Showing posts from May, 2018

The Morning After...the Talent Show, That Is!

I am in recuperation mode after a long day yesterday. We FINALLY made it to the Talent Show at my facility!!

Now, this isn't usually such a long journey. Most of the time, I set a date, and the Talent Show happens on that date. This year, however, something happened to the gym which resulted in a very rank smell about four days before my chosen date - we had to reschedule the entire show because the gym was not available AT ALL. So, after a week of feverish preparation, we all had to wait yet another seven days to actually accomplish the feat.

Feat it was, indeed.

I had 23 kids sign up to perform and 20 kids actually did so. The three that didn't were absent, so that made for a great turnout. We had the typical drummers, guitarists, and singers this year, but we also had some card tricks, a shared recipe, a trumpeter, a pianist, and a birth day of the week guesser! I only made one mistake with the music, and the performer who was affected just went on - was the perfect example of…


I received my first presentation rejection letter for the season this week.

It was for a Make and Take CMTE to be offered at AMTA. They never go for this type of session, but I think it would be something well attended. Oh well. I'll keep the idea for myself and figure out a way to offer this idea to interested music therapists in other venues.

This is not the first time that I've experienced rejection - I've experienced rejection in school programs, in presentation proposals, in friendships. It seems to happen all the time. When one rejection happens, all the others come flooding back. It always takes me some cognitive reframing to remember that rejection is a completely normal way of life and that things will be fine.

I experience rejection in my clinical life as well.

Music therapy is not a service that my students choose. The way things are set up at my facility state that all students will attend music therapy every week. They have to arrive at my room, but I do not force…

Thoughtful Thursday: I Can Get Through Today, Friday, and Monday. I CAN!

Today is the day before the annual talent show at work. We've had to postpone it for a week because something happened in the gym (the only space large enough for the entire school) and there was a REALLY rank smell that permeated the entire south wing (I'm glad I'm stationed in the north wing!!). I made my talent show playlist this morning before starting to blog, and it is going to be interesting.

I've had to talk to students about why I will not be buying them a foot-long Subway sandwich (eating one in 2 minutes was the "talent" suggested). I've had to find specific versions of songs that have been covered by others. I still need to download lyrics for students to sing during the show - they were apparently unable to do so for themselves.

Once tomorrow's show is over, I have the graduation choir to lead and then I am finished with my therapeutic responsibilities for the 2017-2018 official school year. (Our extended school year is a completely differe…

Wow! We Music Therapists Sure Love FREE Things!!

Yesterday, I posted a link to some free resources - sing about summer - available on my website. (If you didn't see yesterday's post, click on the link above to get to the page and to the resource!) Since my post yesterday morning, I've had a multitude of messages to respond to as well as LOTS of blog post views! I've sent out tons of messages, several emails, and significant numbers of likes and thumbs ups to indicate that I have responded to comments, requests, and emails.

We love free things, don't we? I know I do. Most of the cool visual aids that I have downloaded from Teachers Pay Teachers have been the freebies - I don't have all that much money to spend on that site (it's addicting!) - so, I look for the free stuff. 

I am really glad that so many people have asked for this resource. It is something that I love to do, the pulling together of disparate therapeutic music experiences (TMEs) into something that has a coherent theme and therapeutic purpose.…

TME Tuesday: sing about summer - Session Ideas to Celebrate Summer

It is that time of year - the time of year when school music therapists (like me) are either getting ready to close their jobs for the summer or are getting ready for their extended school year sessions (ESY - like me). Either way, there is a focus on summer as a theme idea.

A couple of years back, I wrote a FREE resource for music therapists called sing about summer.

This is a collection of therapeutic music experiences (TMEs) that have to do with summer. Now, some of them are typical TMEs for music therapists - lyric scrambles, conducting the beat - but others are my original work. It is my hope that this collection of TMEs will offer ideas and inspiration for other music therapists to develop summer-themed sessions.

If you are interested in downloading this TME collection (for free), comment below or on our Facebook page - look for I'll send it to you.

