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Showing posts from September, 2014

TME Tuesday - The Database

If you clicked on this blog looking for a new TME idea, I'd like to send you to the website where you can find some TME ideas. Thanks ~ mj

Forgive me today as I move from my usual Tuesday presentation of a therapeutic music experience (TME) to something related, but not the same...

Today, I would like to speak about my TME database. It is a work in progress and is constantly evolving as I continue to write and learn more and more TMEs. This is a current topic of interest for me since I am spending more and more of my time organizing my file as I am trying to fill up time without access to my documentation format and cannot access the email program in my office. So, I am going through my TME file and am linking all of the TMEs to my excel database.

I use Excel to organize my TMEs. I only picked that program because I understand it, and I can sort it quickly (I REALLY like that function!!).

So, here is what I do to organize my TMEs for music therapy.

Title
Goal Areas
Author/Composer
TME De…

Sing A Song Sunday - Old Friends

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Today's page from Rise Up Singing was page 226 and the song Old Friends from Paul Simon. Here is a place where you can pay for and then download the sheet music. Here's a link to the video of Simon and Garfunkel singing the song. And, here's the song chart...

I keep finding songs that aren't really appropriate for my particular population, my kids aren't really into reminiscence, but the music itself can be used to encourage deep breathing and relaxation. I would change the words and the theme of the song to make my clients more interested in what's going on. I would change the lyrics to illustrate what I want them to do - breathe deeply, tense and relax the muscles. The rest of the song would be fine.

So, now I'm going to see if I can replicate the song from You Tube and the book Rise Up Singing - I think there are more words on the You Tube link than I have in my book...

Happy Singing and Happy Sunday!

5 More Things I Wish Someone Had Told Me About Music Therapy

One of the things I've noticed this week is a resurgence of views on one of my previous posts, 7 Things I Wish Someone Had Told Me About Music Therapy. I think someone professorial has assigned a class to read the post this week because the views for this post had gone way down but are now increasing again.

Anyway, I have been a bit introspective about music therapy this week as I have moved from one storage location to another, changed my schedule, and have been a bit overwhelmed by having to get used to all the changes in my situation. I have had some time to think about the role of music therapy at my facility and my particular role in that facility - not just as music therapist, but also as human being and co-worker. This has led me to some more things.

What else do I wish someone had told me about music therapy when I was first starting out? Here are some more thoughts:
There are times when I cannot shut off the music in my head - One of my Twitter followers asked if I had inclu…

Favorite Things Friday - Scrapbooking Boxes

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I am an organization seeker. As you know, I am currently involved in moving my clinic area from storage area to storage area at work, and my home space is suffering as a result. I've got lots of stuff, and it is taking over my life. So...

Today's Favorite Thing? Well, my favorite storage container, of course! Scrapbooking Storage Boxes!

I don't know if you are a scrapbooker, but I have dabbled a bit in my life and have all of the accoutrements that go with dabbling - large decorative papers, fancy scissors, glue sticks, etc. What does this have to do with music therapy? Absolutely nothing!

I was looking for some storage for my visual aid components - places to keep my bulletin board die-cuts and other visuals - and I had a couple of these boxes sitting empty in my craft space. I started filling up the boxes with that stuff. Then, I needed a box for a short-term music therapy situation and decided I would try a scrapbooking box for that situation as well.

I was surprised at how…

Comfortable With Disorganization?

I am finding that I have a specific level of disorganization that I can live with comfortably. Unfortunately, I have surpassed this level recently and am struggling with the disorganization that surrounds me everywhere these days.

I think much of the struggle comes from the fact that my clinical storage is not organized AT ALL! At this moment, right now, all of my stuff is scattered between a small storage closet, a larger room that is shared with the Art Therapist and all of her materials, and home. I'm not sure where everything is in my area, and I cannot just put my hands on the things that I need when I need them.

This increases my frustrations with disorganization.

I talk to people all the time about how to organize their stuff. This topic comes from my years and years of struggling with just this very thing - too much stuff, lack of organization, and a tendency towards being a packrat (currently looking more and more like a hoarder, but I am REALLY trying not to g…

Wonderful Things Happening

So, on the Lickert scale of wonderful, you may not rank these events as high as I do, but I am excited about things that are happening around me these days. Here are some of these "wonderful things" that are happening to me:
I had the chance to talk to the contractor about where my cabinets are going in the new room that is being made at my facility. His idea was not the idea that I developed, but I'm fine with that. I figured my idea would be pooh-poohed anyway - it is occasionally asked for but then completely ignored. He told me that the flooring guy was coming next week to lay the carpet - PROGRESS! There still aren't any electrical outlets, but there is some progress.It is television box set release time!! I have received the last season of Castle, and The Big Bang Theory is on its way to me! I love new television box sets. I also got a great deal from the Disney Movie Club and got The Muppet Show: Season Two for free! Every time I watch season one, I get great i…

TME Tuesday - Count Your Blessings

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Today's Therapeutic Music Experience (TME) is based on one of my favorite Bing Crosby songs - Count Your Blessings from the movie White Christmas. I apologize for the crude nature of this idea, but it is one of those ideas that has been sitting in my TME file for a very long time with little to no adaptations or extensions. I also noted that I do not have any of the copyright information on this card - I will have to rectify that since I am a stickler for sourcing your materials appropriately.

