Showing posts from October, 2017

TME Tuesday: Pumpkin Carols

This may be somewhat too late for some of you, but I am using these Pumpkin Carols in sessions (from Wednesday until today). There are lots of different sites about songs you can sing on Halloween. In fact, each one of these links will take you to a different source.

I have compiled the resources that I like into a Halloween file, and I am working on making an entire box of holiday resources. So far, I have file folder activities, seasonal books, my lists of Halloween songs, and some cross-reference lists for other materials and therapeutic music experiences that can be used but aren't just for Halloween. I hope to make one of these boxes for each one of my special themes, I just have to buckle down and do it!

So, we are currently just singing these songs to "celebrate" the day of Halloween, but someday I'll write some TMEs to go along with them. For today, however, we are going to sing some songs...and maybe change the modes from major to minor.

Anyway, here is a chall…

Monday Morning Musings

It is Monday morning, and I am gearing myself up for this week. To compound the Halloween hype that happens every year, my administrators decided to make this entire week "Spirit Week." So, I have to get myself dressed up in my "favorite sports team paraphernalia" before I head out. 


You bet there is a problem. I don't have any sports team paraphernalia. So, I am doing something I do well - I'm improvising.

My outfit today will include a facility shirt, shorts, and leggings. I will find some sort of headband to put on. No one will really care if I dress up or not, except my clients, so I am doing this for them.

I remind myself - this is all for my clients.

This weekend, I managed to finish up some visual aids for my sessions this week. I laminated all of the cards sent to me by Tracy Reif at Music Therapy Mailings. We'll be using those in a bit. I finished my pumpkin folders, and I also laminated the rocket ship emotion game that I made a couple of…

Synthesis Sunday: Recapitulation of Chapters 1-5 - Mercedes Pavlicevic

This week, I am going to take some time to put together the thoughts that I've had during my reading of Music Therapy in Context: Music, Meaning and Relationship by Mercedes Pavlicevic. This is partially because I didn't get any reading done yesterday and I woke up late this morning, but it is partially because I've had lots of information come at me from this reading, and it is time to put it all together.

One of the biggest thoughts that I am processing through is that of cultural influence being always present - even if I am trying to engage in the music of another culture, my cultural experience will always be my primary filter. That makes sense to me, but I've never really thought it through completely, especially when it comes to how I process music. 

Now, I've known for many years that my experience of music is different from how my siblings process music. This is due to my way of interacting (translation - many years of music history, theory, and study) versu…

Music Therapy Morsel - Assessment

I've got nothing new to write about today, so here is my first Music Therapy Morsel. Let me know what you think! More will be coming as soon as I get myself organized.

Happy Saturday, all!

Friday Focus: Strategizing...

Today is Friday in this part of the world, and I am getting ready to finish my therapy week. As I've stated before, this is a non-group day. I have three individual sessions and then some planning time. I also have peer supervision with a corresponding lunch out and away from my facility. Today, also, I have an appointment with the Worker's Compensation doctor to be cleared for the finger sprain I got about 10 days ago. The finger feels better, but is not at 100% yet, but the doctor will probably clear me and release me from care. I have yesterday's documentation to finish up (six groups!), and some planning to do for next week.

I was thinking about some of my quirks. One of those quirks is that I like having structure. I like knowing that groups will arrive in my room at specific times. I like having my weekly foci. I like having a plan for how I will finish tasks and get things done.

This was all started by making some early airline reservations for my winter break. I usua…

Thoughtful Thursday: Shared Sunshine

I reset my quotation box on Monday during my intern webinar. (There are a couple of things wrong with that sentence...more about that later.) Anyway, my current quotation is from J. M. Barrie, the author of Peter Pan (if you've never read the book, please do).
"Those who bring sunshine to the lives of others cannot keep it from themselves." ~ J. M. BarrieYesterday, it was mentioned that I was always happy. The person who mentioned it is never happy and appeared to find my enjoyment of the moment to be disingenuous. There was some discussion about how much I smiled and that I really couldn't be happy. Of course, there was some projection onto my emotional state from this other person, but in the moment itself, I was truly happy.

I am not always happy. That's probably pretty evident from this blog. There are times when things go right and smoothly in my life, and there are times when things don't go as right as I want. That's part of human life, and I've …

Working It Through...One Thought at a Time

I am getting a presentation ready for the American Music Therapy Association's National Conference next month. It's a presentation that I haven't given before, and I think I bit off more than I can chew, but I am moving forward and will have something helpful to present to my audience on November 18th at 11:30 (I think - I should check on that...).

Here's what I am trying to do - I am trying to figure out a formula for writing objectives and benchmarks...something that helps me plug in desired outcomes and generate good benchmarks with limited time useage.

Sounds good, right?

Yep. Sounds good. I am close to being able to figure this out. I have many pages filled with equations and operators that make sense to me, but I'm afraid that they won't make sense to anyone else. 

To further compound this process, the cat is extra cuddly today and insists on sitting between me and the computer. This fact, while I love cat cuddles, makes everything just a bit more difficult …

TME Tuesday: Firework Countdown

Today's TME comes to you via sing about summer. This is a simple little TME, but it's very effective with my younger kids and with some of my reluctant older ones as well...

Therapeutic Music Experience Firework Countdown Mary Jane Landaker, MME, MT-BC

Make It Monday: Back to The File Folder Creation Station

This weekend, I spent some time making things. I didn't make as much as I had planned to (because that's the way things always go with planning, I've found!), but I started some ideas and finished some others.

