Showing posts from March, 2018

I Got Nothing

I'm so very tired at the moment, trying to figure out how to break a stubborn fever along with pneumonia of some sort as well as not sleeping since I started my medications. I've spent more time at home than at work this week, so I'm getting pretty tired of my own company as well. The cat leaves rooms when I enter them, so my interpretation of her behavior is that she is tired of my presence as well.

When this happens, I tend to binge-watch crime shows and sit with an idea book nearby. I felt some ideas coming, so I scrounged up an old spiral notebook and watched NCIS (LOVE MARK HARMON!). I did some drawing earlier this week and later, I just let my mind wander all over the paper.

I fixated on the word "jumpy" for a time. The cat seemed pretty jumpy, so I doodled the word over and over using different fonts. I enjoy lettering so I just focused on that for a bit of time. As I was sitting there, my mind started to wander towards music therapy things.

I was reflecting …

A Missed Anniversary

I was on my way home from work yesterday, sitting in the car, fighting to remain awake, and I realized something pretty important to me. 

I missed my anniversary.Now, this was not an anniversary with someone else. and it really isn't a date that anyone recognizes but me, but it was a silver anniversary - 25 years! 
My anniversary was on March 26th. It was 25 years ago on that day, three days ago, that I graduated from my internship and school program. I became a professional music therapist - student no more! On that day, I accomplished one of my biggest goals and accomplishments - I became a Music Therap-IST!
I am very privileged to be in a profession that I loved the idea of in 1984 when a music education professor mentioned in an off-handed manner that there was "another program here" during a Girl Scout Wider Opportunity. She left a brochure, and I met my fate.
I am very privileged to be in a profession that I feel challenged by on a daily basis. I love watching music th…

The Sub Plan Drawer

I have a drawer in my music therapy room that is labeled "Sub Pl ns." (The "a" keeps falling off, so I leave it off now.) In that drawer, I have the karaoke CDs, the regular listening CDs, the parachute, several instrument memory card games, a stack of tangram pieces, some games, and a couple of soft, squishy splashballs. Under that drawer, I have another full of music books - singable songs, books that play songs, books that I love, and books that my students often enjoy. These are the music experiences that I think anyone in my facility should be able to run and also are the ones that I don't really like to lead, so it works for me to leave these materials for folks to use when I am not able to be in the session (like the past three therapy days).

It is interesting. Most of the teachers in my facility do not send their students to the music therapy room if I am not present. I have significant options for people to use, but they would rather put a video on the …

TME Tuesday: I Don't Like

I love writing negative emotion songs - I guess that's what I'll call them. It's a song that recognizes an emotion or situation that is not always the most acceptable in society and acknowledges such emotion or situation. I often sing about bad friends, feeling frustrated, and nasty food. I have several "I Like" therapeutic music experiences (TMEs) that I've written over the years, but I find that my students request the "I Don't Like" TMEs more than the others. 

Here's one. It is also a bit of a complaining song, which I really like right now! If you'd be interested in the sheet music, drop me a comment, and I'll send you a link!

Therapeutic Music Experience I Don't Like... Mary Jane Landaker, MME, MT-BC

The Art of Blame

This is a rant. It is a post that is influenced by my current illness, probably affected by the storm going on outside, and my levels of frustration with the world outside my front door. No worries - I'm going to the doctor this morning, so things should start to get better soon. Less rant-y, more music therapy centered again.

Read on with CAUTION!

A friend of mine posted a letter from a teacher on one of my social media feeds yesterday. As I read it, I found myself getting more and more frustrated with the opinions shared all over my posts. Opinions are simply that - OPINIONS. Isn't it interesting how little actual real information is ever shared?

Anyway, the letter that was posted stated that the reason kids are having so many problems in schools is because of bad parenting. Opinion. The one thing that I got out of the post was that everyone seems eager to blame someone else for the woes of society. "Can't blame me that my students are out of control in my classroom. …

Six Things: Animal Easter Eggs

This is a new, occasional series for this blog - Six Things. You know my rule about having six separate therapeutic music experiences (TMEs) for the materials that I keep in my clinic? This is what it looks like for me.

I recently purchased four sets of animal Easter eggs at the Dollar Tree. They are cute and small and offer eight different animals to use in music therapy sessions. I thought they were absolutely adorable and well worth the $4 I paid for the 4 bags of eggs.

The problem is that I really don't have space to store 40 Easter eggs, even if they are about two inches by one inch each, unless I can justify their use more than once per year. Fortunately, I can come up with lots of things to do with these eggs in order to justify their presence in my music therapy clinic storage space. I just have to write everything down so I'll remember that I have these materials and so I'll use them!

I sit down with one of my favorite brainstorming tools - a 4X6 inch index card! As…

Change the Focus

As I am sitting here in my illness stupor, I am thinking deep thoughts...well, some of them are deep thoughts. Some of my thoughts are of the "I really want some ice cream" variety rather than anything profound. I'm to the point in my illness right now where I have slept and slept, and I need to be doing something, so thinking is what my brain and body have chosen to do.

What do I think about? I think about Master's Level Entry into our profession. I think about differences between my job and that of a hospice music therapist. I wonder if I will get any ideas pulled together for AMTA's national conference this year. I think about my friends currently traveling across the country. I wonder if I'll finish any of my projects in the next couple of weeks. I think about the future of this profession. There are lots of things to think about.

I'm trying to figure out what presentation proposals I want to submit to AMTA this year. I'm thinking it may be time for…

Sometimes Anxiety is Anxiety, Sometimes Anxiety is Sickness Coming

On Wednesday evening, my anxiety came to a head with me crying hysterically on the phone while talking to my father about how I was feeling. My father, who doesn't really like to address deep feelings, suggested that I call my sister who is better at addressing those feelings. So, I did. After talking to her, I made some proactive changes to my sleeping and went to bed. I tossed and turned all night, sweating through my pajamas, and waking every hour or two.

When I woke up yesterday morning, I was exhausted and sick. I got dressed in my work uniform and attempted to blog (several different times). I took the last dose of my stomach medication and prepared to go to work, but I couldn't get going. I called and arranged for a sick day. Then, I went back to sleep until the cat woke me up. I went out to get some medication, a new thermometer (mine always seem to go missing when I want to take my temperature, some water filters, and a new book to read. 

Isn't it amazing how the br…

The State of Anxiety

My first post idea for this morning was a rant about anxiety and worry. I decided not to post it as it seemed to be a bit too personal for this blog. However, one of the things that I strive to do in these posts is to acknowledge everything that happens as part of my life as a music therapist, even when those things tend to be less on the music or therapy side of things and seem to be more firmly centered on the me side of things (hence the title of this blog - music, therapy, and me - the commas are purposeful!).

I am currently a bit more prone to things like worry and anxiety right now. I started the week off with a very specific anxiety dream firmly centered in my work life. It left me a bit shaken two mornings ago. When I remember my dreams, they are often based in anxiety - I'm being chased, I have to hide, and/or I have to address challenging behaviors in my clients in a public situation. I had one dream where we had set up an obstacle course with a mud pit, and the one clien…