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 admitted before that I am a pack rat. I like to have stuff around me. This is not always a good thing, but does offer me a wide variety of materials, instruments, visual aids, and items to incorporate into my music therapy interventions. Unfortunately, this also means that the limited space that I have in my music therapy clinic requires certain rules.
Can you see what I mean?? This is just ONE of my cabinets!
Rule #1 - The MOST important rule of them all - I can only keep something in my cabinet if I can think of 6 separate intervention ideas for the item. If I cannot, then it goes home.
Rule #2 - If I haven't used something for more than 6 months, it goes home.
Rule #3 - I try out visual aids before laminating them. If the visuals do not work, I throw them out rather than laminating them for multiple use. If they work well, I make new versions and then laminate them for use.
These rules have really helped me control the "stuff" in my music therapy storage area.
Yesterday I took my intern through a series of decision trees about how to see possibilities in every thing around her. She was encouraged to choose something from the cabinet that she was interested in. Her choice was a box full of small, squishy circles. I asked her what she thought she could do with these things, and she shrugged. At the end of our talk, she had brainstormed 11 different therapeutic uses for the circles and had started to design interventions using those circles. What a wonderful way to become refreshed...watching someone else start to think outside the box.
Thank you, anonymous intern, for allowing me to see your creativity and for sparking my own.