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Showing posts from November, 2018

Thoughtful Thursday: I'm Like a Three-Year Old Who Desperately Needs a Nap and Still Has to Pose for Formal Portraits at G'ma's Insistence

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True story.

My grandmother loved all things November. We made command appearances at her house for Thanksgiving every single year until we started high school because it was her preferred holiday and she loved having people around. Her birthday, November 22, was a big part of our celebration responsibilities, and we would do things up right! There would be open houses, big meals, ping-pong tournaments, cousin spats, and (shudder) formal portraits.

My grandmother and I shared one unfortunate trait, however. We were both as stubborn as the day is long. We also both knew that we were right and the other one was wrong. This picture is the result of one of our interactions.

I was three.

Now, I am the oldest cousin, sister, and person in my generation of the families I am part of. I have always been expected to do what I am told, and I often did just that - what I was told. But, for some reason, being at Mama Icie's house just brought out the stubborn in me.

In this particular moment, I had …

Taking a Step Back

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I have been really cranky lately. 

If you've been reading my latest rants, you will see this trend going and going and going.

I am not going to apologize. I am who I am, and I feel what I feel. That's that.

I do, on the other hand, need to get a grip on myself and my emotions so that I can do what I need to be doing. So, I am resetting myself in 3...2...1

Here's my mantra to reset myself.
I am a human being - fully and wonderfully made. My emotions, feelings, expressions, and opinions are as valid as those of others, and I must recognize that in myself.I am a human being - I will have times when I don't feel well or when I am crabby as all get out. I must acknowledge those feelings and act on them in an appropriate manner.I am a human being - There will be times when I do not act in an appropriate manner, but those actions are owned by me. I have to do what I need to do to repair relationships when I have made choices that lead to inappropriate responses.I am a human being …

The End...and the Beginning...In Other Words, I'm Taking a Break

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I have made a decision.

This decision is not monumental, and I know people are out there who have been telling me this over and over again, but it took a post on social media and my subsequent response to finally encapsulate all things about this decision and make it easy to make in this moment, right here, right now.

I've been on the fence about something for the past three days, but no more. On Saturday, I wrote about a giveaway that I want to do. You see, I like the idea of giving things away to deserving folks who may need a pick-me-up in the form of someone nominating them to get some goodies in the mail - for music therapists, by a music therapist. I've had two people respond, and both wanted to nominate themselves. 

Not the point of the giveaway, folks.

I want people to think of others rather than thinking of themselves. If you really want one of my products, then pay the money. Seriously. I price my things VERY fairly when it comes to sharing with my music therapy communit…

Give Things Away for Free? Um...No.

Ah, social media, how I simultaneously love and hate thee.

There was a post on one of my feeds about how music therapists should just share their resources in an open source model so that all other music therapists could have access to those resources so they "didn't have to reinvent the wheel."

This brought me up short and has bothered me ever since I read it. (I really need to stop taking things so personally when the person who posts it does not know me at all - it wasn't directed at me, so stop reacting to it as such!)

I do give away lots of things for free - I post a therapeutic music experience (TME) that is mine alone (my intellectual property) almost every week. I have an idea right now that is not going to cost anyone (but me) any money at all. I present, I offer free webinars, I give lots of myself and my time and intellect to the music therapy world at large - and I have been criticized for it. Now (in a roundabout way), I'm being criticized for trying to…

Song Conversion Sunday: Week Three - Putting It All Together

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I left off on November 11 with a discussion about possible uses of the song that I randomly selected from my stacks and stacks of sheet music books. In the past two weeks, the song has continued to be in my head more than it has ever been before. I looked through my entire library and found that I did not have a copy of the recording (I have "More Songs from Dawson's Creek" but not the original soundtrack), so I purchased a copy of the song for my library.

I have learned the song pretty well as far as the theory and lyrics are concerned, so now it is time to put it into my client decision tree to see how I can use the song with my particular clients in my particular music therapy treatment. I started this process in the post on the 11th - see the post here.

