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Showing posts from December, 2019

Tuesday at Teachers Pay Teachers: Free Stuff for Music Therapists to Download and Use

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It is the last Tuesday of 2019, and I am going to share with you some of the free stuff available to you if you join Teachers Pay Teachers. **Please note that I do not get any financial compensation or benefit if you join TPT or if you purchase anything from the site (unless you buy something from my store).** It is free to join, and there are LOTS of free resources available to you (over 18,000!) that you can adapt or use to enrich your music therapy sessions with clients. Here is a list of files that I have used for some of my therapeutic music experiences...
Sara Bibee - Music Composer of the Month - Antonin Dvorak - Bulletin Board Pieces - I do a Musician of the Month series, and it is wonderful when the work is done for me. This composer's packet is free, and Sara has lots of other materials in her store. In fact, here's another free file - Colorful Pitch Circles. Who couldn't use these in some way??Music Teacher Resources - Free Music e-book - This is less of a file a…

My 2019 Review

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It is that time of year. It is time for me to start thinking about the past year and how I want to change things in the upcoming year. The fact that this year (in my opinion) starts a new decade of my life and development is starting to weigh heavily on my thoughts about who I am and what I want to do and where I want to go.

So...here it is...my review of 2019.

Most of this year was a good one for me. My word of the year, COURAGE, led me to taking courses that I would never have considered before. I took two business-oriented courses that challenged me to look at what I have already done and see what I want to do in a more clear manner. I have pushed myself to identify what I want to do and how I want to do it. I have developed plans that seem to be working, and I have followed through on all of my goals. I took a REAL vacation, and I did not go to a conference that has bored me in the past several years. My year was interrupted by health concerns throughout, but I seem to have all that…

Synthesis Sunday - Well...Not Really

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This is supposed to be a Synthesis Sunday post, full of information about my current foray into music therapy, but I am on vacation and haven't done any of my post-it note work or synthesis. In fact, I need to go back to last week's post to see where I am in the process. I think I'm almost finished, but I'm not exactly sure...Oh. I stated that I would write about this article while here on vacation, so I am going to get my reading glasses and do some of this work.

But, I don't have any post-it notes.

What a lame excuse - just write on paper! You can do this.

Sigh. You're right, rational brain. I'll do it.

So, here's how my initial synthesis process goes...

Let's look at the abstract. Desire for social interaction with increased isolation and feelings of loneliness from peers. Singing, rhythmic games, creative movement, and dance - first intruding thought - how is creative movement different from dancing?? - dyads, small groups, large groups.

Justification…

Getting All Fan-Girly About My Favorite Composer

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If you have read this blog around this time of year for the past several years (at least, since Disney took over the Star Wars franchise), then you know that I am a HUGE fan! I have now seen the last movie, The Rise of Skywalker, twice, and I will be going back for some more once I get back to my own home. Looking forward to watching this movie the third time will get me through some cold, wintery, gloomy days, I am more than sure!

I promise, I will not reveal any spoilers about the plot, the ending, or anything OTHER THAN...
My FAVORITE composer of all time has a cameo!There. That's the only thing that I will reveal.

Mr. John Williams is my favorite composer. There is no one else who even compares in my musical universe, though Michael Giacchino is gaining on some of my other favorites right now. Mr. Williams, however, is at the pinnacle that all others are compared to and must strive to achieve!

My love affair with the music of Mr. Williams started with my first interaction. The fir…

Fun Friday - T-shirts Galore!

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This was the year of t-shirts.


I got six different t-shirts this year - my father found several places on the internet to purchase novelty shirts, and HE DID!! The ones in the bottom picture are from him! One is a Girl Scout themed one, one says, "I'm the oldest - I make the rules," and the other says "These are difficult times" under a picture of 6/4, 9/8, and 11/16 time signatures. I think I'll wear that one when I do my next webinar - all about chord progressions that I think ALL music therapists should know by heart and by hands.



If you are interested in the webinar, check out this link for details. Did I mention that it is free?

