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Showing posts from December, 2015

Thoughtful Thursday - Stand Out

This week's thought sitting on my desk was this gem from Sarah Ban Breathnach. Apparently, Ms. Breathnach wrote several books in the mid-late 90's and early 00's about finding gratitude in simple things. The first book, Simple Abundance, debuted in 1995 and encouraged women "to search for the small and the sweet in our daily round with appreciation and awe..." ( ). There is much to think about when you start to examine the things that go on in your own life. There is satisfaction to be had when you realize that what you have is abundance, but there is something to be said for looking forward to new challenges and goals. I don't really feel like I am one who demonstrates this particular quotation very well. I have spent lots of my life trying to fit into situations, groups, cliques, and ideas that have not really been my place. It has taken me lots of time to realize that, if I have to work so hard

Adventures with iTunes

So, about once a year, I get into some sort of kerfluffle with my iPod. It's happening right now and continues to simultaneously baffle and confound me. I have said before (and I'll say it again and again), the logic behind iThings is not my logic. My current struggle? I've gone from over 21 thousand songs on my iPod to 3 thousand. I've lost 18 thousand songs. I did this somehow, but I can't figure out what I did or how I did it. I just know that things have left the iPod to the ether of my failed Apple experiences (there are lots of them, let me tell you!!). Somehow, iTunes has put two different music libraries on my iTunes account. I have multiple copies of music lurking in several places in my computer pieces so I have multiple copies of things taking up valuable space. I am trying to consolidate but can't because I don't have enough space on either hard drive to put things on just one. What to do? Lots of gnashing of teeth, going to the interne

TME Tuesday: I Resolve

It's that time of year when resolutions are on the forefront of most people's minds. The idea of a future goal is something that eludes many of my clients - they find the future to be too abstract to plan and work towards. So, we sing about it. Here's the lyrics, analysis, and my procedure. If you would like the sheet music, please contact me here . Happy New Year! Therapeutic Music Experience I Resolve Mary Jane Landaker, MME, MT-BC Purpose : To engage group members in personal goal setting; executive function; creative expression; emotional awareness; fine motor (if writing) skill development; social interaction Source : Words, music, and therapeutic procedure © August 11, 2014, by Mary Jane Landaker, MME, MT-BC. Materials : OPTIONAL: dry erase board and marker or prepared lyric sheets and writing utensils for group members to use to write their responses Environment : All group members within hearing distance of the leader; provide wr

Back In the Saddle Again

"Vacation" is over for me. It's time to start getting back into the routine of writing every day, working on music therapy tasks and projects, and moving the knee around so I can keep up with my clients in about a week. I am more than ready to get back into work routines. It's been a long month  of recovery, holidays, and changes. I'm still waiting for a phone call from someone about physical therapy, and I need to talk to the insurance company, but the rest of the time needs to be spent getting organized and coordinated for getting back to work. I have never spent so much time away from working in my career before. It has been strange and not something I want to repeat any time soon. Anyway... I am a bit trepidatious about going back to work. One of the things about working with a population where treatment is changing from long-term to more acute care models is that many of the clients I knew before Thanksgiving will be gone. There will be many new faces t

Welcome Back

The holidays are over (at least, mine are), and it's time to get back to work. I'm a bit overwhelmed with thinking right now, and I'm a bit preoccupied with myself these days. I still have a week off, and I am getting more than ready to not be at home these days. I still have my present to myself to look forward to (it should arrive today), and there will be some fun figuring out how to use it! I just realized that today is Supplemental Sunday (one of the problems with holidays and vacation - I lose track of which day it is). I've got nothing this week. I'll do better next time. Thinking of all of my Texas music therapy friends in light of the tornado/winter storm action last night. Be safe.

