Showing posts from January, 2013

Having Some Fun

Yesterday, I had some time to do something that I absolutely love to do. I created something new!

My mom got me a CuttleKids Shape Maker(TM) for Christmas along with two sets of die cuts. The first set is the caterpillar that you see here. The second set is flowers, stems, and leaves. When I saw the device and the die cuts, my mind started going into creation mode. What could I do with these things??

I am a big fan of visual schedules for my clients with autism. I also like them for my clients who tend to be bossy. I use picture schedules, word schedules, mystery schedules, you name it!

So, when given an opportunity to make something, I go towards schedules!

The caterpillar seemed to be a good structure for this project.

I opted for five spots on my caterpillar, a mini file folder for use with one client at a time, and a blue color scheme. I also decided to use a silver Sharpie (TM) once I saw that the blue of the caterpillar needed some contrast to be easily seen.

Here is the caterpillar s…

Music Therapy Moments

This week was crammed full of music therapy moments - those times when you just say, "This is why I love music therapy!"

This week was a short one - we had Monday off in recognition of Martin Luther King Day, so kids and staff were a bit rattled as we do whenever our schedule is changed or interrupted. Influenza has also hit our area of the world, so staff members have been away while under quarantine, kids have been in and out, other kids have started to look a bit green around the gills indicating that they are getting ready to succumb. It was a strange week.

As I was sitting down to plan my week, I thought about all of the things that were going on and tried to find something that I could use with all of my groups. So, the light FINALLY went off in my head!

Drumming with Splash Balls!!!! Ta-daaa!

Let me explain. I take out all of my large drums, the spare bass drums, unmounted toms, and large paddle drums, and I place them in the center of the room. I throw all of my Splash B…

The Best Thing About Music Therapy

What is the best thing about music therapy?

For me, one of the best things about music therapy is that moment when one of my kids looks at me and asks, "Do I have music with you today??"

I love that moment. I love that my students look forward to music therapy during the week. They want to be in music therapy. They want to see what we are going to do. They want to work on their therapeutic goals using music. They want to make music.

The best thing about music therapy, bar none, is the client.

I often talk to my interns about "the therapeutic triad." The triad is made up of a client, a therapist, and music. Of all of these things, the client is always most important. Without a client, there cannot be music therapy. Simple thought, right?


I have been trying to figure out a good visual for this therapeutic triad concept. All I can really think of at this time is a Venn Diagram - three overlapping circles that overlap in several places. This picture helps me sort out …

Time Management and Organization

I am getting ready for the second webinar that I am offering for music therapy interns - Time Management and Organization. The webinar will start next Tuesday, January 22, 2013 at 7pm my time, and I hope it will be a dialogue. We will see!

I enjoy making seminars and presentations about organization for the simple reason that I am always striving to be more organized in my personal and professional lives. I am not that organized at home - more of a packrat than a minimalist (even though I would LOVE to be a minimalist) - but I have managed to be pretty organized in my professional role as a music therapist.

[In all honesty here, I have my ups and downs when it comes to organization even in my music therapy clinic, but I am MUCH better at organization at work!]

I've been thinking about what types of things I try to show my interns about organization and time management when they arrive at my facility to start their internships. I try to let them know that they will have times when the…

Random Thoughts About Stuff

Being out of the music therapy clinic (and not by choice, but due to diverticulitis) for some time makes me realize how much I love the act of singing, dancing, and making music in the company of others! 

I have told you before about how I found music therapy at the University of Evansville in August 1984 (Wow, almost 29 years ago!!!). I am thrilled that I was paying attention on that day to that anonymous college professor who said, "There is something else here that's called 'Music Therapy.' Have a brochure." I heard an audible click in my head and that was it.

Once I decided that I was going to be a music therapist, I was ready.

The top things that I love about my job...
The moment when a kid realizes that he or she is the one controlling the musicEchoing strange and unusual soundsFinding new ways to make new sounds with old, familiar stuffEntire classes singing silly songs togetherThe times when original songs pop into my head fully formed and completedThe times …

Oh, The Things I Wish Someone Had Told Me...

Tonight, I am starting a new adventure - a webinar series for interns (and hopefully, interns ONLY). I am excited about using this tool as a way to interact with interns as they are moving into the last bit of their education and into the first bit of their professional lives.

I was led into this series through several of my life paths. The first, and most important to me, is my path as a National Roster internship director. (If you don't know what the National Roster is, don't worry - it's not important to this blog post - comment and I'll be happy to give you more information!!). Being an internship director to twenty wonderful women over the years has given me a perspective into what we do and do not know about being a music therapy intern. The second was my path as a volunteer for the American Music Therapy Association on the Association Internship Approval Committee (AIAC). The last path was my personal path as a music therapy intern. I would have LOVED to have a g…

Music Therapy Advocacy - Introvert Style!

Have you noticed? January is music therapy advocacy month! From now until January 31st, you will be seeing the phrase, "Music Therapy Advocacy," on blogs, in emails, on articles, and in print. It is a time for us music therapists to toot our own horns (Sorry, this cornet player couldn't resist!).

How are you an advocate for music therapy?

I am not often comfortable putting myself out into social settings or situations amongst strangers for the sole purpose of being an advocate for my profession. I am not the first person to volunteer to go talk to my congressperson or to make cold calls to strangers. I do not feel that I am suited to going to the local shopping center for a Boomwhacker flash mob. These are just things that make me feel uncomfortable and just plain old crabby!

I am a quiet advocate for music therapy.

I am a music therapist who goes to work and tries to be the best therapist in every interaction with clients. I try to present an exemplary example of a music th…