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Showing posts from June, 2009
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Teaching a complete stranger about music therapy...Possibly priceless??
So, I was at the baseball game the other night, crashing the hospitality suite of a major telecommunications company, when two guys from San Francisco started up a conversation. They asked how we were affiliated with the telecommunications company, and we admitted that we were guests of someone who worked there but was unable to be present. That started the conversation about what we actually did for our livings. They thought we were all teachers, but I piped up and stated that I was a therapist.
Eventually, I got into a conversation about music therapy. The gentleman who was most interested in my job made the conversation completely about himself...how he used music in his life to do different things.
I started thinking about the conversations that I have had in the past about music therapy. Most of the time, you can connect with someone who has no idea when you use their own experience as examples. The song they l…
Back to music therapy So, the current flap on the listserv has settled into a VERY LONG discussion about updating to a blog or wiki. Because of this, I am returning to my favorite topic for a blog, MUSIC THERAPY!I find it interesting when I hit creative dry spells. I am currently in one. I am spending lots of time watching interns work with my clients, and I am doing little active therapy. I am, however, making visual aids like mad. Of course, I am not using them yet, but that will come. Everytime I hit this part of the schedule, I start to have therapy withdrawals. I have decided, therefore, to not accept interns for the January 2010 position, so I can give myself a hiatus from teaching and really get back into therapy full-time.I really enjoy my chosen profession. It is difficult, sometimes, to justify to accountants, why music therapy is an important treatment modality, but once they see a session, they understand the power that music has in our lives. I have to justify my vocation …
Airing our Laundry in Public...Sorta So, the flap on the listserv has gone from NAMT/AAMT to male/female. Interesting how email cannot always convey the intention of the authors. Sarcasm and snark often translates into personal attacks and hurt feelings. A very good reason not to participate, in my opinion.There are many different ways of viewing the current issues and discussions that are happening on the music therapy listserv right now. I have come to the conclusion that the actual discussion is going on on many different levels. We are arguing apples and oranges. Some of it is a pity party - poor, poor, pitiful me. I am a member of the minority and feel like my opinions are right but ignored. Some of it is a mutual admiration society - poor us. We are the persecuted ones. Let's get together and secede from the Association. Some of it is like North Korea - nobody is actually paying attention to what is going on with us, so we will threaten something drastic so everyone will have…
Forever Young A good friend of mine just made a comment that she was starting to like songs by Hannah Montana (AKA Miley Cyrus) and the Jonas Brothers. While the comment made me laugh, it reminded me of a pivotal A-HA moment in my own development as a music therapist.I was in a session at a National Conference - can't remember the year or the location - where the primary topic was not centered around geriatric music therapy, buy was led by a person who worked primarily in geriatric settings. The leader wanted us to practice some vocal techniques so he/she asked us to sing "In My Merry Oldsmobile, the song that everybody knows." I started off singing with the rest of them, belting out the first line of the chorus, and then realized that I did not know the rest of the song.In utter humiliation, I stopped singing and attempted to look busy taking notes. I also started my usual self-defeating inner talk."I SHOULD know this song. I'm a failure as a music therapist. Wh…
AAMT/NAMT Split The latest listserve flap is that there is a difference between old AAMT and NAMT. Shocker! You mean, there are different ways to be a music therapist???!??? What a shocker! Seriously, the time has come to bury the hatchet, so to speak, in the old crap that has taken place.There is a mystery that folks do not want to talk about, but the hurt still exists. I find that I can be carrying on a wonderful conversation with a person, centered around competency-based training, experiential learning, qualitative research - all things that I am passionate about - when the person asks me where I live. I state that I live in Kansas, and the other person states, "oh." They then walk away from me. I actually had one person say that she was glad that she talked to me before knowing that I live in the bastion of "those people," because she would not have spoken to me otherwise.What a mess.There were certainly disagreements in the sixties and seventies about training…
Anxiety I guess everyone feels anxious about some things. I admit that I get anxious when I have to send things into my academic advisor - not that she's mean, but I cannot seem to feel comfortable sending her my work. I don't know why. On the other hand, I know a woman who is so anxious about getting anything wrong that she ties herself up in knots throughout her sessions. This worries me.I guess I have a pretty realistic viewpoint about myself as a therapist.I am human.Therefore, I am not going to be perfect. I will make mistakes. I will solve some issues and create others. There will be days when I am not able to sing or communicate with someone else. I also know that these failings are part of the human condition, and I embrace my humanity.I have a very good friend who is a perfectionist. He stresses himself out with the thought that he MIGHT make a mistake that he cannot function in his job. He is an extraordinary organist and accompanist. His anxiety was taking over his l…
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Time to get back to work...
It is almost time for my return to the music therapy clinic. I have enjoyed my time off and would, naturally, take more time off if offered. On the other hand, I think I am about ready to get back to my work routine. I enjoy the daily grind - seeing lots of clients everyday, supervising interns during their sessions, talking to co-workers, and trying to keep up with e-mail.There are lots of things that I enjoy in my job. I love making music - that should be a given for someone in music therapy. I especially enjoy watching my clients make their own music. I love the days that we focus on performances, talent shows, holiday programs, and the like. My clients are not shy. The inhibitions displayed by many folks when performing are simpy not present for my clients. I also enjoy developing innovative therapeutic music experiences for my clients. They appear to enjoy new songs. I like thinking up ways to teach them new concepts through music. It keeps the job fres…