Showing posts from August, 2018

Bullet Journal Inspiration - AKA, I'm Watching WAY Too Much YouTube Lately!

As you know, if you read this blog post on a daily basis, I am a fledgling bullet journaler. I have my personal/home bullet journal and a session/music therapy bullet journal that I use to strategize. I am not very fancy, but I do love using my markers and making things look coordinated.

Lately, I've been a bit obsessed with Plan With Me videos on YouTube. These are videos where people film themselves drawing their bullet journal pages. They are usually very artistic and pulled together. The people who make these videos usually only show their hands and there is usually stock music and sped up video formats that go along with the discussion about which pens were used and why the person chose to go with the kites as a theme. I'm addicted to these videos. They have become my evening event.

My own journaling journey has been a bit less coordinated, a bit less nifty, and a lot less time-consuming than the videos that I just can't seem to stop watching. I do what works for me.


Thoughtful Thursday: Finding My Path - Even After 25 Years

I'm a bit sick and very exhausted today, so I am in a bit of a funk. I refuse to dwell on that today, though. I'm tired of thinking about how tired my body and brain are feeling right now, so I am going to think about other things.

I am on a music therapy journey. So are you, if you are reading this post. I am pretty far on my journey, but I was at the same place that you are at one point (unless you have done this longer than I have, and then I am looking forward to that part of the journey...). I continue to find my way through this profession that we call "Music Therapy."

I'm currently working on a music therapy map - something that helps me visualize the process of becoming and being a music therapist. At the moment, the map is only concerned with internship milestones, but it could expand dramatically to include other periods of time - education, entry-level professional, seasoned professional, mentor, you get the idea.

Yesterday, I had the privilege of welcomi…

TME Tuesday: One of My Books - Specifically for Adolescents

One of the things that I do in my "spare time" is put together collections of therapeutic music experiences (TMEs) into books. I've written something like 8 books of TME collections for music therapists, all based on either populations or on therapeutic themes. Today, I'd like to share the first book I ever wrote, More Than Lyric Analysis: Therapeutic Music Experiences for Adolescents.

Whistling Toilets and Messy Desks - The State of This Life

You read that right. I currently have a whistling toilet. At this point, I am very grateful that it is not leaking all over the front bathroom as it has done before, but it is still whistling. The maintenance department is coming in to replace filters, and I am hoping that they hear the toilet whistle. I bet they don't, though.

I also have two messy desks at the moment...maybe three desks - forgot the one at work. My desks here at home are currently covered with detritus - papers, notes, things to sort for recycling, fun things to make me smile, old CDs, empty teacher planners, and countless other things that are just hanging out on the flat surfaces. This has to stop because I need to take control of this part of my life in a way that makes things easier for me.

Right now, I am moving things back where they go. It's such a simple little trick, but one that helps me make sense of my stuff and my thinking patterns. The candles? They need to go by the television like all the other…

Synthesis Sunday: More from Music, Therapy, and Early Childhood: A Developmental Approach

It is Sunday again, and I am skipping in my reading a bit. I've been talking to my intern about human development and musical development, so I skipped into the appendix of this particular book where Elizabeth Schwarz has compiled all of the information in the next several chapters into a checklist. The appendix contains Music Indicators of Early Childhood Development, a three-page list of information that operationalizes specific characteristics of musical behavior in a way that allows me to evaluate some of my students even though they are way older than early childhood. Rather than focusing on age, this list of indicators focuses on musical behavior. 

I use this at times. I go through the list of items contained under the three categories, singing, playing instruments, and music movement, and I use this appendix to figure out strengths and next steps in music experience. The indicator does need some more knowledge of the rest of the book - you have to read the rest of the book t…

I Have Too Many Ideas

I woke up at 3am this morning with solutions to two projects that I am working on right now. Those ideas were just in my brain when I woke up, so I decided to record them before I forgot them. I reached for my many idea books and wrote down the solutions. This started me thinking about other things and other projects and ideas and things to do and appointments and all that. My brain started clicking, and I was unable to get back to sleep.

This happens to me every once in a while. My ideas just bubble up and spill over into just about everything. I have ideas about things I want to compose, things that I need to do, and things that I want to accomplish. I seem to be nothing but inspiration right now, and I think that's a good thing, but it's also exhausting!

What I need is a creative team to help me get things done. Anyone want to help? 
Over the years, I've filled idea book after idea book with concepts and strategies and song snippets and half-formed ideas and dreams. I look…

Music Therapy Moment: Remembering Tempo

I've been struggling with a specific group for a couple of months now. They were very socially aware of one another and found each other so much more reinforcing than anything I was doing in music therapy. They would enter the room, start laughing and being goofy, and they were so wrapped up in each other that I spent most of my time trying to get any scrap of attention that I could. It was difficult to corral them into any type of interaction, and I really felt lost.

Yesterday, that same group had a near perfect music therapy session.
I was a bit kerfluffled after the session - thinking that it was amazing how they engaged, interacted, and were focused on what we were doing. We had one small escalation where one particular client tried to get into his goofy pattern, but peers did not engage or give him attention because they were focused on what we were doing as a group. I was able to be the center of the session with one small trick - tempo.

Now, I am not the miracle worker here - …

Thoughtful Thursday: Time to Dive Back Into Inspirational Quotations

I have a small box containing cards that have a bunch of quotations in it. It's not decorated in anything even resembling my style, but that little box helps me reflect on lots of things.

It's been a while since I've actually looked at that little box, but I think I'll break it out again. I'm in search of some inspiration.
The quotation is selected in a completely non-scientific manner. I basically take the cards and shuffle them in my hands until one feels right. Once I find one that I think feels right, that's the one that goes in the front window of the box. The rest get crammed back into the box behind the one in the forefront. That process is now finished, so it is time to think about what the box quote is telling me.

This week's quotation comes to us from Thomas Edison:
When you have exhausted all possibilities, remember this -- you haven't.This quotation is coming to my attention at the perfect time. My students are currently in the throes of major u…

My Routine is Not Working as Planned

I have a goal of formulating a morning and evening routine for myself. It's one of the things that I want to do for myself this year. I know what I want to have in that routine, but I am having difficulty getting a routine established so far. This is partially a function of my laziness, partially a function of the season (I don't feel good - darn harvest!!), and partially because I haven't found my motivation to get into a new routine.

So, what do I do?

I'm heading back into my goals and my desired routine to do what I encourage my clients to do - focus on one thing at a time, build up that one thing, and then add the next thing. One thing at a time.

Isn't it amazing how much the things we do with our clients transfer into our own lives? Rather than taking on every single blooming thing that I want to do, I should listen to the advice that I give to my kids in crisis and focus on one thing and one thing only. Duh, right?

So here goes my original goal of doing everythin…

TME Tuesday: Everyday Piggyback Song - Work

I don't know about you, but it seems that many of the conflicts that happen in the classrooms that I serve are centered around having to do school work. This is a piggyback song where I've taken the melody, harmony, and rhythmic structure of a familiar song (at least, it's familiar to me!) and changed the lyrics to illustrate a specific situation. I think I'll make it into a book for my students, but I haven't started working on that project...yet.


Therapeutic Music Experience Every Day Mary Jane Landaker, MME, MT-BC