Sunday, February 17, 2008

Getting in a rut...and climbing back out!

Aah, February. Traditionally the most numbing month of the year for me. The weather is typically lousy, and all of my ideas for therapeutic musical experiences are old and dull. As a result of the gloomy weather, the illnesses that tend to pop up in a residential treatment facility, and the long lag between winter and spring breaks, I traditionally get into a funk during this month.

Knowing that about myself, I wait for the rut and then pull myself out using the following techniques:

  1. I challenge myself to listen to one new song from my collection of CDs per day,

  2. I make time to color visual aids - these may or may not have a specific therapeutic purpose when I start the coloring process - I always end up with a way to use them in therapy later,

  3. I schedule down days - watching videos or playing jukebox during therapy sessions,

  4. I look for new ideas and write them down,

  5. I wander through toy sections in stores,

  6. I browse catalogs and try to make similar materials,

  7. I experiment with music theory as a way to refresh the same old experiences,

  8. I ask clients to help me with new idea development.

These techniques generally get me out of a rut and back into the swing of things. I am currently working on an online CMTE for making file folders, so I am experimenting with games and visuals. My interns are also in the rut, so we're going to spend time this week playing with different materials in the music room, brainstorming what we can do with the materials for each of our groups. This will help with the misery that is February. Observe!