Posts

Showing posts from May, 2011
Cleaning Out I am in the process of cleaning out my 41 years of accumulated crap. Now, I am not just a pack rat, I am almost to hoarder status. I can honestly say that I like my crap. I enjoy the prestige of having lots of things. The problem is that I have a finite amount of space available to store said things. There come times when something has to go. For my sake, I hope that I can be motivated enough to get rid of lots of things in the next 5 days.
Fortunately, I have a timeline. The church is having a rummage sale next weekend, so I have to get things sorted and out of the apartment by next Thursday. After that, stuff needs to be donated to one of the local thrift stores. I have eight more days to get things done.
In a stretch, I feel that my pack rat nature makes me a good therapist. Now, I know there are folks who would disagree, but my need to collect things extends to my need to collect ideas, theories, and techniques. My bag of tricks is like my apartment's current state..…
Thoughts and Musings...
After a two day forced hiatus from blogging (Thanks, blogger!), I have several thoughts about things. Forgive me as I indulge in some random thoughts and musings about music, therapy, and me. Probably mostly me. Sorry.
I have been on vacation for the past nine days. I have ten days to go. While I feel that vacations are essential for the health and well-being of every therapist, I find it difficult to be away from the music therapy world for long periods of time. I always make a list of things that I want to do, and I never get those things done. This vacation's goal is to steam clean the carpet in my bedroom. I am almost to the point of being able to move furniture to clean the first half. I had to do the great laundry mountain first. A friend of my family died this week very unexpectedly. This has hit my father hard as this friend was one of his best friends. He was shocked and deeply grieving. He was not able to talk to me for long periods of time when he f…
Tempo and the Music Therapist
I think that tempo is one of the most powerful therapeutic elements of music. I also think that it is one of the least emphasized in our music therapy training.

Dr. Michael Thaut, an eminent researcher on the effect of music on the central nervous system, emphasizes that motor functions occur within a temporal framework - coordinated in time. If you can find the client's initial tempo, you can change the speed of motor function through subtle changes in the tempo of the music presented.

I believe that the same function occurs in domains other than the motor domain. I believe that there is a cognitive processing entrainment node for each person. Now, I have NO proof of this. I do not have the ability to use sophisticated imaging machinery to see if electrical impulses change to accommodate the musical stimulus or to see if matching the music to the electrical impulses can increase cognitive function, but I feel that there is something to the idea.

There ar…
Reflections...
Thoughts about being a music therapist often intrude into my vacations. This is the situation right now. I am currently vacationing from my school job during summer break. The break lasts for two weeks, and I will be spending it in glorious solitude at my home. This time away from work and work issues will make me a better therapist when I return. 


I enjoy some time away from being a therapist. There are times when being a therapist is difficult. I firmly believe that all therapists have to take some time out of therapeutic relationships to refresh and renew. I look forward to these times. I try not to think about work or work issues during my vacations, but thoughts of and about music therapy often intrude.



Today is my fourth day of vacation. I have fourteen days to go before I go back to work. I was ready to be on break and now I am ready to be away from work for a short time.

My plans are to clean, sort, and throw away. My house is a pit at this point. There are things e…
Narrow-minds and Ethics
So, I have got myself into some trouble with the music therapy listserve again. I seem to do that quite a bit when I open my big fat mouth. I hate when people with opposing OPINIONS start to argue with each other. There is never a winner, especially when the opinions are contentious to begin with.

The music therapy listserve has been abuzz with comments about a book featuring a music therapist as the protagonist. The book also concerns a lesbian relationship, something that was not highlighted before the book was published. One MT asked for some opinions about the book, and another MT stated that she felt that marriage should be between one man and one woman, not a lesbian couple. This opened up the floodgates for calls to remand this MT under the code of ethics. She was told to seek supervision to assist her in removing her bias towards people who were in homosexual relationships.

I decided that some of these conversations were appropriate, but I started to get i…
Life speeds by...
It is May.

This is one of my busiest months as a school music therapist. The talent show is next Friday, graduation is six days later, and summer school plans have to be made before school is finished for summer break. All of this in addition to the normal pattern of music therapy sessions and work responsibilities. I am slowly losing my mind since there are also papers to write, treatment plans to coordinate, visual aids to laminate, AMTA work to be done, and many other things to do. In addition, I have been sick for the past three months and am finally starting to feel better, but am still requiring LOTS of sleep.

I got so caught up in the flood of things that have piled up that I forgot to pay my rent this month. So, here it is on the 6th, and I have just now paid my rent. This is an unusual situation for me - just the rent portion of this particular rant, not the lots of things part.

In moments like this, I have to simplify my life. 

In the next days, I will be writin…
Bickering with the Rest of the Music Therapy World
Well, the music therapy world is rocking with a discussion about listserve etiquette this weekend! It amazes me who chimes in on certain topics. At issue this time is long messages clogging up the mailboxes of certain therapists. There was an initial request for folks to delete the earlier emails when responding. This led to a series of requests from others to:
keep little comments from the entire liststop using the list to elicit activity ideas (proffered by one of the "holier-than-thou")use the blogand to just delete thingsI started to laugh.

There is something funny about how we can take these comments from one another so very seriously. In addition, it just reinforces the current attitude of my generation which consists of "it's all about me." Damn the consequences for someone else - I want things my way or no way!! What is going on in the world these days??


I just laugh at the absurdity of us all as I delete t…