Friday, July 30, 2010

Camp - Day Two

Today was the second day of camp. I had an opportunity to use drums of an excellent music therapist, entrepreneur, and all-around good guy, Barry Bernstein. Barry, AKA Bongo Barry, passed away last September very suddenly. His death was unexpected and shook the music therapy world as well as the camping world deeply. I appreciate the use of his instruments and hope that his family know how much we loved Bongo Barry at camp.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

It is time for camp again. I am immersed in the world of autism and Asperger's and am enjoying every second of it! I got some hugs today from campers that remembered me from last year. What a great feeling.

I ran both arts and crafts and music therapy today. The first MT group was gypped out of a good experience because it was raining. The guitar and instruments had to stay in the car. The other two groups rocked! Literally as well as figuratively! We engaged in several improvisations and let things develop from there. Kids were taking turns, improvising melodies and lyrics, indicating that they were interested in what was going on, and generally acting just like kids at camp!

What is it about camp that makes some things easier to handle?

I saw campers with significant developmental issues sitting with their peers, arms around each other, and singing loudly. I saw campers engaging in interactive play - something that is difficult for many of the kids in other settings. I saw a large group of folks having fun with each other.


Thursday, July 15, 2010

New Moon

Yesterday was the new moon. You hear lots of things about the effect of a full moon on people, but you rarely, if ever, hear about the effect of the new moon.

For me, a new moon often means headaches, a general feeling of snarkitude, and a lack of focus. I see effects in my clients as well. Yesterday afternoon, a young man entered the music room upset. He tends to get very hysterical about things very fast. He started one of his verbal loops and escalated quickly from participating to screaming, "Maybe Thursday...Stop Screaming..." and other phrases during the session. There was no soothing him. There was no opportunity to assist him musically. There were no antecedents.

At that time, I completely understood how he felt. I had been feeling similarly myself. A situation arose where I had made a decision, made a glaring error in how the decision was conveyed, and then spent the rest of the time engaged in arguments with the person who needed the decision. Every time I checked my email, there was another just on this side of rude communication from the person who asked for the decision.

I could feel my blood pressure climbing. Little things set me off and I reacted to things differently than I usually do. These reactions were not bad or damaging to my relationships, but were not my typical pattern of response. I finally threw up my hands and gave myself over to the moon.

I ordered Chinese food - my panacea and treat.

I called my family and talked to my sister for over an hour.

I concentrated on my breathing.

This morning, I had made my point in a professional manner (with, I admit, a somewhat snarky comment at the end of the email in response to a much more rude comment from the first person). (I had a chance to use the word "onus" in the email. What a great word...but I digress.) The moon is now starting to wax rather than wane. I think my attitude will also improve.

Take care of yourself in this period of new moon influence.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Future Glimpses

What do you think the world will be like for music therapists in twenty years? I have thoughts of therapists singing songs by Madonna, Michael Jackson (before the weird stuff happened), and Guns and Roses to get the attention of us post-boomers. Music therapy lecturers will be talking about the eighty years of music therapy in the States, and how much the changes in music therapy have taken us forward.

Do you think that there will be more music therapists involved with AMTA? Do you think we will even have an AMTA? Will therapists have to spend more time in assessment, evaluation, and paperwork rather than doing direct treatment? What will happen?

The possibilities are staggering...