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Showing posts from February, 2018

TME Wednesday - Wait. That Just Doesn't Sound Right...

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I had to write about something else yesterday - I just felt like it had to happen - so here is my TME Tuesday post on a Wednesday...

This will work, right? Such a significant change to my schedule - I'm not sure how it will go... Tongue firmly in cheek here!

I am a bit old school when it comes to some of my classic therapeutic music experiences (TMEs). I haven't spent the time putting them into electronic format because I have the cards scanned. I could transfer them into a different format, but that takes time. I don't want to take the time. Anyway, here is my adaptation to a children's game - my high schoolers ask for this game all the time! 

Doggie, Doggie, Where's My Bone?
Quick game - lots of fun, addresses audio discrimination, social interaction, game play strategies, emotion interpretation, turn-taking, and lots of other things... Hope you can use this!!

Not a TME Tuesday - Documentation Talk

I'm very sorry if you were looking forward to a TME Tuesday post this morning - I just woke up with a need to write about something significantly different today.

I was reading my social media posts yesterday afternoon (as I often do) and I came across one that stuck with me. The author of the post wrote about a disconnect between documentation and personal feelings and experiences about the experiences that occur in music therapy treatment sessions. This comment started me thinking about this same thing and how it happens in my life. (The best posts always challenge my thinking about something, and I really appreciate them.)

I responded that I do documentation for my administrators and documentation for myself - something more humanistic for myself and something more objective for those who bother to look at my documentation. This takes many forms, but is something that I do in order to process what happens in my sessions. 

(By the way, I am completely caught up with my clinical doc…

Time Management and Motivation

I spend lots of time talking to interns about time management. I don't spend much time talking about motivation with them, and I've recently come to the realization that those two things have to go together before anything works. I have had little to no motivation to do my clinical documentation lately. That has led me to doing avoidance tasks rather than my work. I've paid for that decision as I have had to dedicate more and more of my time to documentation than I do when I am managing my time well. This week has to be a good time management week - I have lots of stuff to do and not as much time available to me to get it done.

I have a plan to help me with these tasks. It all starts with my to-do and my not-to-do lists. It continues with my 30-minute on and off strategy, and finishes with prioritization of every task I do for the next 48 hours.

If I didn't have to be at work for some of those hours, my to-do list would be really manageable. I do, though, so that makes t…

Synthesis Sunday: Is It Time Yet?

I am still struggling with my responses to the continuing tragedies that happen in this country, but I think I am almost ready to dive into the research and writings about music therapy and trauma-informed care.

Honestly, I've been a bit overwhelmed with things that are a bit more local this week, so I've neglected the reading that I've assigned myself. I've been unable to bring myself to open books about trauma, so it's been somewhat difficult to accomplish my goal of reading my next book. I have read the introduction, so I know what is in store for me, and that is part of my hesitation.

I am going to spend some time shoring up my self-awareness practices as I go into this topic. It is a difficult one for me, but it is something that I feel called to explore. I can't do that without working on my own responses and reactions. So, I am getting my ground rules ready for this work.

Rule #1 - Feel all the feelings.
Rule #2 - Walk away when the feelings are too much to …

Supervision or Mentoring: What a Difference a Word Can Make

I was reading a post on my social media earlier this week written by a fellow music therapist talking about the need for assistance with a situation. The post ended with a phrase that started me thinking about various and sundry things - it coincided with my long overnight sojourn at work as well. I had nothing to do but to think about what this person said.
"I feel like what I really need is a Music Therapy mentor."When I read that statement, I was able to understand what the author meant. I have never really felt all that comfortable with the idea of "supervision" as many music therapists seem to view the practice. I feel that any type of "supervision" has to include direct observation and in-time feedback about what is happening in the session. I do not feel adequately "supervised" by my current administrators because they do not watch me do my job - unless I have one of my once-every-three-year evaluations. I feel that I "supervise"…

Snow Days #4 and #5 are Done - No More Snow Days, Please!!

It is time to say goodbye to ice! I no longer want to be frozen or slip sliding away. I do NOT want to build a snowman, and Frosty can hurry on his way. I'm finished!!

I now have enough Paid Time Off (PTO) to take off another week at some point. I will need to spend some time thinking about when I want to do that - it has to be done by June 30 because of the contract year. So. I get to take some time off at some random time because I have spent all my snow days at work rather than at home. I like this system SO MUCH!

Hate to say it, though, but I don't want any more of these days. I'm just outright finished with the novelty. It's not all that novel now - especially after three days in a row. Ugh.

We are all feeling it. Students are ready to see their missing classmates and teachers. We want to have our regular schedule back. We really want to spend our time doing things that make us frustrated and challenged and that give us things to complain about. Too much relaxation i…

Snow Day #3!!! Spring Break #2 is Almost Accomplished!

Yesterday was our third snow day. I am almost ready to declare that I will be having an additional Spring Break this year!!! I now have enough extra days off to do so.

Here's what goes on at my job. I work at a residential treatment facility and day school. When inclement weather comes, like yesterday's ice storm, we have a group of students who are at the facility already. Their commute to school is down the sidewalk. We also have a group of students who need the structure of daily school, and, compounding all of that, we also have a lack of staff members scheduled for school hours. Hence, the inclement weather policy! Any certified staff member (me - that's me) who wants to make the trip to be at school gets to take an equivalent amount of time off at a later date. I have missed exactly 3 snow days in my 22 years of service.

