Showing posts from April, 2010
Another Week

It is the beginning of another week of music therapy sessions. Today is "long music" day #1 - basically, sessions last for 50 minutes each rather than the 30 minutes on "short music" days. Students always ask, "Is this long music day?" I'm not sure if they are happy or disgruntled about the change in session times. It's a mystery.

Today's sessions are with my younger kids, with my more challenging behavior-oriented kids, and with my more severely involved kids. Mondays and Wednesdays tend to include basic academic and preacademic concepts, general movement, and lots of sensory experiences for the clients. We will start with an opening song (of course, and if this marks me as an "activity therapist", so be it!!), move into a motor task, and finish with more cognitive tasks. As my primary focus is to develop impulse control skills and appropriate expression of emotion in my kids, I can fit almost everything I plan under the …
Finding your center

I am starting to work out after work with several of my work friends. This is a big step for me because I have, until now, felt that exercise was difficult to fit into my schedule. The lack of interns has offered me some extra time, so, being a typical Type-A personality, have had to find something to fill that extra time.


I am doing Tae-bo and Biggest Loser tapes with my friends, and I am trying to do yoga DVDs on my own. I have always enjoyed the thought of yoga, but the balance required will probably always be a challenge for me. I am trying to find my center in my balance centers as well as in life.

How do you find your center? Do you schedule in different activities? Do you just live in the moment?

I find mine in several ways. I read. I read lots of things that are not related to my professional life. Quite frankly, music therapy texts put me to sleep. I play with my cat, and I talk to my family as often as I can. I craft, I write, and I develop things to…

I received notice that my professor friends are no longer teaching their music therapy students to refer to music in their treatment objectives.

All I could find to say is, "Ergh."

How can we be music therapists if we do not refer to music in our treatment objectives????

If I write an objective that does not refer to music, there is no mandate for including a music therapist on the treatment team. Anyone can complete the objective.
What's This?
So, I just reviewed some comments about writing goals and objectives where a professor stated that she teaches her students to write objectives without referencing music. This concept really confuses me. If we do not reference music, what makes music therapy objectives uniquely music therapy objectives?

When I attended the same school, we were told that music was a requirement for writing objectives. I feel the same way to this day. How can we justify music therapy services if we are not demonstrating the unique nature of music as a therapeutic medium?

Here is the objective in question...

When cued by song lyrics, the client will play the instrument 2 out of 5 trials for 3 consecutive sessions with no more than 2 sung prompts.

Now, what I am not sure about is, do I remove all references to music or musical equipment or both??

Again, why would I want to remove all of those references? One of the fundamental issues in music therapy in special education services is the questio…
Balance in Everything

This can be a challenge...finding the balance in all things. I find myself constantly shifting from one side of life to the other. Overemphasis on work leads to neglect of the schoolwork. Focusing on the schoolwork often leads to neglect of the personal life. It is difficult to find the perfect balance.

This week has been Holy Week in the Christian calendar. As a church choir director as well as a music therapist, my life has been tipping towards work more than anything else this week. I am trying to find the balance rather than getting focused on the lack of time that is available.

My focus for Lent this year has been to try to find the silver linings in all situations, especially those that hurt my feelings or make me VERY cranky normally. The amount of cognitive retraining that this effort has taken recently has been enormous. I have found that my attitude, my outlook, my relationships with others have greatly improved during the past 40 days. I have also been ab…