This is the part that makes the use of any type of musical intervention into therapy (in my opinion) - filtering the musical elements and content of the music into what is best for my client at this particular time in m…

My Current Joy and Downfall

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I received one of my latest frivolous spending item boxes in the mail yesterday. I got a box from Paper Crazed full of little bits of paper that I really don't need, but that I am currently purchasing and then playing with for a long time. I currently subscribe to three different boxes, and I like the one that I received yesterday the best of them all. (I've tried to stop subscribing to one of the boxes, but I got all confused and apparently did not stop it. Ugh. Okay, I've tried unsubscribing again ...we'll see how it works out.) For some reason, two boxes seem fine to get but three seem excessive. Okay.

These boxes have inspired me to turn back into something that I love - making paper crafts. I've designed a couple of new products for my Teachers Pay Teachers store, and I've turned those products into actual file folder activities to use with my students. I've also been making books and tags and notebook holders and fancy decorations and other stuff.

Now, …

My Goblins - Would, Coulda, and Shoulda

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I am my worst critic. Can you relate to that? I think that those of us who go into being helpers often have unrealistic expectations of ourselves that lead us into patterns of criticism directed towards ourselves. My inner critic comes out in phrases that include the following words: would, could, and especially should.

I call these my goblins.

When I start using these words in regards to my work, I know that I am becoming the worst version of myself. "I should have known that so-and-so would do that." "I could have prevented that situation." "If I had been thinking, I would have realized that this was going to happen." The goblins spread from thoughts and self-talk about work into self-talk about everything. "I should be cleaning my house." "I could have done this faster if I had cleaned my house." "If I could get off my pockets, I would do all these things and be better."

Can you hear the problem in those statements? I am expe…

It is Wednesday...Right??

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One of the things that I like about conference time is that I end up spending time a bit confused about what day it is. It's kind of nice not to know exactly what day it is, but it is still a bit disconcerting. I'm still a bit confused by what day it is. I thought it was Saturday this morning for a bit. I am now on the straight and narrow, so I know that it is Wednesday.

It is, right?

I spent most of my day on Monday sitting in my bed in my pjs. I switched my idea notebook into a lefty-arranged notebook (why haven't I done this before? It is now so much better than it was on Sunday!!) and arranged it a bit more so I can use it more readily. I thinned out the papers that I had collected over the years and arranged them in into new categories for my website and my creative production. I also added some new post-it notes and pens for use.

I use that book as a brain dump (skeezy bullet journaling terminology). I write down all the thoughts that come into my mind about things like…

TME Tuesday: Sharing the Work of Others

Today, I am going to do something that I rarely do - I am going to share the work of other people with you.

Now, I don't usually do this because it is a violation of copyright to take the work of someone else and claim it as your own (that's not what this is), and I feel somewhat violated when someone else takes one of my songs and passes it off as their own (it happened in the middle of a conference - stinking intern who came to internship after me - took one of my songs as her own). So, I have developed rules for myself when it comes to sharing the work of others.

Quite simply, I don't do it.

I don't take the wonderful therapeutic music experiences that my interns write (and they write LOTS of great TMEs) and post them on my website. It is not my intellectual property, so I don't do it.

I will, however, share copyrighted materials available for purchase to anyone and everyone. That's what I've decided to do today.

One of my favorite cartoonists and authors is

Make It Monday: Three Essential Tools for Music Therapy Makers

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If you don't know, I am a proud "Music Therapy Maker." (I think I've just coined this phrase, and I think I'm going to start a hashtag about this...) For me, this means that I love to make things for my clients to use and use up and play with and enrich and change and adapt and all that stuff. I make lots of things, but I think my favorite music therapy materials to make are file folder visual aids. 

