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Showing posts from August, 2017

Thoughtful Thursday: Nah, I'm Not Thinking Very Much

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I am searching for deep thoughts this week, but everything just skips into the more trivial parts of my life. I am feeling really happy about getting to wear my t-shirts to work again. Over the past several years, I've been wearing the hated polo shirts in a weekly rotation - Wednesday has ALWAYS been my red polo day - and now I am free. Interestingly, one staff member remarked that I wasn't wearing red yesterday - the only person who seems to realize that I rotated through my shirts in a set pattern. The brain just keeps going into places that aren't very deep. It is possible that this is what I need this week - something that doesn't take too much time or effort to decide.

Meanwhile, the dishes are piling up. Cooking has pretty much gone by the wayside. I haven't hooked the computer up to the external drives for almost a week now - everything has been done from my bedroom. I've spent lots of time watching 30 Rock. I'm not sure if this is a good thing or no…

Halfway Finished with the Week

I am halfway through my therapy week. There are just as many group sessions in front of me as there are behind me. This is a good thing. The therapy week has been going well. I've added some pull-out sessions to my group schedule, so I have had a chance to work with some students one to one. I still have some more space for more individual work, but some of my co-workers don't really seem to want me to take kids away from their classrooms. Others can't wait for me to take their students away. It cracks me up.

My favorite thing to do is to work with clients in an individual setting. I enjoy being able to connect with only one person at a time through and in music. It is something that doesn't really happen often as my primary treatment format is large classroom groups. I don't always get to engage with students within the group milieu. I enjoy having a chance to interact with my clients within their interests.

Yesterday, I spent some time with a Hello Kitty stuffed an…

TME Tuesday: I'm Thinking I Need Another Table

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So, I've been writing therapeutic music experiences (TMEs) for a long time now, and I've adjusted my format to reflect my thought processes many times. I like the format that I have now for my TMEs, but I'm thinking that it is time to add something into TMEs from now on.

I'm going to add a new table.Lately, I've been thinking lots about goal orientation for my TMEs. This is coming from my current project, working on CMTE course content, and the thoughts that have come from most of my course modules. One of the things that I strive to do is to become better at explaining exactly what I do in each one of the TMEs I offer. I think that this is best explained by knowing my goals and my therapeutic domains backwards and forwards.


If I spend some time on thinking through my desired and unintended goals for a specific TME, then I am more likely to be able to justify my role in the lives of my students. (Not that I have that opportunity that often, but I do need to have thi…

No More Polo Shirts!

For the last four years, I have had to stuff myself into a polo shirt four days out of the week. The school staff had to wear uniforms while no one else at the facility had a set outfit to wear. There was a rumor that everyone would be wearing polo shirts very soon, but something else happened instead.

On Friday, I returned from peer supervision/lunch and found a piece of paper placed under my office door. It said that we no longer had to wear our old uniforms. We now have to wear something with the facility logo every day. We can wear jeans as well as slacks now. I hate polo shirts, so I am very happy that I can wear my t-shirt collection instead!

When I talk to other music therapists about professional dress, I stress the following ideas:
be covered from neck to knee - no gaps!be comfortable - no one likes a twitchy person or being the twitchy person.make sure you can do your job - I once met a music therapist who wanted to run around after my students in 3-inch heels. She quickly real…

Just a Song Sunday: Improvisation Challenge

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A couple of weeks ago, one of my clients challenged me during a session. The challenge was not a behavioral one but was a musical one. The client said, "Why do you always sing the same songs? Why don't you make up some new ones?" So I did.

The fact of the matter is that I make up songs all the time. I often improvise music shaped around my clients. I asked the client who challenged me to improvise if he recognized when the song was completely new. He couldn't.

I have a basic rule when it comes to improvising - make the music match what is going on around you. Seems simple enough, but it took me a long time to be comfortable with the idea. Nowadays, I improvise music as a matter of course. My students and staff members are often not aware that I am making music in the moment when I am doing it. I think that's a good thing. They must find the music itself engaging and appropriate for the moment itself. For someone who struggled with horrible anxiety every time her ba…