Showing posts from August, 2011
Through the Haze
Seasonal allergies have struck my respiratory system. I have succumbed to corn harvesting season and have had to take my big allergy meds. These are the ones that knock me down for a good 24-hours, keep me drowsy, and accentuate my Meniere's disease vertigo. When I have to start this medication, I have to plan it very carefully. Today is the day.

The way I feel when medicated gives me a small amount of insight into how my students must feel when their psychotropic meds kick in. There are those side effects that are sometimes worth it, but sometimes those effects are more difficult to handle than the condition. I know several things about my medication effects - first, they are temporary. When my body is accustomed to the medication, the side effects will diminish. Second, my need for medication is temporary - once the first frost shows up, my allergy set will change and this level of medication will not be necessary. My students do not get a reprieve or even a choic…
Deep Thoughts...
Yesterday, my administrator attempted to be inspiring. She had been involved in an accident a couple of days before and really found it to be a life-changing experience. She felt that we needed to share in her inspiration and change our lives as well. I found myself musing on the nature of inspiration and how it is presented to others.

I think of myself as an intelligent, creative, and somewhat spiritual person. I am able to be rational in the middle of emotional situations. I feel that I am a person who can be inspired by many things - big and small situations and events that occur in my life.

One of the things that I found myself thinking while she spoke about her life-altering experience was, "I'm glad she was able to assist the folks who needed help, and she seems to have had a bit of a change in attitude." I was glad that she had experienced such a profound event and that everyone was fine.

Then, she started to talk about using her experience as inspira…
Do Over...
Today is a day I wish I could do over.

There really wasn't anything bad about the day, but there wasn't anything spectacular about it, either. My first two session were with kids who did not connect with me or with the music easily. It was like pulling teeth to get them to interact with me and with the music, but it was nearly impossible for interaction with both!

My four groups were fine. Kids participated in all experiences without issues. They appeared to enjoy singing about the weather, the rhythm wheel experiences, all things from opening through closing. Kids just seemed a bit "off."

Now, my analytical self starts to try to figure out what went wrong today. We had stormy weather blow in and out of the area, it is the second week of school, and all of us seemed cranky. I am going to chalk this up to a convergence of many different factors.

I wish I could wave a magic wand and start a day over again.
Artistic Endeavors

I am trying to make something for the AMTA Silent Auction. I have never donated something before, and I am trying an altered book about music. We will see if I get it finished, and if it actually sells at the auction.
Right now, the book has been covered with paper and is awaiting frou-frou and quotations about music. I have been trying to do a green theme - I really like green, and it seems like a good choice for the book. I can use all of my green papers and ink.
I was reading a blog entry for a fellow music therapist who stated that she did not enjoy making visual aids for her sessions. I found that difficult to understand. I LOVE making visuals - the more complicated the better for me! Seeing these comments made me think about how nice it is that there are therapists who do like making visuals and those that are good at networking and marketing. We are all different on so many ways - we have different talents and skills. This is one thing that makes music therapy s…
The Therapeutic Relationship
Yesterday was a good day for therapeutic relationship building. It is a nice thing when my nonverbal clients with diagnoses on the Autism Spectrum start to associate me with what I do.

Yesterday, 15 minutes before we were going to dismiss students to the residences, I took a student back to her classroom after her individual session. We had spent the time singing with the microphones, and she appeared to enjoy the session. We danced back to her classroom down the hallway and entered her room. One of her classmates (the "Q" from before) walked up to me, looked at me, and then walked over to the nearest picture schedule, found the "music" card, and handed it to me.

This is the same "Q" who, 9 months ago, did not display ANY communicative or interactive behaviors at all...with anyone.

I couldn't take him to the music room right then to reinforce the communicative behavior. There was no time before shift change, but I did spend so…
Today is the first day of the Fall session of school. I think I am ready for most of what will happen today, including some routine things and some brand-new experiences for myself and my students. We will see.

One of the new things that I want to do with my first big group today is a shift from the regular turn-taking opening intervention. This group of students does not "group" well. Several of the students do not feel comfortable sitting in the group's traditional circle, so they end up scattered around the room in no particular pattern. This goes against my need for organization, but I would rather be a bit needy and have them feel comfortable in the session than insist that they conform to my needs - after all, who is the therapist and who is client in this situation?? I am going to put the guitar down and use a drum for interaction. I hope that we will have a time of rhythm improvisation during the opening portion of the session, but we will see. Afte…
Welcome Back and Happy New Year!
Happy New Year, everyone!

I am a school therapist, so my life is very much dependent upon the ebb and flow of the school year. August always seems much more like a new beginning to me than January. So, every year about this time, I start to think about my goals for the new year. I make resolutions about my professional life and then try to obtain those resolutions. This year is no different.

This year, I will strive to do the following:
FINISH my schoolingMake long-term decisions about my future as a music therapist - here in Kansas or somewhere else completelyBecome a pre-approved CMTE provider through CBMTDevelop new interventions for children and adolescents with developmental and psychiatric concerns - use them in sessions, and then give them to othersAvoid toxic people in my environmentFind interesting people to interact with outside of work timeAct as an appropriate music therapy internship supervisorMaintain appropriate communication with other musi…
A Return to the Electronic World
Approximately 90 minutes after my last post on this blog, my computer had a MAJOR CPU (central processing unit) meltdown and stopped working. This CPU failure led to 5 days of electronic detoxification as the computer had to go to Houston to be repaired, and I wasn't going to go to work simply to use the computer there (it really wasn't worth the gasoline or the time to go there). On Wednesday, I did go back to work for the school year orientation and found that the world went on without me.

Today, when I got the repaired computer back, I eagerly went back online. I went to Facebook, reviewed my email accounts, and then started to scroll through my favorite sites. I spent some time trolling through the blogs of music therapists and music therapy interns that are linked to many other blogs. It was an interesting exercise in the history of music therapy professionals.

I read the blogs of current music therapy interns (all from Florida State, interes…
Finishing the Relaxation Part of the Summer
I have four days of fall break left before I return to the daily routine of the school year.

Today it is raining outside. This is the first time that rain has actually fallen on my little home since I started break some 14 days ago. The change in the atmosphere is wonderful, and I am finally feeling like autumn is coming sometime in the future.

Tomorrow I get to go to the Office Depot Star Teacher appreciation breakfast for some stale donuts, a bag full of goodies, and the chance to win a drawing. I NEVER win, but I always try. I will spend some money on ink cartridges for the computer and for some other things that I really do not need, but want. Last year I had a migraine headache come on as I was waiting for the drawing results. I am hoping that doesn't happen this year.

So, what does this have to do with anything but the "me" part of this blog??

I feel strongly that music therapists often do not have an awareness of the essentia…