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Showing posts from July, 2011
Ennui My life as a school-based music therapist is generally one of routine and constant thinking. I spend lots of time each day analyzing behaviors and adjusting musical interventions to shift behaviors. I have a certain amount of interpersonal contact during the day, and enjoy going home to refresh in solitude. I am an introvert to the highest degree. I really need alone time in order to get ready to interact with others. This alone time helps me to think about what I do each day as well as to pursue activities that I love. My problem currently is vacation. I spend lots of time on vacation alone. This is a good thing, for a time, but eventually I need to be around people. Now, I have been around people, but I don't have friends in my town. All of my friends live away from here, so I am not able to see them when I want to do so. I go out to the theater, to the movies, to the shops to be around folks. I am bored. I need opportunities to be bored. Once I hit this stage,
Looking Around I'm into vacation mode right now, so I'm spending lots of time thinking about my music therapy practice. I enjoy this time off - it's one of the best perks about being a school-based music therapist - and try to use them as periods of time to refresh my creativity as well as to organize things. I am currently trying to organize my intellectual "bag 'o' tricks." Over the years, I have been collecting ideas of things to do with my clients. This habit was started by my professor during my undergraduate education who required a file of applications for my second ever music therapy class. I continued the pattern and habit throughout my 18 years of clinical work and practice. I have a shoebox full of note cards that contain music, ideas, half-finished thoughts, and things that I like. Now, when my interns started to go high-tech and place their Therapeutic Music Experience (TME) file on the computer, I decided it was time to abandon my cards
That Perfect Music Therapy Moment There are times when the therapeutic triad comes together into a perfect music therapy moment. If you are lucky, you can see the pieces come together to form that moment. If you are lucky, you can track how the moment starts and replicate it at a different time. I had the privilege of having such a moment this week. For consistency's sake, I will be referring to all of my clients by the initial "Q." I have chosen the letter "Q" because of its long status of neglect when it comes to names. There just aren't that many "Q" names. So, I hereby christen all of my future references to my clients as "Q." So, "Q" transitioned to the music therapy room without an issue. He hummed and chirped the way he always does, entered the room, and got out the spinning chair. He has fallen into a routine of manipulating my musical product (improvisatory) using movements of the chair. "Q" recognizes t
Sometimes Things Don't Work Out There are times when things just don't go as all. I had a day like that last Friday. I was already tired but everything else did not go as planned either. Kids were cranky, I was cranky, and I ended up crying all the way home. I don't know what was at work, but on days like that I spend lots of time trying to figure out what I did wrong.   This week has been better. Sessions have flowed smoothly, even though some of the students have been pretty wild. People screamed all day yesterday, until they started laughing hysterically. It was strange, and not at all what I expected. I am a big proponent of the THERAPEUTIC TRIAD. (Did you hear a trumpet fanfare when you read that? I heard one when I wrote it! Does that make me a music therapy geek??) I firmly believe that the therapist, the music, and the client work together in order to create a therapeutic environment. There are days when my contribution to the session is minim
Yoga and the 41-year old Body I am not someone who shies away from my actual age. I am proud of being 41, and I tell people my age when asked. I am not one of those people who wish to go back to high school to do it again. Having said all that, I am trying to improve my health through changes in my diet and exercise patterns. I would like to be around for much longer than these 41 years that I have had. My new exercise of choice is yoga. I like the philosophy of breathing, self-awareness, and stretching that permeates the discipline of yoga.  Now, let me be completely honest with you. I am VERY overweight and need to lose about 80 pounds before I am EVER considered sleek and toned. I have chronic asthma, allergies of all kinds, and strange medical issues popping out all over and through my body on a regular basis. So, exercise regimes have not been very successful for me in the past. By the time I get into a routine, I get very sick or sprain something or have an asthma attack
Back to Self-Esteem I continue to have feelings of inadequacy surrounding myself and my profession choices. I look at people and think, "I should be doing that." I need to submerse myself in what I am able to do and what I do better than anyone else! So, here goes. I am a creative person. I enjoy making things with my hands and watching others use those things. I love the effect of music on behavior. I am good at finding the music that will help people get to their goals. I am a good supervisor. I help my students get to entry-level professionalism by blending my wishes with their wishes. I can see their skills realistically and can get them to the next level of development. There are many things that stand in the way of becoming the best person that I can be. I can be jealous. I work on this continuously. I hold grudges. I take on more than I can feasibly do at any one time. I want to do it all! There are many more things that I need to work on through