Showing posts from 2018

My Current Secret Shame - Bullet Journal Planning Videos

Everyone has at least one weakness, and mine is that I am currently spending WAY TOO MUCH time watching bullet journal planning videos. If you read this blog on a regular basis, you know that I use the bullet journal method for my life - personally and professionally. I enjoy watching what others do with their journals - mine is definitely NOT fancy or pretty. It is functional, and I have FINALLY found a system that works for me, but I still get pulled into the YouTube world of Bullet Journal Plan With Me videos.

These videos all happen the same way. A person with a great manicure focuses the camera onto a wonderful background where the journal is featured. There is almost always a cat who shows up to see what is going on (so far, I only have the cat to contribute - my manicure is never GREAT!). There is a cute theme that is accompanied by a variety of artistic skills - watercoloring, stickers (often designed by the star of the video), shading with fancy pens, and all sorts of things. …

Make It Monday: Music Note Cards

I often make things for my students so that they can choose music-themed familiar games for days when I am not able to sing or make music with them. One of the most functional things that I have made is a deck of music note cards. We use these cards to play notation WAR, Go Fish, Old Maid, Memory/Concentration, Slapjack, and other card games. These are some of the most versatile visual aids that I have, and they are really easy to make!!

My music cards have the following notes (at this time - I'll be adding some more) - sixteenth, eighth, quarter, half, and whole. I currently have four different card decks - they are color coordinated so I can make sure to put entire sets back together - all the purple cards go together, etc. They are a bit smaller than playing card deck size, but that doesn't seem to bother my clients. We use them for many different things.

So, how do I make these?

I go back to my favorite visual aid base of all times - 4X6 inch index cards!!

When you cut these i…

Song Conversion Sunday: Lullaby - Lopalong

It is Sunday again, and that means that I will take a song, randomly chosen from my shelves of sheet music books and single copies of music, to analyze and make into something that has a therapeutic purpose for my music therapy practice. This process jumpstarts my creative interpretation of music in general by making me think about something out there in the world that doesn't have any therapeutic meaning for me to begin with and then finding that meaning through contemplation, study, and thought.

This month's song is from a book called, Musically Speaking. It was written by Roberta Wilson Dolana, published by Word Making Productions located in Salt Lake City, Utah. I can find very little information about the company or the author/composer, so I'm thinking it is a very obscure book.

Now, I got this book from the discard pile at my facility when they disbanded the employee resource library many years ago. I'm sure that I picked it up because it had music in it, but I hav…

Organizing a Symposium Has Lots of Moving Parts

I have been working on a project lately that is coming to a head today. It is an educational symposium for music therapists from around the world, and I'm always reminded that there are lots of things that have to happen in order to have any type of meeting of music therapists (and others, of course).

This symposium has been my labor of love lately.

I took this concept and ran with it. Here's a list of all the things that I had to think about during this process...

Convince the board to support this idea
Develop idea for symposium
Contact potential presenters (my first choice took me up on the offer! - This was easy!!)
Start to define symposium purpose and CBMT information
Select date and time for symposium
Submit CBMT paperwork to become preapproved and officially offer the event
Set up registration through various entry sites
Get web master to update website
Coordinate registrations and payments
Communicate with registrants
Answer questions (there are ALWAYS questions, even when I'v…

Moving Right Along

My week has been a good week. It's been full of ups and downs, but, on the whole, it has been pretty good. I had to spend some time, during my 12-hour day at work, focusing specifically on finding things that made me feel happy in that moment, but I was able to fill a page of those things - even in the midst of my disgust at having to be somewhere that I did not want to be AND doing something I did not want to do. I found some happy thoughts and was able to refocus on those things rather than my immediate situation.