Maybe I'll spend some time later this evening fleshing out this TME for the file. Maybe not. We will see. It's time to put on the creativity cap and get going on this TME!

Enjoy.

Monday Morning Musings

There are lots of things that go through my mind early in the morning, especially on Monday mornings. I start to think about everything on my to-do list and then the list starts to grow and grow.

Today's musings have included a desperate desire to have a consistent schedule, to start some individual sessions (I'm still looking for a place to run those sessions, but I think I know a place), and a desire to get the empty spots in my current schedule filled. I've also been wondering if my allergies will take over and interrupt the one group session that I run today. I am hoping that I can move out of my intern's sessions in a way that will allow me to be an observer rather than a participant. I am hoping that the meeting that is scheduled will actually happen rather than being canceled at the last moment. I am also hoping that I'll have time to finish my clinical documentation and maybe even write a song or two.

Before that happens, though, I have to get gasoline for th…

Sing A Song Sunday - Now The Day Is Over

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Today's journey into Rise Up Singing led me to page 134 and the song Now the Day Is Over, a hymn (classified as a lullaby in the book but a hymn everywhere else). The words were written by Sabine Baring-Gould, and the music was written by Joseph Barnaby in the 1860's.

I can see why the folks who wrote Rise Up Singing placed this into the lullaby section. It certainly feels lullaby-like, very smooth phrases and a limited tessitura. The lyrics are certainly spiritual in nature and reference themes of Christianity - hence, the hymn classification every other place.

Sheet Music: http://library.timelesstruths.org/music/Now_the_Day_Is_Over/pdf/
YouTube Version: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sWR2vVXZE5A

Here is the chart for the song.

This is a song that I would not use in its original format in my music therapy sessions. My reluctance comes from the obvious references to Christian themes. So, I would never initiate this song, but if a client brought up their spiritual preferences in …

The Journals - Outgrowing the Space

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This is a picture of my journal shelf. As you can see, I have many of those brown and pastel covered journals from over the years.I've had to move them recently to this new corner shelf because I have too many for the space where they used to live. So, they now live here.

I am not a huge journal reader. I tend to read things when I need to or have to rather than just to fill up time. It's something I should probably do more of in my life - read the research of my profession - but I don't. It's time to do a bit better with this situation.

How do you use the journals and research of our profession?

A bit ago, I spent time everyday reading one of my many music therapy textbooks and wrote a bit about what I read. I found it interesting and it gave me a chance to think about music therapy in a different way than I usually do - in the music therapy sessions that happen in my life.

The theoretical nature of music therapy research has a function, but I feel that I don't always…

Favorite Things Friday - People Clackers

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Do you know that moment when you have a favorite instrument, but you have ABSOLUTELY no idea what other people call them so you try to go onto the internet to find a picture and just cannot? Here's my current dilemma!! I love some instruments that I have, but I cannot find a picture of them on the web at all! This picture is the closest that I've been able to find, and I don't have ANY of these!

My favorite set of these "people clacker instruments" have faces (and mouths that line up with the clacking part like the duck here). I have four of these - a girl (Petunia), the twins (Fred and George - you can tell them apart because George has a scar on the back of head), and a dapper man with a hat and a mustache (Monsieur LePeu). They have a menagerie of pets and animals as well - horses, frogs, alligators, birds, and a purple bear.

My kids love these and often ask for them (that's all the kids, even the big old teens!). We use them to practice conversation skills.…

The Great Debate

To go to work when feeling sick, or not to go to work when feeling sick, that is the question. Whether 'tis nobler to sit at home, nursing the germs or to go out into the world of clients and professionals to share those germs with others...

Forgive my paraphrasing, but this really is a dilemma for me. I spent yesterday at home due to mild fever, headache, and stomach stuff. Today, the mild fever continues, the headache comes and goes, and the stomach stuff seems to be better, but I am still debating about going to work.

It's no longer a debate. I need to go to work. There are things I have to do, including setting up my intern's schedule, completing her mid-term evaluation, leading the celebration for one of the clinicians that I don't know very well (but whose birthday is on Friday), and my regular clinical duties. I guess I'll take some medicine for the headache and the fever and just suck it up.

I wonder if this illness is something that others have, or if it'…

TME Tuesday - I Am Mary Jane

An Empty Afternoon - Well, Not Really

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I have an unexpected luxury ahead of me today - an afternoon free of meetings. This is a good thing that will, hopefully, give me an opportunity to do some much needed organizing and packing. The problem that I have is that the promise of uninterrupted time in my isolated office area may not actually happen, but it's not for lack of trying.

