Showing posts from August, 2016

I'm Doing Some Wondering

I tend to get somewhat philosophical at times - this is one of those times. I am sitting here, after a long day yesterday and an even longer day on Monday, thinking about deep things like THE FUTURE, and MUSIC THERAPY, and THE EDUCATION OF OUR FUTURE GENERATIONS. (See, a bit philosophical!)

All of my thinking leads me onto different pathways. I follow my thoughts into making new forms, products, therapeutic music experiences (TMEs), blog posts, business ventures, and other stuff. Sometimes my wandering brain gives me something that others can use. Most of the time, though, it doesn't seem to do so.

Right now, I am reading lots of conversations about music therapy eligibility difficulties. There are discussions about SEMTAP evaluations, obstacles in the way of families who are seeking MT services, and the general confusion out there about music therapy as a related service under the provisions of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). These conversations are leading …

Over 60,000 Views - Thank You!!

Yesterday, my view total exceeded 60,000!

In the world of blogging in general, this is not a big number of all-time views, but in the world of music therapy in my corner of the world, this is a BIG deal!!

Thank you.

Thank you for looking at this blog, whether you look at it daily, every so often, or just when another blogger recommends it.

TME Tuesday: The Basics of Writing Therapeutic Music Experiences

It's back to school time, which means that there are many, MANY music therapy students out there getting ready for their pre-internship clinical experiences.

Here is the way that I've come to write therapeutic music experiences (TMEs) which I then turn into interventions for my clients. If you are a regular reader, this format will look VERY familiar to you. If you are new to this blog, check out the label "TME Tuesday" on the left to find examples of how I use this structure to write my TME ideas.

Therapeutic Music Experience Plan Mary Jane Landaker, MME, MT-BC


There have been lots of changes in my life lately - some initiated by me, others initiated by others - that have made me think about where I want to be going in my life.

I spend lots of time in thought, contemplating various topics about music, therapy, and music therapy. I also spend time thinking about where I belong in the bigger world of this profession. I also spend time wondering what I will be doing when I grow up ('cause I don't feel grown up right now, that's for sure!). I also think about how much my life, attitudes, and philosophies have changed over all of the years I've been part of this profession. Change, change, change.

My Dad is my go-to guy when it comes to helping me clarify my thoughts about changes. He is able to lead me through lots of ideas and scenarios that lead me to decisions about things that I struggle with during my life. He often asks me, "What don't you want to do?" I am often able to identify what I don't want easier tha…

My Foray Into a Trend

I am getting into something (that I've always done, but now it's a trend and has a name).

Bullet Journaling!

If you don't know what this is, I recommend that you don't go on Pinterest to find out. It gets kinda overwhelming when you start to see what people do with their bullet journals - they are so creative and make very pretty journals. Mine are not as cool, but they do the same thing.

Basically, a bullet journal is a to-do list system; a way of being organized (Hooray!! I love organization!). Lots of people use their journals to keep track of more than just their daily to-do lists. They have all sorts of tracking pages and stuff. They track what they read, progress towards goals, and use lots of colors. I'm not there yet.

My bullet journal is pretty basic right now. I actually have two of them - one for work and one for home stuff. They are set up the same way, in the back of some half-finished notebooks or journals that I have going right now. I have a new journal…

Storm and Fury Indicating Something

I woke up several times this morning to a large thunderstorm outside my home. I love thunderstorms - the ones where the wind isn't whipping things into a melee, but the ones where there is thunder and lightning going almost all of the time. There is a random beauty in how the light and sound interact. I fell in love with thunderstorms when I was a camp counselor in the Missouri Ozarks. Out in the woods, by the lake, there was no place to hide from the storms. I learned to appreciate the power of weather when taking shelter under the wooden roof of my platform tent.

