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 treatment umbrella.
I literally have no idea what I am going to do with my students today - other than the basic outline presented above. I use this style of client-directed therapy almost to the exclusion of everything else. I go with the flow probably more than I should, but I feel that one of the marks of a good therapist is the ability to change plans as client needs change. I also feel that it is important to engage client interests any way possible, so sometimes my plans have to change to accommodate the best interests of my kids.
One of the advantages to being an old music therapist is that I have a large "bag of tricks" that I can use to engage the interest of my clients. I have thousands of ideas that I can tap at any time. I am getting more organized with how I access my "bag" - transferring music and ideas into a uniform computerized format is taking a VERY long time - but reviewing my old ideas and the music resources that I have available is a good thing to do every once in a while.
Off to work I go.