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Showing posts from August, 2007
Job Hunting I just gave some advice to a new therapist about accepting that first job. I remember those days of angst - Do I really want to be a music therapist here? My parents pressuring me to get any job that paid me some money. The interrogations every evening about what I did, who I contacted, how many resumes did I send out during the day. The best advice I received was from my parents. "Find a job and then focus on your career." I spent a little over a year working near my profession, but not as a music therapist. It took me 14 months to find any music therapy job. In the waiting time, I was a recreation leader for children with emotional disorders and was a QMRP/Administrator for a group home company. When the call came for the music therapy job, I was petrified of failing as a therapist. My dad, who is my sounding board, sat me down and asked me several questions. The first was, "Do you want to be a music therapist?" I did not know how to answer - I had nev…
More thoughts on the difference between therapy and education...
The best thing about therapy is that it is client-driven. While special education is supposed to be individualized, many times the individualization comes from the IEP goals. Curriculum stays the same and is applied to every student. Therapy, in my opinion, has to evolve with each client and during every session. I often make plans for sessions that go up in smoke as soon as the clients walk into the therapy room. For example, I planned a rhythm writing and reading game that required teamwork and listening, but the classroom came in and were engaed in several arguments. There was no group cohesion. Teamwork was not an option unless riots were the goal of the session. Junk the rhythm game plan - went to ribbon stick dancing. This allowed the clients to move around the room (great for centering the thoughts, tiring the body, increasing blood flow to the brain, and for calming!) and interact with only the persons that they w…
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It's A Small World, After All...
There is something comforting about being anonymous out here on the internet. I can post my thoughts out there and anyone can read it. Pretty cool. I often wonder who, if anyone, accesses this page. Fun to find out that some people do -

Today, I was sucked into the small world that I live in. I received a comment from a fellow music therapist out there in the web and then responded to a comment on the music therapy ListServ that has generated several requests for more information. There are music therapists out there who are doing the same thing that I am!! What a nice feeling to find a community way out here in rural life!

We are back in school. Students have returned to the music room for five school days now. We are getting back into the swing of things after 2 lazy weeks in the sweltering heat. I had to assist a student with maintaining his physical responses today - not my general role, but one that I take on if needed. Today it was needed. The …
Thoughts on Therapy... I was sitting here, on my second to last Sunday off from work, just thinking about what it is to be a therapist. I talked to my intern about education versus therapy on Friday - mostly the frustration that I share with the teachers at my school about why therapy has to have different rules than the classroom. Many of them do not understand the difference. It bothers me that Ihave not been able to express the difference to them in eleven years. So, it started me thinking - dangerous pasttime! More when I get organized.
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The end of vacation...
The end of vacation occurred today. There was much wailing and gnashing of teeth as I ended my fruitless quest for the minimalist apartment and settled for less crap sitting around. After two phone calls from my boss - she started each conversation with "Don't panic, this isn't a big deal," I have concluded that I am ready to return to the daily pattern of work and work, and then work some more.

It is time to focus on being therapeutic again. I had a great conversation with a friend who is a professor. She reinforced all of the things that I do not like about academe - the hidden rules, the tenure-track, the isolation and the pressures to fulfill the role of perfection. I am still firm in my resolution to remain a clinician, even after I complete my education and effectively price myself out of a job!

There is a role for over-educated clinicians in the field of music therapy. I see this role as educational on a personal level - providing examples …
I love it when a plan comes together...
Or, in my case, when everything just starts to click! I found the drill power cord, the book I needed to read showed up, and I have found a Ph.D.-worthy research focus!!!! Life is good.

I also have an entire week of vacation left.

Sigh!
Getting Ready So, I've fallen deep into the great Lawrence triangle. Haven't heard of it? It's the lesser known phenomenon that is centered around my apartment. Basically, the Lawrence triangle causes things to disappear! Every little thing that I need disappears as soon as I need it. The adapter cord to the drill, the phone book, hammers, mops,...you name it, if I need it, it disappears. So, to fool the great Lawrence triangle, I am currently making archive copies of CDs for use at work and deciding how to use the songs in therapy sessions. I am also watching lots of movies during this break. The eventual goal is to have all of the things that I need to take to LMC in the car by next Saturday. I need to make several visual aid containers for the cabinets. I have several instruments to take back to LMC and lots of scarves, beanbags, and props that I kept at home after my sabbatical at KU. I've been thinking alot about the therapeutic process of fostering the skills of oth…
Frustrations or Challenges? You decide!
There are times when even the simplest of chores ends up frustrating me horribly! Right now, the chore is cleaning the apartment and then taking stock of what I have to take to work. I am in the middle of constructing a bookshelf for some of my books, and the drill has gone dead. I have a power cord for it somewhere, but I am at a loss as to where the cord is at this moment! The mess has taken over!!

So, at this point right now, I am stuck with an 8-foot, half-constructed shelf sitting on the living room floor waiting for 8 more screws. I have looked everywhere online for a replacement power cord - no luck - and will be deconstructing all of the progress that I have made in the past 5 days looking for the cord that I already have in my possession. All of this before I feel that I can tackle the materials and equipment that I need to sort through for work purposes.

My life is cluttered. It is amazing that I can accomplish anything in this much mess!…