Thoughtful Thursday: Laughter

Today is many different things - Christmas Eve, December 24th, Thursday. I've been living with this quotation for the week, and find that it speaks to me on many different levels. If you don't know, Victor Borge was a comedian, composer, and pianist. He was born in 1909 in Denmark, and died in the year 2000. Many of his routines included him sitting at a piano and using it to illustrate the rest of his routine. Here is a link to Borge at the opera. Anyone who has ever had to accompany another person can find something to relate to in this sketch. Another link includes Mr. Borge illustrating how people from different professions play the piano. Another link has Mr. Borge showing how to punctuate music for the listening ease of the audience. If you check out the link at the bottom of the page, you will find much more information about this wonderful man who brought music and more to many in a way that made it memorable. Anyway, this quotation seems extremely apropos for

Introducing Music Therapy Works on Facebook

I have a secret - it's a business page on Facebook. I am the first to admit that I know very little about running a business, but I am constantly learning about it. I go into business-type things hesitantly and often learn from my mistakes... my many mistakes. I've started to increase my business presence in this music therapy world. I have a business page on Facebook - here it is !  Navigating the world of social media is something that I don't feel that I can do effectively yet. I am starting to use Twitter to communicate and now I am plunging into the Facebook pool. I am a semi-serious Pinterest pinner, but I reserve my pinning for things that are really important to me and only have five boards. I am working on growing a brand. I have a logo. I have a mission statement. I have an idea. I just take my own sweet time in getting there. I envy those who have a great online presence as part of their music therapy lives. I constantly feel that I am catching up with o

TME Tuesday: Song Challenge

My brain is atrophied and overwhelmed by the difficult situation that is Worker's Compensation, so I do not have a new TME to share today. Instead, I have a creativity challenge for you, readers! I would like to know what you would do with this song... Winter Song by Sara Bareilles and Ingrid Michaelson - here's the challenge... Leave a comment below about how you would use this piece of music in your clinical area. Give us a brief description of your clientele and the type of therapy you do. I'm looking for ideas about goals you would address with this piece, how you would lead your clients into working on their goals, and what you want as an outcome to using this song. (I already have my own ideas about how to use this song with my group of clients, but I would love to hear from others!!) At the end of this next week, I'll compile things into a TME for all of us to use. See you next Tuesday!

Monday Music - at 4:56am

Today I am doing something I rarely do. I'm sitting in my bed, writing this blog (that's not the unusual part of all of this), listening to the Muppets channel on Pandora (that's the unusual part). I rarely listen to music just to listen. This was one of the things that significantly changed in my life once I became a full-time music therapist. Music became something that was always present, so I needed different types of stimulation in my life. When I am finished with a work day, I often go for talk radio and television shows rather than music. Lately, however, I have been away from my music therapy routine and am finding that music is starting to fill me up again. Isn't that a strange thought?  The music is starting to fill me up again. I am singing to the cat. She has her own songs (Soft Kitty for one), and I am singing to her more than I usually do. Her responses are not really the types of responses I usually get with my voice - not many of my clients poin

Supplemental Sunday: Look What I Got!

I got my second mailing from Music Therapy Mailings on Thursday. Here's a photo essay of the loot!! Note the festive mailing envelope. There's tons of stuff packed into these envelopes, and I look forward to its arrival each time! I wish I had had this idea. Thanks, Tracy! I get so much fun out of finding out what it is each envelope that I think I will continue!! 

Just A Little Something for My Amusement

Mission Statement

I have a self-imposed task to do by this Sunday. It came out of one of the two presentations I was able to attend at the American Music Therapy Association 's annual conference back in November, and it's a good one to engage my brain and make it do some dreaming. I need to update my mission statement. "What is a mission statement?" you may ask? Well, according to Wikipedia (I know, I know, but you have to admit that Wikipedia is a great place to START looking for information!), "a mission statement is a statement which is used as a way of communicating the purpose of the organization" ( , retrieved 12/18/15). The article goes on to state that a mission statement also serves to direct the actions of the organization and provides a touchstone for decisions, goals, and desired outcomes. I've written and debated mission statements before, but I find that it is not that easy to write one for your own pers

Thoughtful Thursday: A Year From Now

On my desk, I have a small box that is filled with cards. The box came last month in my packet from Music Therapy Mailings , and I am enjoying the inspiration I get from that little box. (I cannot wait until I get the next packet!!) I have decided to choose a card per week to think and write about. On each card is a quotation, and these quotations make me think more deeply about things. I have rules for how to choose an inspiration card - basically, I randomly choose a card and place it at the front of the box where I can see it from my computer every day. I cannot switch or change the card until Thursdays after I have written about the thought. Today's thought comes from Karen Lamb. A year from now you will wish you had started today. -- Karen Lamb This quote leads me into many questions. What should I be starting today? Is it okay that I don't really have anything to start? Do I need to be looking for something to start? Is the pressure and demands worth it right