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Showing posts from November, 2013

Thankful Things

Over the past four weeks, I have leading a Therapeutic Music Experience (TME) with my students. We are talking, singing, and rapping about the things that we are thankful for. Now, these kids have developmental/intellectual disabilities and concurrent psychiatric issues, so most folks don't expect too much from them - wrongly so! We made Thankful Turkeys and then sang about what we put on our Turkeys. Most of the responses were to be expected from kids - my family, turkey, an X-box, pumpkin pie. Some of them were profound. "I am thankful that I have shelter." "I am thankful that this is a good place." "I am thankful that I can eat everything I want." "I am thankful for being away from my family." TMEs like this always challenge me on a personal and professional level. Professionally, I need to be reminded that my clients do not always know what I knew as a child - consistency, shelter, food, security. I need the reminder that I am a person

What a Crew!

I'm not exactly sure how it got started. but there is a fun feed on Twitter right now - #FakeAMTAProposals. I would like to take this opportunity to state that music therapists are a creative, punny bunch of people! Gotta love the things that are going on in the minds of music therapy students, interns, and professionals out there! Check out the feed! So, what would you accomplish if you had an opportunity to create something for the benefit of music therapy? I often think that no one out there would be interested in the things that I do and make for my music therapy practice. One of the good things about being connected to this vast world of music therapy in social media is that there is always someone out there who is interested - you just have to let people know! This seems as good a time as any to make some goals for the year... To get preapproved provider status from CBMT for once and for all! To offer products and courses - things I REALLY love doing with and for the

Disappearing...but Just for a Time

Well, I set off for the AMTA National Conference in Jacksonville, Florida, fully intending to blog about my experiences daily, but... As you can see, I did not do so at all! Now, after a day of walking around in a semi-hysterical fog, I feel like I am starting to recover from the activity that happened this past week. It's now time to start thinking about what I did and what I learned during this conference! So, here we go! The best thing about this conference was talking - to groups of people and to individuals - ESPECIALLY the individuals! I had a good discussion with my former professor on the plane to Jacksonville - we were assigned seats next to each other and spoke about anything and everything - music therapy, retirement, professional career development, AMTA membership - lots of information in a 45-minute discussion! I spent some time with a therapist who was introduced to me last conference and who has become a good friend. We talked about board certification and our o

The Amazingness of Technology

I finally have joined the iPod wave. For this year of renovations at work, I realized that I would not have my old reliable CDs and stereo system attached to my cart, so I asked for an iPod. Now, I am NOT an apple person AT ALL, so the decision to get an iPod was carefully considered and extremely difficult for me. I decided the iPod was the way to go since my iTunes program was more easily accessed using work's network and servers than Windows Media Player or the whole Zune fiasco. I also like the 160GB of memory that allows me to sync most of my music library to one device... So, I am now getting used to the iPod. My clients seem to enjoy the fact that there is something for everyone on that little box. They do not understand why I bought the iPod classic rather than the Touch version - I did it so I would have a bit of control over what they were seeing and listening to... This just amazes me. When I started my career as a music therapist, CDs were the newest thing - prett

An Introvert at AMTA

It is almost time for the AMTA National Conference - a time of great fun, friends, and an utter switch in how I spend my life. I'm an introvert. I like to spend time by myself and need alone time to relax and re-energize. Alone time is a scarce commodity at the conference. I am getting myself ready for this next week by making my plans. Scheduling one to one meetings at various times Opting out of some social events in favor of sleeping or just sitting in my room for relaxing and thinking Planning my time carefully Taking my art journal for on-the-spot relaxation It's not a fool-proof plan, but I am hoping it works for me. I will be the person who is finding a place to sit so I can watch others socialize. If you are also an introvert, look for me on the fringes of the exhibit spectacular and sitting just outside interesting presentations (not inside since I have to leave during most of them for one meeting or another...). Please talk to me since I probably won't

AMTA 2013 is Only 10 Days Away!

Yipes! Only 10 days left until one of the most fulfilling and most challenging times of my year - the American Music Therapy Association National Conference! In 10 days, I will be leaving home for the riverfront of Jacksonville, Florida for five days of meetings, networking, discussions, and opportunities to immerse myself in music therapy. It is wonderful to be able to sit in a meeting and listen to people who know what music therapy is without having to define it over and over again. It is great to be around a community that uses music everyday for therapeutic reasons and outcomes. I enjoy seeing old friends, meeting students, actually personally interacting with people that I only know from social media, and making new music therapy connections. That is fun, rewarding, and fulfilling for a therapist who spends lots of time on her own in a job where only one other person even has an inkling of what music therapy is about. Now for the challenging parts. Conference is a busy time


It is the end of Daylight Savings Time and things are just plain old dark around here these days. As you know from one of my MANY rants about this, I do not understand why we change our time, but this post will not continue down that path. Today, I am going to muse about the things that I like to attribute to the descent of darkness . Any time we monkey around with the time, my pet, my clients, and my own functioning level change. This week was just plain old strange. Clients did not respond to music therapy the way they usually do - it was just plain old strange. The cat has no problem waking me up at 3:45, exactly one hour earlier than I now need to be awake. She hasn't really understood that it is fine to stay in bed an extra hour. I slipped and fell AGAIN on Monday after school which I blame on the fact that it was actually "home" time instead of "work" time. I was exhausted and fell in a hole. Ugh. I am a person who enjoys a good night's sleep. I ha

An Extra Hour

I have never understood why we change our clocks twice per year. People go on and on about how it saves electricity and is better for the farmers... I still don't get it. There is the same amount of light available during the day whether we call it 4pm or 3pm. Animals and plants respond to the sunlight available, not the time on the clock. It is ridiculous. If we have to do this every year, I'm glad for this day - FALL BACK DAY! There is a luxury in having an extra hour to take care of work, play, and other pursuits of happiness. Today, for example, I woke up at a unknown time (but well before the light clicked on at 3:25am. I enjoyed the opportunity to stay in bed for an extra hour before arising to feed the cat, answer emails, and blog. Now, I have lots of time before leaving my place to go to my Sunday morning job. I am ready to go now, but I have more time! What a luxury that I wish I had all the time! Today I am choosing to use my extra hour for music therapy work - co

I'm Truly Humble

When I logged into Blogger this morning, I found that the number of blog views has hit 10.063! Wow! Now, I know the scheme of all things "bloggy." 10,000 may not be a great statistic in 7 years, but for a little place where I post random thoughts and ideas about music as a therapeutic medium and what happens in my small world of music therapy, it is pretty tremendous to think that people out there in the internet have looked at these posts over 10,000 times. Thank you! So, anyway, back to the normal state of things here at music, therapy, and me !  This week's inspired Therapeutic Music Experience (TME), the Anger Monster Mash , seemed to be a hit for most of my students. Depending on the overall level of function for group members, we talked about our responses to feeling angry. We evaluated whether the responses were "good" or "bad," specifically in terms of hurting self, others, or property. One group labeled each of the 11 monsters with a behav