When I open my eyes to flashes of light and crashes of sound, I think about this quote from Macbeth... 
“To-morrow, and to-morrow, and to-morrow,
Creeps in this petty pace from day to day,
To the last syllable of recorded time;
And all our yesterdays have lighted fools
The way to dusty death. Out, out, brief candle!
Life's but a walking shadow, a poor player,
That struts and frets his hour upon the stage,
And then is heard …
This seems to be one of these days when I just cannot focus on anything long enough to generate entire paragraphs, so here's what's happening in my life these days...
I passed physical behavior management re-certification yesterday. This is a BIGGIE in my life right now because I haven't had to do these skills for 13 months. The residual pain is what I experienced before my injury, so nothing out of the ordinary. HOORAY! CELEBRATIONS! ANTHEMS OF JOY!!!We have a potential big donor stopping by today who "is really intrigued by music therapy." This big donor is not interested in funding music therapy (or, at least the facility isn't interested in the big donor funding music therapy), but he has expressed an interest in meeting me and talking to me about music therapy. I am thrilled and nervous, but I think it will go well.I am in the midst of another OMTF episode - (Old Music Therapy Fogey). Why is it that other people cannot use the resources available to them?…

4 Foolproof Tips for Music Therapy Session Planning

As many of us school-based therapists are heading back to full-time music therapy schedules, I find myself thinking about planning sessions and how to go about that task in a way that is efficient, easy, and not as time-consuming as it is right now.

Here are some tips that I've found to be helpful in my session planning routine. What would you add to the list??
Collect ideas in a central location. I have a list of therapeutic music experiences (TMEs) that I started way back when I was an undergraduate, and I keep on adding to that idea bank. I have ideas listed in a database on my TME jump drive. Every time I write a new TME, I put it on the central drive and update the database. When I need a new idea (or just want some inspiration for something that I haven't done 1,000,000 times in the past month, I go to the file.View session planning as strategy development - not script writing. I can plan all sorts of things for my music therapy sessions, but if the client is not intereste…

TME Tuesday: A Repeat from the Archives

This week's TME is a repeat from way, way back. Enjoy!As always, comments, questions, concerns are welcome!! If you are interested in more TMEs, check out the website for information on how to sign up for our theme packets - sing about songs. The next edition is coming soon! TME Tuesday: Nasty Food I am going to apologize, in advance, for this post as I am sure that some people will not like it, others will find it funny, and yet others will wonder what type of warped therapy mind would come up with something like this to begin with. (Full disclosure - mine. There are times when I do things just to get the attention of my clients. I am an attention-seeker.) So, keeping that in mind, consider this.

We have a song that we sing about things that we like to eat. It's main purposes (primary goal) most of the time are to assess and expand receptive and expressive language as well as to promote social interaction. Many of my middle-schoolers would take this song and hijack it…

Signs From the Inspiration Box

I have a small box full of inspirational quotations that lives on or near my desk at home. It came in my first package from Music Therapy Mailings, and it has been the source of many thoughts, blog posts, and mindful moments. This is a post inspired by the last two cards I pulled from the stack.

I use a random approach to choosing my inspiration. Basically, I pick up the box, shake out the cards, and choose the one that feels right on my fingers. That one goes up front.

The last two cards have been about following passion where it leads.

Fortunately, I know that these two cards are true, at least for me. Following my heart and what I love is how I found music therapy to begin with, and it is what keeps me in this profession. Most of my current wishes include things that are not related to music therapy at all.

That is actually a relief. I often think about burnout, compassion fatigue, and reasons why people stop being music therapists. I have only felt that music therapy wasn't the pr…

Supplemental Sunday: The Boxes - A Project Update

It amazes me how tools can make things more efficient, effective, and easier for everyone. Today's supplemental, while not a visual aid, is a tool that helps me with some of the administrative duties of being a music therapist.
A while back, I decided to try something. I decided to make boxes to use with my large groups of kids to assist me in distributing materials, to increase the amount of time that I could actually be doing something therapeutic, and to keep some things contained.

In order to do this, I pulled out some of my favorite containers - scrapbooking boxes. You can see some of them here, including a bunch that I use to make visual aids with and some examples of the ones that I am using at work - the blue and purple ones.

I chose four boxes - red, blue, purple, and green - as the basis for my visual aids. I rationalized that color-coding materials would help us all keep things where they needed to be (and it is working!). The green box was wrecked by a client who wanted …