At the moment, I am enjoying a late arrival day for the last day of this work week. Everyone else had an opportunity to leave early on our 12-hour day, but I had already worked the hours, so I went to the doctor yesterday. Turns out I have an outer ear infection (which I knew about) and a urinary tract infection (that started about 90 minutes before I made it to the doctor's office). As a result, I am waiting to pick up my medications at the pharmacy at 9am before h…

Thoughtful Thursday: Feeling Productive

I am on the downhill side of a long workweek, and I feel that I've managed to get quite a bit finished. I have two new Teachers Pay Teachers files up on my store, I have kept up with the registrations for the symposium I am coordinating that happens this weekend, and I finished up a really long day yesterday. I did manage to wake up about an hour later than usual this morning, but I still feel that I am ahead of the game.

I think this goes along with my reverse seasonal affective disorder. I tend to feel happier and more productive in the dark hours of the winter than I do in the hot days and nights of summer. I'm not sure why, and I wasn't really this way when I lived in California, but here, I am not a fan of the bright days of the summer.

For the moment, though, I am feeling pretty good.

This may also have something to do with getting back into some of my music therapy groups. We are starting to address termination of services by my senior intern, so I am now in the room f…

Too Many Ideas - Not Enough Time

My creative phases come and overwhelm me for a time, then they morph into a time of ennui. I am in a creative phase right now. Ideas are coming faster than I can manifest them, and it is a bit hectic around here as I am trying to put them down on paper so I can get things arranged, organized, and make them a reality.

My current project is a mini edition of sing about songs with some links to visual aids offered through my Teachers Pay Teachers store. I have way too many ideas to include in this mini edition, but that's not a bad thing. The mini edition may spur me to write another full-sized edition of sing about songs with additional TMEs to go with the visual aids and the themes. We will see what I get finished in this next month before the mini editions become a reality.

So, in the next two weeks, I have some visual aids to design, print, and make as examples for a photo shoot for the new edition. I have TMEs to write out. I have a music therapy disclaimer to formulate. I have my…

A Perplexing Question About Who Should (and Should Not) Use Therapeutic Music Experiences

I am in the center of a dilemma.

It's one that I've been wrestling with for a while (since I started up my Teachers Pay Teachers store) about how to express to people that aren't music therapists that they cannot call what they do with my materials "music therapy" without the proper training, education, experience, etc. Interestingly, this topic came up on one of my social media feeds today, so now I am really thinking about this particular dilemma.

The unfortunate answer to this question is that I cannot control what other people say about music therapy. I cannot police the entire world for the use of the phrase "music therapy" for appropriate uses and inappropriate uses. I cannot control the people who think that playing a streaming service playlist titled, "Musical Therapy," is equivalent to hiring me to work with their clients. I cannot be that person for all other people in the world.

I CAN focus on the folks that I reach directly.

I make vis…

Music Monday

I have spent quite a bit of money on iTunes lately - on music that I can justify due to the need for a therapeutic interaction, intervention, or relationship, and on music that I want just for me - and I have lots to listen to in order to really get to know this music.

I have lots of new stuff - music by Fred Astaire and Bing Crosby, Linda Ronstadt, Elvis Presley, Straight No Chaser (they are fun, check them out!!), Josh Groban, the folks over at Now! That's What We Call Music!, The Four Seasons, the Andrews Sisters, Trans-Siberian Orchestra, and "today's hottest music from today's hottest stars!" If I started my "recently purchased" playlist now, I bet I would still be hearing new music at the start of the upcoming new year.

I've purchased new holiday music this year. That was something that I really didn't do much of in the past three years, mainly because I didn't have lots of spare cash for things like music, but also because I have an ent…

Song Conversion Sunday:

I have returned my Hal Leonard songbook, "The 90's, to the shelf where it belongs and am now in search of my next song to consider as a therapeutic music experience (TME). I think I'll go to another area of my home (I have music all over the house - it's embarrassing, really) and grab something from that area. Here I go...

So, I rarely walk away from two things - sheet music books and old books. My home is full of books, and many of them are resources that others have given away. The book for this time around is one that my workplace threw away about 15 years ago.

It is a book written by Roberta Wilson Dolana called Musically Speaking. It is described on the cover as "A Complete Program for Speech Improvement," and was published in 1969 by Word Making Productions from Salt Lake City, Utah.

