Showing posts from January, 2014

Separation of Work and Home

I've fallen into an ethical dilemma. I know how I am going to handle it, but I feel that I need to address it here just so I can see the process through from start to finish.

Here is the dilemma.

A former client of mine (former by 4 days - left last Friday for a new school) has requested to be my friend on Facebook.

I enjoyed being the therapist for this student, but I am not ready to be his Facebook friend. I want to keep my work life separate from my home life. Now, I do not post lots and lots of social information about myself on Facebook, but there are more links into my outside life than I want a client to access. I know that he is not currently my client, but the relationship is still too close for my comfort.

I wonder what his current teacher thinks when she posts things about her "grape slushie" drinks that she enjoys several times per week. I wonder what types of censorship I would put myself through wondering what he would see on my timeline, who he would talk to, …

Song Post... The World Ain't Slowin' Down

Every so often, I find a song that resonates with my life in general. This is one of those songs. It's one of those songs that just makes me smile, but it also speaks to me and some of my major flaws and faults. It is sung by Ellis Paul and is used in the movie, Me, Myself, and Irene (a movie that I really didn't like all that much, but I was obsessed with this song after watching!). Here are the lyrics... 

I found you sitting on a suitcase crying
Beneath my feet I feel the rumble of a subway train
And I laugh out loud
Cause it's the one thing I hadn't been trying
The train came in breathless
The passenger's restless
You say, "Baby, you'll never change"
You gotta get gone
You gotta get going
Hey, the world ain't slowin' down
For no oneIt's a carnival calling out to you
And it sounds like a song
It hits you like scripture
You paint the picture
With colors squeezed from your hand
Weren't you the kid
Who just climbed on a merry-go…

Still Updating ... Man! I've Got Lots of Music!

I am still updating my digital copies of CDs that I have stored around my home. I went through each album stored on my computer, and then started to go through the books and books of CDs that I have here. I am actually looking for one particular song, requested by one client (over and over and over again). I am pulling out CDs that I don't remember seeing in my music library.

(I am going to go off on an iTunes rant now. If you are a fan of iThings, you may want to skip this paragraph as I am sure to offend you in my intense confusion and hatred of all iThings.) One of the things that drives me crazy about iTunes is that it often misnames the tracks on my CDs. Someone somewhere entered the playlist into the database wrong and it stays that way forever! I am not sure how to fix it, but it really puts a crimp in my music-searching skills! I do not remember having this problem with Windows Media, but maybe it was present there as well. I must say, iTunes does recognize more of my obscu…

We Are...Music Therapists!

It is January again and time for a post about Music Therapy Advocacy! Here is my offering to the many different thoughts going on out there in music therapy USA.

We are...Music Therapists!

This is a wonderful sentiment and a great theme to an advocacy month, and I know that there are many out there who are using this to address the need to toot our own horns and sing our songs loudly and proudly. For me, though, this statement brings to mind some things that I have been pondering for a long, long time.

It is fine and good for us all to identify ourselves as a large group of professionals with a unique name, but it is interesting that, within our own ranks, there are people who feel that they are truly music therapists while I am simply a music activity leader solely based on my education and population of choice. There are others who feel that my client-centered approach is not appropriate... I should be doing their "proven" protocols which is the "only true way" of m…

Enjoying an Upswing

This past weekend was a good one. We celebrated Martin Luther King's birthday with a day off, and I spent it at home. Now, I'd like to tell you that I spent time in contemplation of the wonderful man who we were celebrating, but I didn't. I opted to do a bunch of non-work related work and take a nap instead. The upshot of the three-day weekend was returning to work feeling relaxed and ready to do what needed to be done yesterday. It was a good feeling to be heading into work feeling happy.

I awoke this morning at 3:30am. This seems to be my typical pattern lately. Rather than grumbling and trying to sleep more, I laid in bed thinking and then started the day. Now, at 5:07am, I have finished all of my OCMT 2014 correspondence, reviewed all of my emails, spent some time playing on social media, and am now blogging. 

Today, we have a classroom that will be going on a field trip during their music therapy time. So, an extra hour for us (myself and both inters) to fill during the…

Roaming Around the Music Collection

I am sitting in front of the computer today (on my day off, I might add) adding music to my digital library. This seems to be a never-ending process since when I rip music, it tends to disappear from the computer for various and sundry reasons - I don't know why, but it does! Right now, I have the excuse of having a new computer with oodles of storage, so I am going through my CDs and am adding music to my iTunes library.