The top picture is the collection I received from my mother and my sister. One is from our trip to Hawaii and the other two are Star Wars themed because my sister knows me so well. The one with Darth Vader on it has the Imperial March notated in bass clef with the lyrics, "dum dum da dum, dum da dum, dum, da dum" notate…

TME Central - Thoughtful Thursday

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The day after Christmas is always one of reflection for me. I do as much as I can to enjoy the actual day itself - not many pictures or rituals other than the ones that my family has always completed - and very little in the way of cataloging or thinking about work stuff. The next day, however, I am usually awake way before any other member of my family - two hour time difference, and I don't acclimatize to sleeping in well - so I spend most of my time thinking about the holiday and about all the things I want to get finished during my break from work. It almost always includes things for work as well as thing for my home - which is currently far away from where I am. 

Today's reflection is coming from a place of jet lag.

I have five days of being here with my family - loose plans for two of those days - lots of time of shopping with my mom and my sister - we have a deal: I go to two stores without complaining. After two? They can either put up with my crankiness or take me back…

Tuesday at Teachers Pay Teachers

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Welcome to our first Tuesday at Teachers Pay Teachers post! I hope that this is a resource that you have already started to explore because it does two things that I am passionate about - supporting fellow professionals and visual aid making!! If you haven't been on this site to get access to lots of digital files that you can adapt to music therapy resources, then there are a couple of things that you should know. First, you need to register to access the files. It's worth it. There are so many free files available (the first thing anyone with a store has to post is a free resource) that signing up for the entire site is worth it. You do not have to pay to be a member, but there are costs if you decide to download someone's resources. Second, those of us who have stores get a cut of the purchase price. We don't get lots, but it is a passive revenue stream for those of us who post files. Third, there is almost everything that you could ever want on this site, especi…

Tuesdays...Tuesdays...What Should I Do on Tuesdays...

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I want to take myself out of a writing rut that I'm bumping around in these days. I have found that blog writing seems to be more interesting for me if I have about three days that are dedicated to posts with a common title and the other four days are open to whatever I want to write about. I already have Synthesis Sundays going on and there's Thoughtful Thursday (something that needs to be developed a bit more to make it a true series), but I want a new topic for Tuesdays.

Now, I have done Tuesday series posts before. I used to do (Therapeutic Music Experience) TME Tuesdays where I offered up a completely original thing to do with clients. I adjusted that a bit for (New to ME) "NTM" TME Tuesdays - same type of idea. I am now tired of these series, so I am in search of something a bit more interesting to me.

Now one of my little rules (that nobody notices except for me) is that my series have to have alliterative titles. Hence Synthesis Sunday and Thoughtful Thursday! …

Synthesis Sunday (Actually, It's Monday...): New Article on Music Interventions

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Okay, okay. It is actually Monday when I am writing this Synthesis Sunday post - mainly because I got busy yesterday with other projects and situations and did not get into the research part of Sunday. So, here we go again!!

I have selected my article. It is not from a music therapy source because I want to expand my vision. Here are the details...
Eren. B. (2015). The use of music interventions to improve social skills in adolescents with autism spectrum disorder in integrated group music therapy sessions. Procedia Social and Behavioral Sciences, 197, 207-213. Retrieved from: www.sciencedirect.comI selected this particular article because it hit several of my keywords - adolescents, group, music therapy, socialization. The article itself doesn't have much information - there is no real quantification involved in the article - no numbers, no comparisons, no statistics - but there are more references to practical applications for things. I am looking forward to continuing reading a b…

The End of the Year

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I am officially finished with all of my full-time job responsibilities for the next 12 days, for the month, for the year, and for the decade! I have from now until January 2nd to do my regular Winter Break things - a bit of cleaning, some last-minute gift shopping, packing, traveling, and resting far away from the things that I "have" to do. It is not quite enough time to become completely bored with my own company, but it is a change from the day-to-day routine. Today is my first day of break, and I have one commitment and that is all! My schedule is pretty empty this time around, and that's a great sight to see in my planner.

This has been an interesting year on many fronts. My health has been the biggest concern of mine for most of the year, culminating in the surprise removal of my gallbladder and a related procedure immediately following that surgery. I have been feeling much better - less fatigued with more interest in things - since that troublesome organ was remov…

Avoiding Skill Slide During the Break

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It is almost time for my Winter Break, and today, I am going to talk about Skill Slide.