I have made so many different types of file folders to assist my clients in completing specific goals and objectives over the years that I have found many tips and techniques for my fellow Music Therapy Makers (how does #MusicTherapyMaker look for a hashtag?? No one else is using it yet!) I have messed up SO many folders, laminating sheets, tools, and materials that I don't even try to keep track any more. It is just too sad to think about how much time and energy I have wasted over the years. So, I CHOOSE to focus on what things I've discovered about making t…

Sunday - I Can't Really Think at the Moment, So Here I Go...

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Today is just a Sunday for me - not a Song Conversion Sunday or a Synthesis Sunday - just a Sunday. What is the reason, you may ask? Well, it is the last day of the AMTA annual conference, and I am getting tired. 

I am so very glad that I came to conference. I always am during and after the conference itself.

This conference has been one of significant growth for me. I have stepped outside my comfort zone many times this year, and that is something so very exciting (after it stopped being scary). I've made one new Facebook friend, talked to folks about new opportunities and ideas that I have for myself and for others, and have given out several small stacks of business cards. I made a goal-based paper chain last night in the art room (that HAS to continue - it was perfect for me to be creating something in a space with others and without much constraint!) - I even got an invitation to submit a presentation for the annual Art Therapy conference next year (which is conveniently locate…

Tried to Synthesize - But, Technology...

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Well, I had this wonderful, long post about all of my experiences yesterday - both in music therapy and outside in the world (I got my In-N-Out fix yesterday at lunch) - but then YouTube hung up my Mozilla and I ended up losing it all! As a result, I am not going to try to replicate all that I wrote about for the last 75 minutes, but here's what is going on.

I went to lots of good presentations yesterday. I attended presentations on marketing within a private practice, cultural humility, and solution-focused lyric analysis. I ditched the keynote presentation and the business meeting for an expensive turn around the exhibit hall where I purchased things that I need for my clinic (I now have a capo for the music therapy clinic - you are welcome, #24 and #25). I also bought some stuff that I really don't need but that I wanted - children's books, a tuning fork, some textured eggs, lots of stuff! I still have more money, so I am going back this afternoon.

Today, I will spend som…

Conference Updates and Going Old School

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I am at the American Music Therapy Association national conference right now. I am sitting in my room, eating leftover pizza, and trying to figure out what I am going to do with my day.

I went through the conference schedule on the website quite a bit ago, and I wrote a list of presentations that interested me on (wait for it!) a 4X6 inch INDEX CARD!! I do not use the conference app that we have now, mainly because I don't use my phone that much. I'm sure I'm missing out on something, but I'm content with my old school ways of doing things.

On my [Ahem] index card, I have two choices for this morning - either attending A Quick Reference Guide to Solution-Focused Lyric Analysis in Psychosocial Music Therapy Treatment or Effective Practicum Supervision Using the Integrative Developmental Model. Both interest me, especially from a model/protocol/procedure point of view, but I can only be in one place at a time, so I have to decide where to go and what to do. After I choose …

Thoughtful Thursday: I Am READY!

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I am ready to start heading towards the AMTA National Conference! This has been a long week of anticipation, making lists, and getting myself ready for interactions with lots of music therapists, but I think I have everything I need (once I shut down the laptop and put it in my bag). I have the addresses of TWO In-N-Out Burger locations (I can taste that goodness already). I am ready to go.

Conference is always a good vacation from my job. It is also one of the most stressful times of the year for me, but I continue to go. Lots of people talk about the cost and the inconvenience, but I have always made this interactive time a priority in my life, so I don't see it as an inconvenience. I guess perspective has lots to do with perception.

I don't go on fancy vacations. This is it for traveling to new places for me on a pretty regular basis. In fact, other than going home every so often, I haven't taken a "real" vacation in about 13 years.

Now, don't get me wrong. I…

I Did Something That Was Really Good For Me...

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Sometimes, it is the smallest of things that relieve the most stress and anxiety from my reality. I did something this time that really was very good for me in helping me manage my stress and anxiety during this AMTA conference season.