When I am in a creation mood, I usually reach for my file folders. I could go on and on about the benefits of file folders (and I usually do, if given the time), but I will spare you this time. Anyway, I felt like trying something different, so I started to work.

First step? Finding an idea.

I spend lots of time with my clients attempting to show them about emotions and practicing emotional regulation. I try through music, through games, through talk, and we always need more and more. So, I made something to supplement what I want us to do together - a file folder game!!

So, here's what I made. I have a color-coding system for my folders so I can easily grab what I want during sessions. Blue is the color for emotional/behavioral TMEs. I used a blue folder so that I c…

Synthesis Sunday: Chapter Five in Music Therapy in Context

I am a bit behind this week, and I am going to read as I write since I didn't get my reading done before this time. Fortunately, I have some extra time on Sunday mornings to catch up, so here we go. (Also, on Sunday mornings, the cat wants more cuddle time, so this may be interrupted by that as well. In fact, I think I'll go read, take notes, and be the cat's sofa for a bit. See you soon.)

Okay. I've read (well, skimmed) through the chapter, but I'm not sure how much I really want to say about it. Here goes.

Chapter Five, "Perception, Cognition, and Improvisation," addresses some of the differences between how cognitive psychologists and music therapists perceive music, our music therapy relationships, and how we interact with clients during clinical improvisation. For me, the most relevant concept shared in the chapter was that clients often hear music as a whole - one experience. As music therapists, we often hear the elements of music - we experience the…


I am going to spend some time today making something. I have some birdhouses halfway painted for my sister's new home. I got some new file folders for making file folder activities for my clients and for my friends. I have some slippers to crochet (as long as my sprained finger holds out). I also want to bake something to splurge on. At some point, I need to do laundry so I have clothing to wear next week, but that can be done tomorrow.

It is Saturday, and I had my "I just want to stay in bed all day" day yesterday on my day off! I'm a day ahead of my self-care routine, so I get to have some play time.

Several years ago, I won a basket full of paints in the American Music Therapy Association's National Conference silent auction. It was a large basket full of paints, and I am just now finding things to do with the contents. My art therapist friend, Tawnya, has taught me to make mixed media backgrounds for various projects, and I want to make some today with those pa…

Fun Friday: Music Therapy Mailings

I admit it.

I like getting things in the mail, and I love my subscription to Music Therapy Mailings. I took a brief break from my subscription, but recently splurged on an annual commitment. I received my first envelope of the new subscription in the mail on Wednesday.

This time around, I decided to get the adult version of the mailings. Since I work with children and adolescents, I found that many of the things in the Kid subscription was not really all that applicable to my adolescents, so I decided to go to the Adult version (just to see if I can find more things for my clients). Here's what I got...

(Cat tail NOT included in the envelope.)
Before I go any further, I feel the need to indicate that I do not get anything from anyone when I talk about products or services. I do not have any affiliate links, so every thing I write is 100% my own opinion and is not motivated by any thing other than me!

This month's envelope included 18 hanging jack-o-lanterns, some Halloween clings, …

Thoughtful Thursday: An Empty Cup

I found a meme yesterday that sums up everything I think about self-care in one image. I do not know who is responsible for the meme, but I got it from the Introverts are Awesome Facebook group.
Some people seem to think that self-care is self-indulgent and selfish, but I think of self-care as essential. I think that is why this particular picture speaks to me.

(I also like analogies, so this has everything in one simple little picture.)

As I am sitting here, I have released my finger from its current confines (got a splint yesterday and have to go back to the Doctor on my day off to confirm that it isn't broken, simply sprained), and my head is pounding. I have two hours before I head to work for a really long day. 

As a result, self-care is something that I am thinking about right now.

An empty cup.

At the moment, my cup has a bunch of holes in it - there are leaks happening everywhere - but I am patching those holes to refill myself.

First step - medication to address the sinus and th…

I'm Having a Rough Week

I think I sprained a finger in my left hand yesterday. I know I slammed my left thumb in the filing cabinet at work (in front of clients - I managed NOT to color the air with obscenities, but it was CLOSE). I now have a bloody nose and am just sitting here wondering about why I am so klutzy at the moment.

Now, I am almost always prone to accidents - sensory integration issues from birth, etc. - but these things seem to cluster.

I am not graceful. I tend to break, sprain, and injure things more than the usual person. I also cannot coordinate many movements without extreme task analysis and practicing the small elements of each movement. Dancing a routine is something that takes LOTS of intense work for me. Add in some gravitational insecurity and a balance disorder, and you start to see what life is like for me.

Over the years, I've learned to compensate. This is the only way of being that I know, so this is the way I move through life. (Sometimes I need a uniform of bubble wrap to go…

TME Tuesday: Starting My Halloween Planning

I am not a big fan of Halloween.

There, I've said it. I don't like the dressing up (never have liked people in costumes, even...make that ESPECIALLY Santa Claus), I don't like running around, I don't like having to give people things for interrupting my routine, I just don't like the way we celebrate the holiday.

As a result, I don't do lots and lots in my music therapy sessions about the holiday. I figure that my clients get enough hoopla, and I try not to go overboard about all of it. Also, some of my clients have real difficulty distinguishing between real and pretend, so I try not to confuse them.

Having said all that, I am taking out my Halloween resources to see what I can do with them next week.

I have Pumpkin carols (Google it to find lots of sites that offer these carols), I have a Pumpkin carol choice board, I have pumpkin visual aids, I have Halloween books, and I have ghost stories.

The best thing that I do, for me at least, is that I change the modes of…