Yesterday was the third snow day of this school year. I am hoping for one more so I can take a week off later in the Spring. If it doesn't happen,…

TME Tuesday: Skating

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I spend lots of time coming up with therapeutic music experiences (TMEs) that I forget about when I am coming up with session strategies. Here's one of those TMEs. Now, in all honesty, I've done this before and most of my clients aren't coordinated to "skate" with two feet, and I am not coordinated enough to "skate" with only one foot, so that's why we haven't done this particular TME in my clinic recently. I'm too scared of falling. We have done this before, and it can be lots of fun. Just watch out for those who fall...

 Therapeutic Music Experiene Skating - Motor Development Mary Jane Landaker, MME, MT-BC

Bonus Day

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I am having a day off today. It is a holiday, so there is no school. I am going to enjoy this bonus day as much as I possibly can. I am adding things to my to-do list and my not-to-do list as fast as I can.

To-do - laundry, dishes, grocery shopping, chiropractor, changing the sheets, organizing the front closet.

Not-to-do - listen to news, stress about situations that are not my responsibility, avoid toxic people and topics

I'm working on things that will move me forward. I'll start some chicken in the crock-pot in a couple of minutes here. I am getting ready to go to my new chiropractor to get my second adjustment - there will probably be another on next Saturday as well. After the adjustment, I'll go grocery shopping for some hamburger and then I'll start the process of making food for the next couple of weeks.

I enjoy these days, and I try to make the most out of them. There is something luxurious about having an extra weekend day that gives me such satisfaction. Since …

Synthesis Sunday: I Just Can't Delve Into Trauma Right Now

Faced with yet another tragic community event repetitively referred to on every single media platform imaginable, I figured it was time to start back into my Trauma-Informed Care information - yet again - but I haven't been able to do it. I just can't right now.

Trauma is something that happens to everyone - whether it is primary, secondary, or vicarious. I am particularly prone to vicarious trauma - effect of a traumatic event that does not happen to me but that I am exposed to over and over again. This is one of the reasons why I do not have cable or television services - I cannot avoid situations when they come into my home via every single outlet possible. I also do not listen to the news on the radio anymore - too many emotions brought up by just hearing specific voices.

Trauma is not just shootings or injuries or abuse. There are things that are traumatizing for one person that do not traumatize another person. Trauma is personal, it is different for every person, and it c…

World Music Therapy Day 2018

Have you heard? March 1, 2018 is World Music Therapy Day!! 

I am planning on celebrating WMTD with my family just before the start of the Western Region's conference. I'm not going to go to the opening ceremony - no real reason to be there for me - so I am going to celebrate being a music therapist by not being a music therapist that day. I am going to spend some time with my family, thinking deeply about being a music therapist. My clients will celebrate with a day of doing what they want to do in the therapy room, rather than having to do what I ask them to do. My celebration will last an entire week with most of it being at a conference, but not all of it.

I like the idea of a specific day to focus on music therapy. We've had other days, but they have always been on July 4th, so my profession was a bit overshadowed by other things happening in my country. This date is a good one. The beginning of March won't be as hectic or distracting.

I think there is no better way t…

Can You Read My Mind?

I'm tired. I'm sick and tired and want something to change. I don't want to live in fear every time I walk into my school job. I don't want there to be signs on the door that say that we prohibit weapons. I don't want to have to attend active shooter training (which gave me intense and horrible anxiety dreams) in order to learn that there is really nothing that I can do in the case of an active shooter in my school. I am tired of it all.

We're told so many conflicting things about situations like the latest in Florida. We get told that it's not the fault of the manufacturers, it's not the fault of the people who make regulatory laws about gun ownership, it's not the fault of such and such. We're told that the person who acted was an individual who chose to take advantage of the loopholes, technicalities, and FREEDOM that we are offered in this country. There will be an assumption that the person who acted was mentally ill, and there will be some …

Thoughtful Thursday: Just Woke Up and Already Feel Behind

This is going to be a very short post this morning as I woke up an hour late and am trying really hard to get out of the door so I can get to Walmart and buy some half price chocolate boxes to use for storage boxes for new interns as they start to arrive at my facility to finish their educational experience with me and my students who have been absolutely nasty to each other lately but who haven't really done lots and lots of that nastiness towards me for some reason which makes me feel much better about the fact that I want to bring interns into our music therapy sessions.

It's Thursday, right?

Off I go. 

I'll probably write more after work... 

UPDATED at 5:05 pm...

So, let me explain some of what I wrote this morning. 

Last Tuesday was a difficult day for my afternoon groups. Kids were just cranky as all get out, and they took out the crankiness on each other rather than using their coping skills. They took me aback, and I just stared in utter disbelief at the type of ridiculo…

Reminders to Be Proactive with Self-Care Come From the Funniest Places

Last year, just about this time, I was working hard on a presentation about recognizing compassion fatigue, secondary trauma, and burnout and using creative projects to decide where we wanted to go in life. I had never presented on this topic before and wanted things to make sense for those who attended. I was really stressed about the presentation because I had been in that place and found that the topic was intensely personal and difficult for me to share with others. I was horribly nervous about what I was going to say and how it would be perceived.

Then, my copy of Moana arrived in the mail.

Are you wondering what Moana has to do with self-care and my presentation? When it arrived, I didn't know that it would have something to do with this topic, but I was pleasantly surprised.

I am a Disney nut.

I have many of the movies, especially the obscure ones that most people have never experienced before. I enjoy movies, but I love Disney moves. I purchase almost all of them. Moana was a …

TME Tuesday: Waiting is Hard to Do

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Lately, this song has been coming up often. Just thought it was appropriate for today as we are waiting for so many things.