Showing posts from January, 2012

Creativity Surges

This week has been a good week for my creativity. While I have been challenged to interact with co-workers, fellow volunteers in several different places, and have just been generally unimpressed with how people have been treating one another, this has also been a very creative week for me.

Do you ever have times when songs just come out of your every pore?

I do, and I love it when it happens.

I have always been interested in how we, as music therapists, develop the strategies and interventions that we use with our clients. I have presented on my own techniques for refreshing my creative juices. I have thought about how I progress through various decision trees for determining what I can do with a specific instrument or item that I have acquired. I enjoy finding multiple uses for something that is unusual. I am always pleasantly surprised when a client or an intern shows me another way to use an item that I thought I had found all possible uses for in the music therapy room. 

I have admit…

Specific Music for Specific People??

A music therapy friend of mine recently asked for a list of songs that were good to use with kids with emotional and behavioral disorders. This request started me thinking about specific music for specific people.

I guess I don't really feel that there are specific songs for people with a specific diagnosis.

I like asking my clients to tell me the songs that they like to listen to. Often they are not able to tell me the names or words of songs. I then have to do some detective work, observing their responses and reactions to different kinds of music. I spend time timing their natural movements and patterns to see if they are consistent in their tempi. Often, I can find a tempo preference more easily than a musical preference.

What do you see out there in your clinical experiences??

Do you have specific songs that you use when a client arrives with a specific diagnosis? Do you approach each client as an individual? Do you prefer an entirely improvisatory approach?

Singing My Song

This week, the American internet has been taken over by discussion about a couple of anti-piracy bills in front of the houses of Congress. As I understand  these bills (I am not an expert by any means), the bills will require that internet service providers block any domains that are violating copyright privileges of persons or corporations. My interpretation is that if you offer a song or a video that is covered by copyright law on your website, the copyright owner can request that your domain be blocked.

This is an interesting concept that I like and dislike at the same time. I dislike it because I do not feel that Congress should be censoring the internet. I think it will be a costly and difficult situation. I like it as a composer and therapist.

Once upon a time, as a young professional, I attended a concurrent session at conference that was led by the person who worked at my internship right after I graduated. I was sitting there, watching her videotaped examples of things to do wi…

January Inspirations

This month has been a challenge. Hence my absence from the blogosphere for several weeks. I have been full of good intentions and have had fleeting thoughts about what to write, but have not been actually able to sit down and accomplish anything yet. This is the day that I break through that wall.

Our January has been unseasonably warm with only a little bit of snow and cold weather. Typically we use winter and snow as our themes for the interdisciplinary groups that I contribute to at work, but there really hasn't been much impetus to use our usual session plans.

So, we have had to develop new themes. On Friday, we had an ocean theme. We played games, a large version of Go Fish, and had an ocean drum relaxation experience at the end. Now, I was initially hesitant to lead relaxation experiences with my students - they do not usually relax easily - but it worked very well. I started by asking the students to find a comfortable place on the floor. They were ready to relax since we had…