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Showing posts from December, 2013

Goodbye 2013!

I am very glad to see the end of this year. When it started, things were looking up for me - some money in the bank, an end to an education that just wasn't working for me, appliances that worked well, a new car... various and sundry good things that made the dawn of 2013 seem like a fresh start.

It didn't last long.

I'm not going to dwell on all the things that happened this year. Let's just say that the end of this year is not something to regret around me.

So, on the dawn of this new year, here are some music therapy things that I am looking forward to...
a new intern, maybe two this year, maybe three...the launch of another series of webinars...CMTE pre-approved provider status - FINALLY!presenting at the Midwestern AMTA regional meeting in Springfield, MO this springwatching the new music room being built - brick by brickadvocacy month followed by membership monthtalking to IDs and interns about important music therapy stuffand, most importantly, GETTING TO WORK WITH …

Fun Stuff - A Completed Project - Maybe

Can you keep a secret? (You really don't have to, if you don't want to!) I think I've finished the first draft of my first Therapeutic Music Experience (TME) book! I am being somewhat cautious 'cause I've had these thoughts before and just watched them fizzle away... but, this time I think I've got it!

As I have explored with you in many MANY other posts before, I get bogged down by feelings of inadequacy - I call those feelings my "woulda, coulda, shoulda goblins." I had a particularly bad episode with the "shoulda goblin" a couple of weeks ago that led to me having some rough nights coupled with insomnia and an allergy attack. This was after influenza, but before the start of my winter break. It was not a good thing.

So, anyway, after wallowing in the "poor me's" for a time, I looked around for something that would be a proactive step towards banishing "shoulda" for a time. I came up with an idea that I have been tryi…

A Gift to Music Therapy

It is almost time for the dreaded registration fees to come around again. Now, I have never felt that membership in AMTA was an option. This may have been influenced by my mother and her insistence that she always be a member of AOTA (the American Occupational Therapy Association) even when she was not actively practicing, and this was definitely influenced by my first round of professors. AMTA membership was not an option!

Due to those two reasons, I always re-up my membership around the first of the year.

It is time to do so again, so I'm going to my banking site and will be sending out the first payment towards this new membership year. Like I said, this isn't an option for me.

Do you know what I've noticed over my many years of being a music therapy association member? AMTA does lots and lots for each and every one of us, even when we are not physically involved in a situation. Also, when you are physically involved in a situation, the folks at AMTA will drop what they ar…

Looking Forward

It is the time of year to spend some time trying to figure out personal goals and objectives for the next 12 months - resolutions. Often these statements start with "I resolve to..." and follow similar patterns - lose weight, eat better, save money, work out, blah, blah, blah. Many of us stop following through with our resolutions within a week or two. I am one of those people, so it is time to make a change in how I approach the New Year.

So, rather than making resolutions, I will make some predictions for 2014...
I feel that 2014 will be a better health year for me (2013 was very rough and EXTREMELY expensive health-wise)I will FINALLY get my CMTE pre-approved statusThere will be big changes in my personal and professional future that will happen during 2014...That's it.

That's all I got!

...and that is okay!

Happy New Year, everyone!! (Just a couple of days early!)

Revisiting the Wee Small Hours of the Morning

It was another "early-to-rise" day in my household. I awoke at 2am with a raging sinus headache and a non-stop runny nose - darn expired allergy medications! I quickly realized that neither of these things would be conducive to returning to sleep, so I started my day. I picked up the house and have just finished making breakfast/dinner (sloppy joes are good any time of day!). I have played several mind-numbing games on the computer, and I have finished my gift wrapping.

Every time I am up this early in the morning. my mind goes towards the need to be occupied in some sort of task. I wonder why I need a task to work towards, but I do, so I embrace that part of myself and move along. Today, my primary tasks have been of the sorting and cleaning type, but I am pretty well finished with what I can do before the decent hour of 7am, so here I sit watching Farscape and thinking. Sorry about that.

What do I think about? Anything and everything that pops into my brain at this time of t…

The Exception That Proves the Rule

So, you may have read through my rant about not liking the music saturation that pervades the months of October through December. Now, the music that is the exception to my rule of no music (outside of work, of course)...