Today's list of things to do? Making up a sub box for paras to run on the (now only occasional) days when I am out sick. I'm thinking the parachute belongs there, several games should be there, and some special music playlists also need to be in the box. In addition to the materials, there have to be some instructions on how to use the stuff - otherwise, the paras will just look at it. I also need to pack up some of my stuff, yet again, to prepare for yet another move into an inadequate space that I will be sharing with the Art Therapist. I'm not exactly sure when said move will occur, so stuff has to be accessible, clearly labeled, …

Sing A Song Sunday - The Last Thing On My Mind

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I flipped to pages 125 and 126 in Rise Up Singing and chose The Last Thing on My Mind by Tom Paxton as today's song. You can find the video of Tom singing this song at this link. You can find the melody line at this link. Now, I've never heard this song before, but apparently it was covered by quite a few people - Joan Baez, Dolly Parton, Neil Diamond, and a huge, unverified list of others (listed on Wikipedia, so consider the source). I find the song to be typical of folk-ish type songs of the 60's - steady tempo, familiar and repetitive rhythmic patterns, and lyrics that are sweet.

 Now I have something new to practice this week. I'm not exactly sure how I will incorporate this particular song into my sessions, but that is part of the goal of these Sing A Song Sundays - increasing my repertoire and giving me something new to sing.

As I am getting ready to move into a new music therapy space, I am working on the type of therapy that I want to present to my clients. Trau…

Being Professional When You REALLY Just Want to Scream!

There are times when being a professional is a difficult thing to do.

In my opinion, being a professional means displaying a set of skills and qualities appropriate for a job.

Merriam-Webster online dictionary has a definition that is a bit more defined than my own...
pro·fes·sion·al·ismnoun\prə-ˈfesh-nə-ˌli-zəm, -ˈfe-shə-nə-ˌli-\ : the skill, good judgment, and polite behavior that is expected from a person who is trained to do a job well 1:  the conduct, aims, or qualities that characterize or mark a profession or a professional person(see 1professional) 2:  the following of a profession (as athletics) for gain or livelihood  http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/professionalism Of these definitions, I like the first two presented, especially the first one. I love the idea of polite behavior being a part of being a professional. Often, that part of professional interactions is missing.
I am the first to admit that I struggle with professionalism in several of the places where I …

Favorite Things Friday - Intern Webinars

One of my greatest joys in life is being an internship director. I love being able to spend both quality and large quantities of time with people who enjoy music therapy as much as I do (most of the time, but not always). It is wonderful to watch a student of music therapy turn into an intern and then into a music therapy professional.

Over the past two years, I have offered webinars for interns who are not my own every four months or so. (If you want more information, click this link for the details on who, when, and how to register.)

I get a chance to talk to interns from around the country about things that I feel are important for them to know. We talk about their rights and their responsibilities to the profession, the internship, and the school setting. Other topics include time management and organization, learning how to lead, self-care practices, marketing ourselves, and how to have crucial conversations. All of the topics are things that I've discussed with interns for yea…

A Strange Day, To Say the Least

This is not one of my usual themes for writing.  It has some spiritual and religious themes.  You do not have to keep reading, if you want to.
Yesterday was a strange day. 

It started with, FINALLY, a decision. We'll see if the decision actually sticks, but it has been sent via email to all the parties involved, so I am progressing forward according to the plan. Then, another decision was made that doesn't make much sense to me, but this decision has not been made public, so I'm not really hopping to pack up my stuff and move yet again quite yet.

Then, the music therapy moments started.

Kids were absurd yesterday! The number of students who spent most of their music therapy sessions in outright belly laughs was enormous! They took therapeutic music experiences (TMEs) and adapted them on the spot to make them different and more original to them. Kids who hadn't shown any response except for tantrums to school work engaged in music therapy (much to the surprise of the paraeduc…

This Is Wednesday, Right?

I am currently in a bit of a stress-cycle induced by renovation, schedule changes, ineffective communication, extra work responsibilities, and kids who are extremely confused by their new classes, classmates, and schedules.

I am having some trouble keeping track of what day it is.

This is not unusual when I'm in the center of a scheduling vortex - and my schedule may change yet again - I can't seem to get to the place of habit when the schedule changes every 10 minutes.

So, today is Wednesday, I think, and I'm trying to get ready for my day. I hope the schedule I am thinking about is the actual schedule that I have to do. I guess I'll find out.

I am a person who thrives on structure. I need and want a routine. Now, once that routine is established, I love some unpredictability within that structure. I have no problem going with the flow and improvising therapeutic music experiences (TMEs) once I know that I need to be in a classroom from 10:45-11:45 and have some idea of w…

TME Tuesday - Instrument Hunt

I love puzzles, mysteries, and maps, so I often write these types of experiences for my students. Here is an idea that I haven't been able to use for a long time since I don't have one space anymore since we are renovating and all. It is something I will use again, though! I just have to wait on the construction guys to finish up the music room space...