Wednesday, April 27, 2011

The SEMTAP and me...

I completed my first SEMTAP observation today. What a mess I am in the middle of at this point right now. 

The parents want the student to get music therapy services because they want her to be able to perform.

The student refuses to perform.

The student has exactly two (2) IEP goals, neither of which are appropriate for music therapy services.

The SEMTAP is basically writing itself now. I am not able to justify music therapy services to support the goals and objectives on the IEP. We will probably head into mediation because of all of this. Did I mention that this is part of my current job, and I have had to cancel the music therapy sessions for the 83 students that I am paid to work with during the school day??

Tomorrow I go back to complete the protocol. What a weird way to spend a day.

Friday, April 15, 2011


I had a job interview a week ago. It looked like a promising "step-up" for me - a director of music therapy for an influential music academy in a large metropolitan area. The interview went well, and I had an invitation to attend the second round in a week. They wanted someone really fast (within 2.5 weeks) which sent up a red flag, but it seemed to be a place where I could be challenged with new things in my therapy life.

I started to calculate how much I would need to attend the second interview.

One of the things never mentioned was the salary being offered. They were requesting persons with Master's degrees as well as 3 years of practice, so I thought, it being in a large metro area and all, that there would be some good money involved.

There wasn't.

The salary was 40-45K per year. The benefits were decent, but nothing spectacular. I wonder why we are unwilling to demand salaries appropriate to our education and experience? Many of the jobs out there now require higher education, yet they pay nothing! It is a crock and a shame.

I had fun interviewing, and will continue to challenge myself to explore the job market. I need to earn more than I am making now in order to move, however. That may be a challenge.

Thursday, April 07, 2011

Leaping OUT of the Comfort Zone into the FRAY

Here I am, again, after almost 15 years of settled routine, jumping into the job market. This has been precipitated by a significant change in how I feel my services are perceived by the administrators at my current facility. I am always heaped with compliments by folks who have never observed a session. They appear to get all of their information about my effectiveness from whether students smile when leaving the session - not very good quality control here. I have always told myself that I would pursue any and all opportunities that came my way...

I have applied for a position as a Director of Music Therapy at a facility that I would never have considered two years ago. It is in a large metropolitan area and appears to be very well established in that area as a creative arts therapy program. I have my first interview tomorrow afternoon, and I am nervous.

It is interesting how we can become comfortable in our routines and situations. I love my perfect job - most of the time. The therapy work is invigorating, the clients are delightful, but the politics bring me down every time. I do not like having to make therapeutic decisions based on what teachers will feel rather than on how clients will benefit from the services provided. This has led to an increase in looking at posted jobs for music therapy.

This job came through a music therapy listserve three different times. I looked at it first and discarded due to the location. The second time, I thought, "Maybe I should investigate more." The third time appeared to be a sign that I really should look at the position more carefully. I thought about it, prayed about it, and then took a deep breath before plunging into the fray. I updated my resume (untouched since 2003) and sent it in. I received an email inviting me for a phone interview. I am officially looking for a new job.

Here I go...