy. It was gray, had one window, no light switch, and no room for any type of movement therapeutic music experience. Did I mention that the walls were curved? Only one right angle in the entire room - made acoustics horrible to navigate and no place to put the piano without taking up valuable floor space. Kids would come in, sit with their backs against the wall, and we would do music therapy. If anyone had to leave, they would have to walk over all the legs of peers and staff members. It was not the type of place that I enjoyed, and I dreaded going into that room every morning. I spent most of my planning time away from the room, sitting whe…