Showing posts from June, 2017

First Day: Friday

My mid-summer break has arrived. I woke up several times last night due to significant thunder and lightning and more anxiety dreams (they are plaguing me lately for some reason). In about 2.5 hours, I'll be taking my car in to get some maintenance done, so this will be an expensive break, but that's what happens when you drive and drive your car.

I was made aware of a music teaching position in the small town where I am a church choir director. Folks there have a vague idea that I do something with music, but they are not sure what it is that I actually do. They've been trying to get me to take that position every year for almost 20 years now - for some reason, the district can't keep a music teacher for longer than 2 years these days. Makes me wonder why.

Yesterday was a pretty good day in my music therapy clinic. I was able to finish the week with no tantrums on my side of the wall (the other side is a classroom and the tantrums there are loud and intrusive!). We watc…

Thoughtful Thursday: The End of an Era

Today is the last day I am going to work with a particular co-worker. This man has been at the facility for most of the time I was there. He has been in almost every role there is when working with children (except for my roles), and he is leaving for a new job. Today is his last day. He's not alone in leaving, on this last day of the contract year, but he is the one I'm going to miss. 

The end of the contract year is always the last work day of June. When we return from the break next week, there will be six new co-workers to get to know and to introduce to our particular culture. At least one, and possibly two, of the new folks are returns. That will be helpful, but there are always ripples when folks leave and then return again. It will be interesting to find out how these folks work within our specific culture, and there will be a need for consistency from those of us who are staying.

I try to be someone who accepts and supports change. Sometimes, that is difficult, but I tr…

A Case of the Screaming Meemies!

Yesterday was a loud day, both inside and outside the music therapy room. Everyone was screaming, oh, and urinating. I'm not sure that the two behaviors were related as those who urinated were not around the ones who were screaming, but those two things do not usually coincide. It's been a long half of the week.

One of the situations would have been completely avoided had the lead classroom aide followed the school rules rather than making up her own rules. She told her students that they could shop in the student store after their music therapy session. I told them that they could not because the store was closed. BAM! Instant riot.

This situation is one that is happening more and more with staff members lately. They think that they can interrupt what is happening in my room to get into the store. They are wrong. I am standing my ground on this one (with the support of the principal) and not allowing people to just come in whenever. After yesterday's riot, I will be insisti…

TME Tuesday: How Do I Get There From Here?

Monday Morning Musings

I woke up about the usual time this morning, and then laid in bed for about 45 minutes, telling myself that I had plenty of time (which I did), and that the day did need to happen (which it does). Armed with the thought that next week would be a holiday week, I arose to get the day started. I am going to try (really hard) to get to work no earlier than 7:15 this entire week, so I have postponed my morning shower and am blogging in my currently funky mood and condition before I take myself in and finish my hygiene for the day. The cat has arrived for her daily dose of attention (interrupting my typing for some cuddling), so the morning is progressing in a routine manner.

Today, three out of my four groups will be experiencing the Aquarium and Animals with Long Ears movements of Carnival of the Animals. We are going to make a rain storm with the ocean drums, rainsticks, and mini rainsticks that I have both here at home and at work. (That reminds me, get my ocean drum and rainsticks and p…

Just a Song Sunday: Sears and Relating to Others

I am four pages away from the end of my summer music therapy reading project. As you know, I've been re-reading the chapter in Music in therapy entitled "Processes in music therapy," written by William W. Sears. I've been through two sub-levels of the outline, and there is one left. The last one. "Experience in relating to others."

As I start to read this topic, my first thought is that this sub-level is more concerned with the behavior of so-called "normal"s than the person with an exceptionality. Music allows a person with an exceptionality to be accepted into a group of others with a role that permits him or her to participate simply as a member of the group rather than "the label of diagnosis."

In my experience, music doesn't really do this outside of a performing ensemble. I also know many ensembles where persons with exceptionalities are not welcome because of one such reason or another. To be fair, I also know of many ensembles …

Tip-Toeing Towards a Finish Line

I am working on a large project with a self-imposed deadline of August 1, 2017! The project? I am getting ready to launch my first ever independent CMTE course as a preapproved provider for the Certification Board for Music Therapists. I am very excited about this huge step towards realizing a dream I have had since 1996! Anyway, I am making progress at a slow, but steady pace. I want to have all my course information ready to go and awaiting CBMT approval by August 1, so I am spending time putting together my information and all the different pieces of this project.

This has not been a fast progress, but it is time to finish it.

At this point, I am spending time in coursework generation, video conversion, and website design. I am making all the decisions about things myself, and I am enjoying all the headaches, stress, and challenges that are coming with being the decision-maker. This is a project that is completely mine. Mine from conception through reality, and I am loving the entire…

Thoughtful Thursday: The Perfect Music Therapy Clinic

When I am bored and needing to feel somewhat challenged, I sit down with some graph paper, and I design music therapy spaces. I pretend that money is absolutely no object, and I dream. I dream about spaces for large group therapy and individual therapy. I dream about observation rooms, conference areas, storage systems (boy, do I dream about storage systems!). I let my imagination go wild, and I always find myself thinking of new things to put into my dream clinic.

My designs have varied during the years. I've wanted space for a single therapist and space for multiple therapists. One of these days, I will look at all of these plans and compile them into my perfect music therapy clinic.

I know I will never achieve this type of perfection - I will never have the money - but it is fun to dream.

What types of things would you have in your perfect music therapy clinic?

Leave comments below!

My clinic includes built-in storage in all clinical areas, additional shared storage closets, lots of…

Music Therapy Musings

I'm in a mood to wax rhapsodical. Maybe it's because of the Solstice - I am on the side of the world where there is more sunlight today than darkness. Maybe it's because the cat is wandering around under my feet and meowing lots. I've already followed her into the craft room (which has been recently cleaned enough for me to use my sewing machine and to do several craft projects), but she does not seem to have a purpose. She sat at the sewing machine. Maybe she wants me to sew something (but that ain't happening on an early Wednesday morning!). She just wants more attention than I will devote to her at the moment. Maybe it's because it's Wednesday, I don't know, but the mood persists.

I will try my best to relate this to music therapy, but this may be one of those posts where I just spin off into a rant. If so, I will apologize in advance.

I have already written this post several times, and then deleted everything that I've written. What is coming out …

TME Tuesday: The Return - Would You Rather TME

I've decided to bring back TME Tuesdays, mainly because I have lots of TMEs that I've written, but also because it is an easy blog post for Tuesday mornings - not much thought required. So, here we go. A new therapeutic music experience (TME) for your use. Please respect my intellectual property and cite me as the source (nothing is more low than someone taking credit for someone else's ideas), but I hope this does at least one of two things - gives you something new to do with your clients and/or sparks an idea that leads to a TME.

Would You Rather? Therapeutic Music Experience Mary Jane Landaker, MME, MT-BC