I made a list!

I've never done this before, but I made a packing list and put it in my bullet journal planner.
Regular readers are probably rolling their eyes right now, thinking, "Well, of COURSE you made a list! You are ALWAYS making lists. Why is this something that you are writing about YET again???" Well, dear readers, this list has helped me in immeasurable ways this week as I have been preparing for one of the the best and most stressful weeks of my year.

This is specifically a packing list. (By the way, the clothing that I am taking is listed at the very top of the left page - add in some undergarments, and I am done with the entire clothing thing! Everything else is either stuff that I need - shampoo, jewelry, cash - or road trip stuf…

Umbrella Groupings: Getting the Most Out of Your Conference!

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I read a comment on one of my social media pages from a person who is attending conference as an MT-BC for the very first time. This person was a bit confused by the idea of umbrella groupings (as I have been in the past) and was asking questions about how they even worked. So, I rolled up my sleeves and answered the question.

Here's the deal. Umbrella groupings are our opportunity to select presentations that support our individual continuing education needs. So, I get to choose, attend, and justify my selections for as many CMTEs as I can possibly get during the conference.

Umbrella groupings are one of the sneaky little things that we MT-BCs can take advantage of to glean as many CMTEs as possible from our conference fees.

Basically, if you can justify your presentation attendance and demonstrate learning that directly applies to the CBMT Board Certification Domains, you can get extra CMTEs. For example, my presentation selections seem to be primarily based on private practice/mar…

Planning My Learning for This Next Week

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On Friday, I did something I've never done before.

I sat down and went through the entire AMTA conference schedule to plan out my concurrent session attendance. Now, I have no idea if I will actually go to these sessions, but I now have a list of topics that I am interested in learning more about when I am at conference. Almost everything is either marketing or supervision this time around - with a couple of things like Special Education ideas and a Philosophy Slam thrown in for good measure. I've also signed up for a marketing consultation with a friend of mine, and I finally have something to share at the Music Therapy Business Owner's Task Force meeting. Add in a couple of times to sit with some OCMT friends, and my conference time is filling up.

I have things that I need to do to get ready. My packing list is finished, but the packing is certainly not done yet. I need to go shopping for road trip snacks, a new computer bag (mine is splitting at all the seams), and for bu…

Song Conversion Sunday: Brainstorming TME Ideas for My Selected Song - Week Two

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Last week, I analyzed a song from my sheet music archive. I separated all the musical elements that I use during music therapy sessions, and I organized my thinking into a graphic organizer - the likes of which I use quite often. Here's the picture:
So, I've been half-singing this song to myself all week (when it has defeated the therapy songs that my interns have been using), and I've been spending a bit of time thinking about what I could do in therapy, with my clients, while using this song.

In this stage of TME-izing a song (do you like that new term? It started here, folks!!), I engage in creative brainstorming and just go for every and any idea possible. Here's the process in prose (this is often a picture-type process as well):
Lyric analysis - the lyrics talk about a woman waiting for a man who is at war. It talks about generational trauma and ideas that are prevalent in trauma-informed care such as acknowledging the happenings and making decisions to change. This…

My October Theme Box is Overflowing

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Earlier this year, I transformed my front hall closet into a storage area for my music therapy materials. I have instruments, visual aids, and monthly theme boxes stored in there at the moment, and I am often getting in there to put stuff into the theme boxes. Since Halloween just finished, I found some 75% off children's books and went into the closet to put them away.

What I found was astounding.

My October box is full up to the brim, and most of the stuff in there is Halloween-based. This is actually pretty interesting to me since I do not try to "celebrate" or "highlight" Halloween in my music therapy space - it just seems to hype my students up SO very much! There is just so much out there for Halloween that it makes it easy to fill up a box!

Inside that box, I found lots of books, several copies of Halloween carols (that are not my work, so I can't share them), my visuals for choosing carols (also not my work), some ideas that came from Music Therapy Mai…