Thoughtful Thursday: Panic and Procrastination and Planning

Yesterday, I walked into my sessions with no clear plan for how music therapy would progress. I ended up with some new TMEs that worked well. Most of my more reluctant music therapy participants stepped up and actually engaged and the regular participants expressed appreciation for every TME presented during the sessions.

This doesn't happen often, let me tell you. I usually have a strategy in place before I walk into a music therapy session. I have a list of fully developed TMEs to choose from, and I have an idea about which clients will be walking into the room and their typical responses to music therapy intervention. I don't usually have absolutely NO idea what to do with my clients until after they arrive (I did yesterday, for sure!). 

When my panic situations happen, I take some time to sit quietly and review my TME list (in my head if I can't access my electronic versions). What are my options? Can't use instruments with group one because of the one client who breaks EVERYTHING. Can't use books with group two because they hate books. Group three wouldn't like anything used for groups one and three. Group four would be able to do what group three did with some adaptation, and group five could do what groups one and two could do - they like it all.

The quiet thought helps me to organize my thoughts for the day. I eventually decided that I wanted to work on note recognition and rhythm in a way that I hadn't done before. I have rhythm wheel pieces that many of my students have used before to make their own rhythms, but not everyone is familiar with my process. So, we will need a quick review of rhythms and rhythm wheels before we start the game.

The game itself is basically rhythm dictation. I say a rhythm, and the clients work in a small group to construct the rhythm wheel.

Easy, right? You betcha! Nothing really complicated with the therapeutic music experience. We addressed all sorts of things within this easy rhythm dictation experience.

I'm going to write this down as soon as I can in my TME file. The next time we play this game, it will be part of a more formal strategy rather than something just pulled together on a day where I just cannot think of anything else to do.

Sometimes, things just cannot be planned. Sometimes, you really need the plan. I usually try to be prepared for both - improvisation and spontaneity and strategy and planning.

I am hoping that the ideas that came to mind yesterday will work for my groups today. If not, then I will figure something else out.

Happy Thursday!



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