My cat helped me choose the song that I'll be focusing on during this series - it is on page 115. Bella actually chose page 112, but the song is referenced on page 112, s…


Do you have an inventory of your music therapy materials?

It is a tool that can be invaluable if disaster ever happens. I have a partial inventory, and I think that I will focus on making my inventory more complete this year. The first of the month may be a good time to update the inventory, so I will work on that this morning.

I have an inventory of instruments. It is not complete, but I did arrange for storage a couple of years ago, and I counted everything at that point, so I only have to add the instruments that I have purchased at conferences over the past two years to make that more complete.

My problem?

Oh, I have way too many books of music, visual aids, file folder activities, children's books, and other types of resources that are not listed on the inventory as of yet. Listing these things will take time, but it will be worth it in the long run.

I use a simple Excel document to track my inventory. I list the name of the instrument, the type of material it is, whether I receiv…

Thoughtful Thursday: I'm Like a Three-Year Old Who Desperately Needs a Nap and Still Has to Pose for Formal Portraits at G'ma's Insistence

True story.

My grandmother loved all things November. We made command appearances at her house for Thanksgiving every single year until we started high school because it was her preferred holiday and she loved having people around. Her birthday, November 22, was a big part of our celebration responsibilities, and we would do things up right! There would be open houses, big meals, ping-pong tournaments, cousin spats, and (shudder) formal portraits.

My grandmother and I shared one unfortunate trait, however. We were both as stubborn as the day is long. We also both knew that we were right and the other one was wrong. This picture is the result of one of our interactions.

I was three.

Now, I am the oldest cousin, sister, and person in my generation of the families I am part of. I have always been expected to do what I am told, and I often did just that - what I was told. But, for some reason, being at Mama Icie's house just brought out the stubborn in me.

In this particular moment, I had …

Taking a Step Back

I have been really cranky lately. 

If you've been reading my latest rants, you will see this trend going and going and going.

I am not going to apologize. I am who I am, and I feel what I feel. That's that.

I do, on the other hand, need to get a grip on myself and my emotions so that I can do what I need to be doing. So, I am resetting myself in 3...2...1

Here's my mantra to reset myself.
I am a human being - fully and wonderfully made. My emotions, feelings, expressions, and opinions are as valid as those of others, and I must recognize that in myself.I am a human being - I will have times when I don't feel well or when I am crabby as all get out. I must acknowledge those feelings and act on them in an appropriate manner.I am a human being - There will be times when I do not act in an appropriate manner, but those actions are owned by me. I have to do what I need to do to repair relationships when I have made choices that lead to inappropriate responses.I am a human being …

The End...and the Beginning...In Other Words, I'm Taking a Break

I have made a decision.

This decision is not monumental, and I know people are out there who have been telling me this over and over again, but it took a post on social media and my subsequent response to finally encapsulate all things about this decision and make it easy to make in this moment, right here, right now.

I've been on the fence about something for the past three days, but no more. On Saturday, I wrote about a giveaway that I want to do. You see, I like the idea of giving things away to deserving folks who may need a pick-me-up in the form of someone nominating them to get some goodies in the mail - for music therapists, by a music therapist. I've had two people respond, and both wanted to nominate themselves. 

Not the point of the giveaway, folks.

I want people to think of others rather than thinking of themselves. If you really want one of my products, then pay the money. Seriously. I price my things VERY fairly when it comes to sharing with my music therapy communit…

Give Things Away for Free? Um...No.

Ah, social media, how I simultaneously love and hate thee.

There was a post on one of my feeds about how music therapists should just share their resources in an open source model so that all other music therapists could have access to those resources so they "didn't have to reinvent the wheel."

This brought me up short and has bothered me ever since I read it. (I really need to stop taking things so personally when the person who posts it does not know me at all - it wasn't directed at me, so stop reacting to it as such!)

