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Showing posts from March, 2014

You Know, That One Song, That We Heard On That Commercial...

Yesterday, my father asked me to find him a song. He had heard it in the deli where he and my mother and my sister had lunch, and he knew that it was used in a commercial, but that was where we started. It was a ballad, a female sang it, my sister thought she had dark hair but wasn't Katy Perry, and that was all. All the information that he had about the song he wanted me to find for him. I used my interview skills - honed after working with clients with developmental disabilities for 21 years - "What instruments did you hear?" "Do you remember any of the words that were used?" "Did the music change at all?" Eventually I found out that the last words were, "I let him go." Off to Google I went. [Can I just go on a social media tangent here? Life is so much easier now that you can type search criteria into the computer and have things sent back to you within nanoseconds! Before, I would have had to purchase lots of songs, listened to th

Lazy Days

I am enjoying a lazy day today. You know the ones? You don't change out of your pajamas, and you stay home all day doing the things that need to get finished. That's my day today. It has been a productive day even though I am still in pj's at 3:14 pm. I slept in late (6:30 am!), and then started some chores that I had neglected. I finished an internship review, wrote a letter, spent time putting together a presentation for regional conference next weekend, and then finished one of my pizza box projects. All I need to do now is print it out and glue it to the pizza box, and, PRESTO! Finished substitute plan for some of my groups! I think the best thing about days like this is that there is no need for anything specific to have to happen. I didn't have to do any of the things that I finished, but I am glad that I took the time to do so. Now I can spend some time with my other chores - a presentation for Tuesday evening, arrangements for my trip to conference this upco

Twenty-One Years Ago Today...

March 26, 1993 - Location: Phoenix, Arizona at the Center for Neurodevelopmental Studies, Inc. Event: I finished my internship and started on my journey as a professional music therapist. (By the way, this is "Make Your Own Holiday" Day, so I'm declaring this March 26th, 2014 as "MJ became a Music Therapist" day!) I usually don't spend lots of time thinking about my professional anniversary, but it occurred to me that this was the day that I stopped being an intern and became A MUSIC THERAPIST ! I decided to talk about it. I posted it on Facebook and in the Music Therapists Unite group! It seems important to me this year for some reason! I've been thinking lots about the past 21 years. My ways of doing music therapy have changed. The way I think about the use of music as a therapeutic medium has changed. These changes have been good as they have led to my further development and my therapeutic skill. I have also spent quite a bit of time thinkin

TME Tuesday - Stereo Symbol Movement

Good morning, fellow therapists, and others interested in using music as a therapeutic modality! It's TME Tuesday, so I'm repeating a TME that's been on my website ( ) for some time now. This is an example of how I use my TME format to organize actual ideas into therapeutic interventions. This TME doesn't necessarily use specific music, but the musical intervention can be improvised to encourage clients with any type of musical preference - the therapist has to do his/her job! Enjoy - mj Therapeutic Music Experience Stereo Symbol Movement Mary Jane Landaker, MME, MT-BC Purpose : To increase independence in lifelong leisure skills; increase familiarity with common symbols for electronic media operation; symbol recognition; divided attention to task; sustained attention to nonverbal cues; social interaction Source : Original idea. © April 26, 2010, by Mary Jane Landaker, MME, MT-BC M

Resting the Voice

I haven't sung in two days now. The last time I sang was on Wednesday evening worship and choir practice. The rest of the time, I have been pretty quiet. I have spent time at home alone and have just been quiet. Now, I have always tried to have good vocal hygiene. I try to breathe appropriately, I stop singing when I get hoarse, and I drink water constantly. I try to use the best support that I can, even when I'm draped over my guitar, and I take singing vacations when I can. This past week has been a good opportunity for a singing vacation. I have been quiet. Being quiet and just listening is a learned skill. I use it lots in sessions. Many of the interns that I have spent time with over the years cannot listen or be quiet. They feel that they have to talk or sing or interrupt in order to justify being a "therapist." I was first taught how to listen by a person working on her doctorate in child psychology - Sandy Rudder taught me about being assertive but als

On the Downhill Slide

It is Thursday of Spring Break. This is always the time when I start to get myself ready for the return to work - back to the 7:30-4:00 daily grind - back to making music for others. I haven't done as much as I wanted, but every place shows that some effort has been made towards cleaning and organizing. I am satisfied with how I've kept myself occupied during the past several days. Now that I have more break behind me than in front of me, I am making some decisions about how I will be spending my remaining time. I started a pizza box project for my music therapy clinic - I'm not sure how that will turn out, but I have hopes for these boxes. I think they will end up being my substitute plans - session in a box! We will see. I'll spend some time playing around with ideas, paints, and papier mache. (If I get something done, I'll post pictures.) There is a sense of anticipation as well - what will happen this upcoming week? What will my clients do during music thera

TME Tuesday - Blank TME Form that I Use to Organize

It is Spring Break, and I decided to give myself a break when it comes to thinking during vacations. Therefore, I decided to share the format that I use to organize my Therapeutic Music Experiences (TMEs) with brief explanations of each section and why I think the information is important to include here on the blog. Feel free to ask questions, use the format, or change it to make it functional for you.  There are many examples of how I use this format on my website at . Therapeutic Music Experience [TITLE] - I always title my TMEs - makes it easier to produce the TME when someone asks for a lesson plan or my clinical goals Mary Jane Landaker, MME, MT-BC - Give credit where credit is due. If an idea is mine, then I claim it!   Purpose : - This is where I list all of my goals - primary, secondary, tertiary. Everything that we work on or could work on during a specific experience goes here. This