John Denver and the Muppets
This album of music just warms my heart in ways that no other seasonal music does or can. I love these songs, mainly because I grew up with the Muppets and have ALWAYS loved John Denver. This album puts me right into the mood of the holiday season, no matter where I am, what I am doing, or who I am with at the moment.
There aren't too many people out there (that I've found, anyway) that share my enthusiasm for this collection of songs, but I still love them all! It is difficult for me to pick my favorite song, but here I go...
Best for a giggle - Twelve Days of Christmas (especially Miss Piggy!) The ones that make me cry - Noel: Christmas Eve 1913, When the River Meets the Sea, and Silent Night
The others are also great, but not ones tha…

Music? Bah, Humbug!

I am a Christmas music Scrooge. I am the type of person who avoids all stores from the period after Halloween to the post-Christmas sales simply due to the constant and pervasive repetition of hymns, carols, and songs that permeate my every conscious second. I cannot ignore the music that is played, and it bothers me.

Most of my friends don't understand this aversion that I have to singing the same old songs over and over and over again. They love listening to the "all Christmas, all the time" radio stations that pop up around here. I have to escape and retreat into silence.

Lately, I have noticed that others (in my social media life, so mostly music therapists) are starting to post about their own aversions to the music of this season. I have been relieved to know that I am not the only Christmas music Scrooge out there.

In my therapy sessions, I find myself waiting until the very last possible moment to bring in the Santa-themed songs and the Christmas music. I try to rem…

Just Full Up

I am full up of the music therapy goodness that happens often for me - it is a refreshing change from the goblin-filled thoughts of a day ago...  

Yesterday was a good therapy day.

I actually had a chance to run music therapy groups (with drums) during my day, and I spent some time with some great kids! It was the perfect way to banish that shoulda goblin from the forefront to the background (but he hasn't left entirely yet...).

We used a variety of drums yesterday in my two groups. With my students, I typically do not do anything really fancy with them until we can entrain to a steady and common beat. This is always an interesting exercise. Some of my students entrain quickly and easily - others do not. It seems that most of my nonentrainers are higher functioning, need less supports, and have diagnoses on the Autism Spectrum towards the Asperger's range. Sometimes they seem to be fighting the urge to entrain to a beat. If I change my pattern to match theirs, they change their …

The Shoulda Goblin Strikes Again...

I am a fan of a blogger/artist/author named Danny Gregory who draws things and is quite the philosopher. He talks lots about his creative process, the people that inspire him, and about his doubts about his own talent. He wrote a series of posts about his "monkeys" - the doubts that sink into his brain and stay awhile. I can relate.

My doubts don't take the form of monkeys, they come in full-out goblin form. (See my former post, Shoulda, Woulda, Coulda Goblins for more.)

Yesterday, the most difficult of my goblins, the Shoulda Goblin, came out in full force.

I had an off day. I had a change of schedule that meant that there was less opportunity to run sessions than usual. I was supposed to have physical behavior management training that kept me out of the other music therapy session that was scheduled. I asked my intern to take over that session, which she did since her session had been canceled. I went up to the training room with three other people and sat there for a tim…

5:38 am - Therapeutic Music Experience Time

Thoughts About My Next Project

So, I am happiest when I have a project, problem, or conundrum. I am currently thinking and searching for my next idea...

Here is the thought process...

Hmmm. I'm bored. Things are going okay, but I don't feel challenged. Hmmm. Let's go troll around the music therapy blogosphere to see what's out there. Hmmm. Not much that's new. What if I type in "music therapy with adolescents?" It's all about lyric analysis. BORING! I hate only doing lyric analyses. There is SO much more to music therapy than just lyric analysis... Hmmm...
The birth of an idea.
So, how about a collection of therapeutic music experiences for and by adolescents? Does that sound interesting?? It's interesting for me. Hmmm. What have I got in my TME file?
So, now I am going to start plugging away at getting an e-Book ready. Something to do in my spare time over the next couple of months. We'll see.
Step one: just start Step two: keep going Step three: keep going again! Step four: figure out what t…

Major Fail on My End

So sorry that it has been so long since my last post. I REALLY try hard not to be one of those bloggers that posts something once every five or six months. I REALLY try to post something weekly, even if it is just some random thoughts that have been rattling around in my brain...

Anyway, it's been two weeks since I last posted something on this page. I have no defense other than to say that life has been a bit overwhelming lately culminating with a case of influenza that has knocked me down a bit. I'm now on the mend and starting to get myself under control (I think!).

SO...

I figured out something about myself last week. Now, this is not really a new something, but something I had forgotten. Are you ready? 

I am happiest when I have a problem or puzzle to solve.
I think this is why I stayed a student for so very long. I love puzzles, problems, and conundrums - the more difficult and convoluted, the better when it comes to me! I love looking for answers and all the ways of getting …