I do give away lots of things for free - I post a therapeutic music experience (TME) that is mine alone (my intellectual property) almost every week. I have an idea right now that is not going to cost anyone (but me) any money at all. I present, I offer free webinars, I give lots of myself and my time and intellect to the music therapy world at large - and I have been criticized for it. Now (in a roundabout way), I'm being criticized for trying to…

Song Conversion Sunday: Week Three - Putting It All Together

I left off on November 11 with a discussion about possible uses of the song that I randomly selected from my stacks and stacks of sheet music books. In the past two weeks, the song has continued to be in my head more than it has ever been before. I looked through my entire library and found that I did not have a copy of the recording (I have "More Songs from Dawson's Creek" but not the original soundtrack), so I purchased a copy of the song for my library.

I have learned the song pretty well as far as the theory and lyrics are concerned, so now it is time to put it into my client decision tree to see how I can use the song with my particular clients in my particular music therapy treatment. I started this process in the post on the 11th - see the post here.

This is the part that makes the use of any type of musical intervention into therapy (in my opinion) - filtering the musical elements and content of the music into what is best for my client at this particular time in m…

My Current Joy and Downfall

I received one of my latest frivolous spending item boxes in the mail yesterday. I got a box from Paper Crazed full of little bits of paper that I really don't need, but that I am currently purchasing and then playing with for a long time. I currently subscribe to three different boxes, and I like the one that I received yesterday the best of them all. (I've tried to stop subscribing to one of the boxes, but I got all confused and apparently did not stop it. Ugh. Okay, I've tried unsubscribing again ...we'll see how it works out.) For some reason, two boxes seem fine to get but three seem excessive. Okay.

These boxes have inspired me to turn back into something that I love - making paper crafts. I've designed a couple of new products for my Teachers Pay Teachers store, and I've turned those products into actual file folder activities to use with my students. I've also been making books and tags and notebook holders and fancy decorations and other stuff.

Now, …

My Goblins - Would, Coulda, and Shoulda

I am my worst critic. Can you relate to that? I think that those of us who go into being helpers often have unrealistic expectations of ourselves that lead us into patterns of criticism directed towards ourselves. My inner critic comes out in phrases that include the following words: would, could, and especially should.

I call these my goblins.

When I start using these words in regards to my work, I know that I am becoming the worst version of myself. "I should have known that so-and-so would do that." "I could have prevented that situation." "If I had been thinking, I would have realized that this was going to happen." The goblins spread from thoughts and self-talk about work into self-talk about everything. "I should be cleaning my house." "I could have done this faster if I had cleaned my house." "If I could get off my pockets, I would do all these things and be better."

Can you hear the problem in those statements? I am expe…

It is Wednesday...Right??

One of the things that I like about conference time is that I end up spending time a bit confused about what day it is. It's kind of nice not to know exactly what day it is, but it is still a bit disconcerting. I'm still a bit confused by what day it is. I thought it was Saturday this morning for a bit. I am now on the straight and narrow, so I know that it is Wednesday.

It is, right?

I spent most of my day on Monday sitting in my bed in my pjs. I switched my idea notebook into a lefty-arranged notebook (why haven't I done this before? It is now so much better than it was on Sunday!!) and arranged it a bit more so I can use it more readily. I thinned out the papers that I had collected over the years and arranged them in into new categories for my website and my creative production. I also added some new post-it notes and pens for use.

I use that book as a brain dump (skeezy bullet journaling terminology). I write down all the thoughts that come into my mind about things like…

TME Tuesday: Sharing the Work of Others

Today, I am going to do something that I rarely do - I am going to share the work of other people with you.

Now, I don't usually do this because it is a violation of copyright to take the work of someone else and claim it as your own (that's not what this is), and I feel somewhat violated when someone else takes one of my songs and passes it off as their own (it happened in the middle of a conference - stinking intern who came to internship after me - took one of my songs as her own). So, I have developed rules for myself when it comes to sharing the work of others.

Quite simply, I don't do it.

I don't take the wonderful therapeutic music experiences that my interns write (and they write LOTS of great TMEs) and post them on my website. It is not my intellectual property, so I don't do it.

I will, however, share copyrighted materials available for purchase to anyone and everyone. That's what I've decided to do today.

One of my favorite cartoonists and authors is