Showing posts from October, 2013


I am a borderline hoarder. I have lots of stuff and have difficulty throwing things out, but you can still see carpet and flooring in my home, so I feel pretty good about my borderline status. The only reason that this is relevant is that I want to write about inspiration and my home contains most of my materials.

One question I get asked lots is, "Where do you get your ideas?"

The answer to that question is difficult as I do not have any one place or technique that I use to find ideas. I engage in some mindless wandering, directed brainstorming, and feverish writing to get all the ideas down.

So, my house becomes my inspirational starting point.

As you can see, I have lots of stuff. I have poetry books, stuffed animals, and instruments within reach of my desk. There are pockets of instruments scattered around the front room. I have random bits of whimsy on the shelves, the walls, hanging from the ceiling. I use all of these things to help me find inspiration when I am stumped.


The Monster Mash...An Idea in Development

I don't do much to celebrate Halloween. It has never been my favorite holiday, and I am rarely home that evening to be able to do anything. I don't know anyone in my apartment complex, and I refuse to open my door to people I do not know. The only thing that I really like about Halloween is the chocolate!!

So, when it comes to session planning, I do very little about Halloween. I change all of my major songs to minor keys and modes, making things sound "spooky" and giving me a music theory challenge. That's about it.

I have several reasons for this. We have some students who do not celebrate anything due to religious reasons, and we have lots of students who have difficulty discriminating between "real" and "pretend."

This year, however, one of my personal goals is to focus on more emotional exploration and processing with my students. So, I am trying to develop new ways for us to explore our feelings and responses to those feelings. This has be…

Sick Day: The Sequel

Today is the second day of my sick day hiatus. I am feeling better, less dizziness, higher temperature (which is good since I was at 96.9 degrees most of yesterday), and better feelings, but I am still not great. My body does not often run a temperature when I'm fighting off something. My intern emailed me and said that she was running a temperature and not feeling well, so I guess I got the germs before she did. 

So, it's time for another sick day. Since I am feeling better, I am going to try to do a bit more around the house today. We will see how much I can get done before I crash. Laundry will be on the list as well as dishes and maybe cat food shopping later.

I'm now in sickness limbo - feeling better but not quite great. Concerned that if I go back too soon I'll be back here later on. Yesterday was a day full of errors - I missed a webinar for the first time ever (date mix-up), too little attention given to tasks, and just plain old funk. I was in a daze and am jus…

Sick Day

So, today I am at home because I do not feel good. This has been a sudden situation manifesting itself in dizzy spells, lack of sleep, a vague ache all over, and just plain old feeling blah. I debated with myself for a while before deciding that I really did need to stay at home rather than try to drive while the world was spinning.

I hate being sick.

I always debate with myself when I am not feeling good. Here's a sample of my inner argument...

Boy, I don't really feel well...

So, what's going on? Why don't you feel well?
I'm not sure. Let's see - whoa, the room just spun around. Uh-oh! I have a headache, but it's not a sinus headache, it's different. I feel simultaneously hot and cold. Oh dear.
Maybe it's a stay-at-home kind of day.
What?? I can't do that. I have a meeting, two groups, and four individual sessions today. I can't stay at home. Whoa. There goes the room again.
You are not going to be able to drive your car much less coordinate the m…

Music Therapy Peeves - Pet and Otherwise

This will be a rant. I apologize in advance of the entire post and let you know that I really don't mean to be negative, but there are some things that just have to be said, you know?

Here are my Music Therapy peeves -
Bloggers who don't update their blogs - I love trolling the blogosphere for the thoughts, ideas, and therapeutic music experiences of other music therapists. I love seeing what others think about music as a therapeutic medium, but I hate when someone has started something interesting and then just plain old stopped writing...Music therapists who are sloppy about idea sources - It is frustrating to find an idea that has no indication of who originally composed or developed the idea. As someone who heard a person take public credit for a song composed by me (and taught to this person during her internship which was right after mine in the same facility), I try to make sure that I know who comes up with ideas and songs so I don't take credit for someone else'…

Digging Out Around the Roots - Creativity Continues

So, continuing with the creativity cultivation theme...

Today's post is all about avoiding becoming rootbound.
Adj.1.rootbound - (of a potted plant) grown too large for its container resulting in matting or tangling of the rootspotbound planted - set in the soil for growth
2.rootbound - having the roots matted or densely tangled; "shaggy untended lawns of old trees and rootbound scented flowers and shrubs"- William Faulknertangled - in a confused mass; "pushed back her tangled hair"; "the tangled ropes" SOURCE:
When plants are rootbound, they take over the place where they are and start to tangle up in themselves. Are you ever like that? I know I am. It is easier to sit around and stay exactly where I am than it is to stretch myself out and explore new spaces.

I have a feeling that I'm currently rootbound.

When my Mom's plants start to get this way, she finds them a bigger pot and repots them. She puts the…

Cultivating Your Creativity

It is that time of year again. Time for me to spur my creative impulses on to develop new things to keep myself occupied. I tend to go through periods of time where I have lots of creativity and then I pass through creative deserts. I am currently heading towards desert if I'm not careful.

There are several things happening that are contributing to this dearth of creative responses. First, I am on LOTS of allergy medication as the pollen count here in my state has soared to record levels of whatever it is I am allergic to at the moment. I am spending time sleeping when I would usually spend that time thinking and creating. Second, my computer access at work has been decreased now that my current intern is taking over session leadership and is also taking over session documentation! Hooray!! What a nice situation to occur, but it does have some ramifications for my own process...

So, it is now time to discuss cultivating my creativity. (NOTE: I am not a gardener, so some of my analog…


It is that time again... CBMT recertification time! I sent off my application for recertification this morning in the wee small hours of the morning. This is the fifth time that I've done this process, and I can tell you that I am happy to do so each time.

I feel that being board-certified is an important part of being a music therapist. I have never thought otherwise. I've worked with people who have not felt that being certified was important. It baffled me that a professional would not want to keep up with changes in their profession. It continues to baffle me.

There are many arguments -
I can't seem to get my 100 hours done.Really? It's only 20 hours per year, and I can get hours for every required training that I have to take at work already. I can get hours for CPR/First Aid, Behavior Crisis Management Training, and other requirements once per cycle. Go to a conference - 5 automatic credits. Present - another bunch of credits. Attend a course - more and more. Train …