Taking a Break

I am going to take a blogging break.

For the next several weeks, I am going to purposefully vacate my current state and take a break from most things social media. I may still post the occasional thought on Facebook, but I am not going to spend any time posting blog posts or doing anything other than sitting on a beach and eating chocolate. (Seriously, that's what I'm going to be doing...well, that and driving in the car.)

So, if you read this blog in the near future and are wondering where I am, it is easy to answer - I'm on vacation. Feel free to search through all the posts that I've written over the years. Some of them are interesting, some are pure dreck, but there are many, MANY years of thoughts about music, therapy, and me!

Thanks, all. See you next month sometime!

Slogging Through

Today is a day where writing is not coming easily to me. I can usually sit for a time, write a couple of paragraphs, and find my way into various ideas and topics, but not today. I've been staring at the blinking cursor, using the backspace key, and eliminating entire posts because they just aren't interesting me.

I know that this happens to other people who write as well, so I'm not really worried, but I really don't like this feeling.

I'm even struggling with coming up with my personal happiness statement. Nothing seems to be motivating me today. I'm not sure why, but I think it may have something to do with my upcoming vacation (which is both a source of distress and eustress) and seems to be taking up my entire life at the moment. It is certainly taking over my thoughts which are darting from place to place and task to task. It is interesting that writing lists (my usual way of quieting a busy brain by putting things on paper) is not really working to ease my…

Self-Care Thoughts and Letting You Know About a Break

There are so many views on self-care these days. That hyphenated word has become a trendy thing to talk about, and lots of us are talking about it. The views include those who justify all sorts of things as self-care and those who feel that we should always be giving without refilling the stockpile. There are all sorts of things that we consider to be "self-care," and the definition changes from person to person.

I waver between feeling the need for my version of self-care and feeling guilty about taking the time and the money for something viewed as frivolous (in my opinion). I have periods of time when self-care is the only thing that gets me to move in the morning, and other times when I just don't have the time to focus on what I need as a human being. It can be quite frustrating.

As a music therapist, I spend lots of time focusing on the needs of other people. It can be a slippery slope which can lead to feelings of self-importance (what will they do if I am not there…

Thinking the Deep Thoughts...In the Midst of Nursery Rhyme Songs

Yesterday afternoon, I took it upon myself to sit down and work on the large stack of visual aids that I had been producing. I (goblin alert) should have been cleaning my bedroom, but I did get to that later on during the day. I sat down with my stacks of cardstock, my scissors, and my laminating machines, and I knocked out a bunch of projects - all while thinking a bit more deeply about the Therapeutic Function of Music model developed by Dr. Deanna Hanson Abromeit, Ph.D., MT-BC.

I love the dichotomy that is often present in my life. I am sitting there, working with nursery rhyme songs, while contemplating something that I feel is the foundation of what I do as a music therapist. Theory and practicality - all in the same moment.

This happens to me quite often. I may be internally reviewing the therapeutic function of music within a session all while saying things like, "Play with your hands, not your head," or "Hands on lap," or "Pants stay on in music therapy.…

One of My Favorite Topics of ALL Times!!

The therapeutic function of music!!

This topic is one of my favorite things to talk and write about, and I recently found out that the person that I started talking to about this topic has her students do things in a more research-based context rather than the way I do things, so now I have even MORE ways to think about this topic!! Hooray!

If you are interested in reading more research about this particular topic, then please follow these links to some excellent writing.
A Conceptual Methodology to Define the Therapeutic Function of Music - Blog - TFM Worksheet - pdf -…

Having to Go Old-School - For a Time

After the iPod was killed during the last week of school, I've been floundering with ways to get client-preferred music to my music therapy clinic. Before the great demise, I had my entire music library with me at all times. Now, I am dependent upon something that I thought I wouldn't really have to rely on again - CDs!

The last time my computer needed to be replaced, I had very limited choices because I wanted a CD-burner. All the computers that were readily available to me did not come with that feature. I found exactly two options for this particular tool. TWO! I snapped up the one that I liked the best, and I am very thankful that I did! Flash forward to 2019, and I find that I need this "outdated" technology to keep the music playing in my clinic.

Now, we are figuring out how to stream music via Spotify, but that's had all sorts of complications as well, including folks who don't respond to the consistent emails for assistance and a need to get funding app…

Thoughtful Thursday: Back to the Index Cards

If you have read this blog for a long time, you know that I started out writing all of my therapeutic music experiences (TMEs) on 4X6 inch index cards. I did that because that is how my first TME writing assignment was given - we had to use cards because that was what was readily available to us at the time. We got to choose which size card we wanted, so I chose 4X6 inch cards because they were the perfect size to sit on the sides of my guitar. This was before I found my need for super-sticky post-it notes (another tool that I love!). 

I have made an effort to use my favorite and longest lasting music therapy tool this week - my index cards.

While I've been sitting at my desk, watching my intern lead her sessions and thinking about my "NTM" TME challenge, I've been pulling out some index cards for notes. I've started lists, I've written lyrics, I've jotted down adaptation ideas. All of those things are placed on my cards. They are starting to pile up as I c…