Hey - if you do want this resource, make sure to add your email to the comment. All comments are mod…

The Last Two Weeks of School

I'm to that part of the school year where it just doesn't seem that the end of the year can come quickly enough to satisfy me. There is lots to do and the promise of time off is there, beckoning me towards rest and relaxation. The week off is there, shining like a diamond, but it is currently behind glass - unreachable.

This is the way I feel before every break from work. 

I'm trying really hard not to get myself too excited about the break and overloading my expectations with lists and lists of things that I want to do, but it is difficult. I'm getting a new exercise bike, so I need to rearrange things a bit to make the office and television area more conducive to working on the computer while exercising. That means going through, tossing out, shredding, recycling, repurposing, donating things to others, and reorganizing. 

Before I can get to that point, however, I have to get through the last two weeks of school. The postponed talent show is supposed to happen this Frid…

Synthesis Sunday: Music, Music Therapy and Trauma: International Perspectives

Last week, I realized that I did the unforgivable - I published my Synthesis Sunday link without the reference. I will try my best not to do that again. It is now affixed to the bottom of this post.

My reading this week has taken me into the second half of the first chapter of the text, Music, Music Therapy and Trauma: International Perspectives. This chapter, written by Julie Sutton, offers some of the background needed to move further into the book.

I particularly appreciated the outline of "post-traumatic echo" found on page 27-28. One of the things that many of us forget is that when we live in the world, constantly hooked into media streams and with news at our fingertips is that we are exposed to traumatic experiences that are not actually happening to us. Even when these experiences do not happen to us personally, the way we access information and the way we are exposed to those experiences have an effect on how we process the situations. 

I work with people who have exp…


The cat is typing this morning as she walks back and forth, trying to get my attention. She is not usually eloquent, but she is insistent.

I was going to title this post something pithy like "Finding a Song," but she has a different idea. Apparently this will be titled, "iuuuuuuuuuuukfgvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvv."

Letting the cat type probably isn't the best idea for this Friday morning, but it has been a challenging week, so my brain isn't working the way it should be. 

I went to work yesterday after two days at home with a horrible dizzy spell associated (I'm hoping) with an infection. I'm on anti-nausea medicine for the dizziness, but it is still affecting me. When I went to work yesterday, I met a new student who came to music therapy with our Behavior Specialist in tow.

Now, our Behavior Specialist is a nice guy, but he really just doesn't get music therapy or the interaction behaviors that often emerge in therapeutic experiences.…

Thoughtful Thursday: 12-hour Workdays

For some reason, my administrators think that it is a good idea to schedule LOTS of 12-hour days for inservice time. Those days are always Wednesdays - I have a church job that currently has to happen on Wednesdays, so I have to skip out on the inservice training and make up that time at other times. This is one of the days that I have to make up time. As a result, I will be leaving shortly to get to work so I can have an early return to my home. I am more effective in the morning than I am in the evening - unlike many of my administrators, I think!

This post is going to be a short one.

I find that, when faced with a very long day at work, I often struggle with time management. For some reason, I don't do well when I have long stretches of time and have to work all day with kids first. I tend to sit in a stupor when I have to be at work more than my usual 9 hours. 

So, I will set myself some goals to accomplish.

I have seven weeks for summer sessions to plan. I need to find a couple o…

Pictures, Pictures, Pictures!

I am in a tirade mood this morning. Nothing is really working as a blog post - everything is just turning into a rant. Since that is the case, I think I'll stop trying to write something and just put in a bunch of pictures that make me feel happy. All of these pictures are my own, and none of them include client information or anything that belongs to someone else.

TME Tuesday: Kansas City and Kansas Songs

It's Tuesday again. Time to share a therapeutic music experience (TME) or two. For some reason, I feel like sharing some of the TMEs that are based on where I am centered - around Kansas City. I love linking our music therapy experiences to things that my clients can experience with just a bit of planning.

The first is a song that I wrote a long time ago for my clients who struggle with geographical concepts. It can be adapted to reflect each and every locale - just change the words. The second is a TME written to go with the song, Kansas City, by Leiber and Stoller. This blues song just makes me feel happy when I get to play it. I should play it a bit more often. Enjoy, and happy Tuesday, all!