Like everything else in my life, I have my own form of organization for my music collection. Several years ago, I decided to eliminate all of the plastic CD cases from my life. I placed all of my CDs into large books. All of a sudden, I had some space in my music area again! (It has since been filled up, but there was space for some time!!)

So, I have a book full of Holiday music, two for Soundtracks, one for Country, one for Popular music forms, and a miscellaneous book as well. They are large books - some are canvas, some are pleather, but they are functional for…

Therapeutic Music Experiences - Sharing with Others

It is fun to get together with other music therapists and hear what they do with their clients. I am always enriched when I can talk to another therapist about how they use music with their clients. I am often challenged to view my own interactions with clients in different ways after talking to other music therapists. So, because of those reasons, I have manufactured opportunities to meet with other music therapists for the sole purpose of sharing ideas of things to do with various clients.

This evening is the first meeting of a three month series of Therapeutic Music Experiences (TME) Swap Shops. (You can register at: you are interested in joining us). I am hoping that this evening's discussion will be more than just me sharing ideas. I need some new thoughts to keep me challenged!

I like these types of interactions. There is something invigorating about hearing a new song offered by a creative music therapist in a different setting …

In a Winter Wonderland

During this school year, my normal Friday routine has changed from large group, multi-disciplinary sessions focused on things like problem solving and discovery learning to music therapy sessions based on a monthly theme. This month's theme is Winter. This morning's weather is offering lots of inspiration for planning for these sessions.

There is about an inch or two of new snow on the ground outside. I am not sure if the snow has stopped yet or not, but the weather has covered everything with a glittering white layer covering all the slush and pre-plowed snow. Now, I do not usually wax rhapsodical about snow since it is really nothing but a hindrance to things I have to do, but I currently have the flu again (the high fever may have something to do with this post) and am not going to my morning job, so I can just appreciate the beauty outside rather than worrying about how to get from point A to point B.

I think this month is the time to introduce some of my students to epsom s…

What is Coming Next?

The start of a new calendar year is usually less important to me than the start of a new school year - one of the situations faced by many a school-based therapist. I never get holiday cards out to my friends and family, but I think about things like lifestyle changes and things I want to do at both times of the year. The new year seems to be more of a time for personal reflection while the start of the school year is more a time for professional ideas. So, now it is time for some personal reflections... (sorry in advance!)

This year, 2014, will be a time for creative interaction with others. My webinars will continue (see www.musictherapyworks/webinarsandcourses.html for more details), and I will FINALLY get my CBMT pre-approved provider application into CBMT for review.

I will enjoy the music therapy interactions that I have with my clients, learning from them in every way possible. I will challenge them and myself to be better musicians and people.

I am going to strive to be the best…

Off We Go!

Well, it is early in the morning, and I am sitting in my bedroom postponing the moment when I have to get up, take my shower, go out into the frigid world, and go to yet another inservice at work. There are times (kinda like these) when I do not want to be a responsible adult...

Motivation is an interesting thing. I am motivated to go to my job because I get paid. I am motivated to run music therapy sessions because I love showing my kids that music is something to be celebrated and enjoyed. I am not motivated to get out of bed this morning because the cat is cuddly, it is warm under the covers, it is cold outside, and many, many other reasons. (Jet lag is a big part of all of this, I am sure.)

I will be motivated to finish my job today since tomorrow is the weekend.

Plans for tomorrow? Sleep. Use the computer. Sleep some more. Sing a bit and sleep some more.

Hello, 2014!

Happy second day of the new year! I hope that you are getting along okay in this glorious 2014!

Today, I arrived at my house at 1:15am after being delayed through the airport and then crawling home at 40mph on slick and icy roads. The cat seemed happy to see me and promptly sat on top of me for the remainder of sleep time. I then got up, much to her dismay, and ventured out into the snowy world for an inservice day at work. I was there early and was able to clean up the space a bit just in time to welcome intern #21 back and to officially welcome intern #22 to her internship.

During the day, I spent some time talking to the teaching staff about the influence of sound on our bodies. Tomorrow, I will add some to the spiel to talk to our paraeducators about what happens when sound is in the environment, AND how we can change our sound environment to affect change in our clients' lives. It should be pretty interesting tomorrow when we have this talk.

After all of that was finished, I spe…