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Showing posts from May, 2010
Looking Forward

One of my favorite songs right now is an arrangement/medley of I'm Yours and Somewhere Over the Rainbow sung by the acappella group, Straight No Chaser. It is a bouncy arrangement and keeps me smiling as well as increasing my energy level.

When I look back over my music preferences over the years, they share several elements in common. The first is the lyrics. I am genuinely affected by lyrics. There is something about words that stick with me. The second is a melodic and harmonic structure that accentuates the lyrics presented.

For me, music needs to be a complete entity. You cannot separate the music from the words. It is not something that can be done. Music is a combination of notes, counterpoint, chordal support, and words that convey a message. I am not a big fan of music without words.

I had a wild hair a while ago about the importance of tempo in music preference. It stemmed from several interactions that I had with several clients during music therapy treatmen…
Day 5...

The fifth day of the Summer vacation has started off in an auspicious manner. The cat, not enjoying the fact that I was finally starting to get into the groove of sleeping in and relaxing, decided to eat a plant and upchuck on the bedspread. I hope this is not a portent of what is to come.

Progress has been made on the craft room. I have removed lots of the plastic shelving that has stored junk, so there is more room to move. I have sorted through years and years of accumulated paperwork, memories, and junk. I will be tossing things into the trash bin today. What a rejuvenating feeling!

There is still more to do, but I have a nice start going.

In addition to clearing out the junk room, I have been organizing my thoughts about music therapy. One of my former interns announced that she is now selling insurance in addition to working in music therapy part-time. It is difficult to watch as music therapists cannot afford to be music therapists in this current economic climate. I am f…
Day 4

It is the fourth day of my vacation. I have tackled the craft/junk room in the back of my home and am currently in the middle of sorting, trashing, and donating materials and junk that I have had for many years. In addition, I am trying to make that space more functional.

I guess, in a way, I am using this break to do the same thing. I am throwing out my therapeutic "junk" and am making myself more functional as a therapist. I am taking out my attitudes, skills, opinions, and questions, dusting them off, and reorganizing them.

Attitude reorganization tasks:
"I can fix everything." There is no way that this can happen. There are things that are not my responsibility. I have to take responsibility for only the things that I can change and let the rest go."I should be..." The problem with this one is my attitude towards life. I am a perfectionist who strives to do the "best" in everything. I often judge myself harshly and have a difficult time ju…
It's here...Finally.

I am on vacation for the next 17 days. I have some things to do, but most of my vacation goals have nothing to do with music therapy.

Priority one is the craft room. Actually, a more accurate description of that place is the apartment black hole. It is my hope that I will have a place to work on my crafting projects, on my visual aid development, and on my sewing.

This break offers an opportunity for me to refresh my enjoyment of music therapy. It will work. It always does.
Reflecting over the year

The end of the school year is the most important ending for me. As a therapist who works in a school setting, the end of May allows me to reflect on another year gone and over. The calendar year ending is irrelevant to me as a school therapist.

I enjoy the end of the school year. We work year-round, so this ending is really just a formality, but it is still an ending. We have a two-week break before the summer session begins, so I have a chance to sit at home and breathe deeply.

This year, 2009-2010, has been an interesting year. Our principal is in her second year of leading us, we have had a couple of crises in the residential side of our program, and people have had a difficult time adjusting to changes that have occurred in the past nine months.

I, personally, have had an interesting year as well. I have completed the training process of my 15th intern and decided to take a break from training. I am working towards my last remaining projects for my Ph.D., and …
Longevity

I am part of a young profession. I do not mean that music therapy is not an established profession with a research base, but I mean that the majority of people that are in the music therapy clinics and jobs of today are young. As a Ph.D. candidate who does not intend to move into a university teaching position, I have often faced questions about my resistance to moving out of the clinic.

I find that new professionals often believe what they learned in their university programs, chapter and verse. I know that I did. I graduated, went out into the real world, and expected everything to work exactly like my professors and internship supervisors told me. It did not work that way. I lacked the ability to shift my expectations at the beginning of my career. It was a skill that I learned after some time. I had to adapt and develop my own way of approaching music therapy in order to survive as a therapist.

Breaking away from what I was told to expect was the best thing that I could ha…
Eleven Days and Counting...

We have ten more days of school left for the 2009-2010 year. Music therapy sessions are taken up right now with graduation song rehearsal, talent show panics, and a little bit of therapy going on. There are times when I get caught up in the excitement of the end of the school year, and there are times when I just sit and think about how much there is to do before the summer session starts in 27 days.

In eleven days, I will be on vacation, A break, a rest, a time away from the rest of the world. I will have completed another school year, another year of church choir, and another year of working towards my Ph.D. I have made good progress this past year in both my professional and personal goals.

In the next ten days, I have to keep myself focused on the kids that I work for. Their treatment is, as always, more important than getting the words completely right during graduation. It is more important than whether I put everything back in its place in the music roo…
Taking a Break

It is almost time for my annual summer break. This year, I get 17 days of freedom as I have some vacation days stored just for this occasion. The fact that this break starts on my 40th birthday offers me some time to contemplate the inevitability of growing older as well as to refresh my therapeutic "juices."

I have always been interested in the concept of burnout. This is especially true as I work with people who are in a period of burnout and who attempt to expose the rest of us to their way of thinking. I occasionally find myself souring to the idea of working a) as a therapist, and b) at my particular facility. When this happens, I have to take a break.

My breaks take several forms.

Often, I stop eating lunch in the staff lounge. My very wise professor once told me, "if you enjoy your job, stay out of the staff lounge." The lounge is the place where disgruntled employees go to gritch and complain about everything that is wrong with their lives. Often…