This is a term that I just made up to describe the phenomenon that happens when you take time away from something that you've made a habit in your life, and for me, it encompasses the things that I have to as a music therapist each and every day. Things like playing the guitar and piano, singing with appropriate breath support, writing music, writing Therapeutic Music Experiences, and coming up with visual aids for use in my clinic. Skill Slide is very real and is often not experienced until you walk back into the music therapy routine and find that your fingers hurt after one session of guitar playing. Or you can't seem to get the frog out of your throat during your opening song.

Does that ever happen to anyone else??

When I was an intern, we used to take data on specific goals related to behavior indications before and after every break to track just this type of situation. We didn't cal…

The Last Therapy Day of the Year

It has FINALLY arrived - today is my last therapy day for the calendar year of 2019. Tomorrow is my plan/prep day, so I have an opportunity to clean, clear, and move things around rather than do therapy. I have most of my regular classes today, but not all of them because we have our Holiday Sing today. We're going to be singing some new songs this year - no one suggested "Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer" but I'm stuck singing "Last Christmas." By this time tomorrow, most of my holiday obligations will be over - with the exception of leading worship at the Christmas Eve service - so I will be able to start getting into a holiday type of mood.

I always look forward to the arrival of this day because it signifies the end of one thing and the start of something new. My winter break will not be particularly restful - I have lots to do before taking a trip to my home - but it will be a break from the regular routine. There is no guilt associated with any of th…

I Wrote a Song...

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I took some of my snow day, stuck at home because I'm too chicken to take someone else's car onto slick and untreated roads, and started using my music notation software. This is not something that I do enough - composing and then notation of what I've composed - and yesterday was a bit of an aberration. I had the time and the song popped into my head ready to be set on paper, so I did it!

I've decided that I'm taking my laptop with me when I go on my next trip. I hope to have some time to compose - I know that I'll have lots of time in the early mornings when I wake up at an ungodly hour since I'm waking at ungodly hours here at home and my destination is 2 hours behind. My sister likes to sleep in during her breaks, but my body just doesn't sleep in...at all. So, I'll have about five hours every morning to blog and compose and make visual aids and do all that stuff. I can then leave all of my other electronic devices at home.

Anyway, the reason that…

It's 4am, and I'm Facing Snow Day #2 - AT HOME!!

I am spending today at my home...again...due to inclement weather and a strange rental car situation where I don't want to chance going out onto slick roads where I may get into an accident. I usually go into work on these snow days because I work in a residential facility that has to be staffed on days when the school is closed. I get to take time off at any time in the future that I want, so being at work isn't too much of a chore. I actually like snow days, but I'm getting more and more nervous about moving around the slick world these days. Add in the fact that my little car is currently being repaired after it got run into while I was in the hospital for emergency surgery, my trepidation is a bit larger than usual. Also, on Sunday, I slid into a curb at a roundabout on my way to church in my little car, and I watched a 4-wheel drive SUV do the exact same thing. My tires bounced off the curb - no detectable damage - but I was rattled.

So, we are now getting ready for th…

Yesterday's Adventures in Sunday School Programming

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As one of my jobs, I function as a music director for a small, rural, Methodist church. My job now includes being a Sunday School teacher, and, as part of that role, I am now in charge of our annual Sunday School programs. Our Christmas program was yesterday...in the midst of the first major snow storm of the season...with an ever evolving cast of players...and lots of littles who did NOT want to sing in front of other people!

This is part of my role as a music therapist/church musician that I both love and dread.

My Sunday School students come and go which make it difficult to plan a program that includes readings and roles and costumes. One of the kids that I was expecting didn't make it yesterday and two arrived that were completely unexpected! Fortunately, I've done this enough that I can be flexible (I thank my therapy training for that) and was able to find roles for the surprise Sunday Schoolers without too much trouble.

No one really seemed to get overly anxious or excite…

Synthesis Sunday: Looking Around for the Next Thing to Think About

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I have finished the first article in my current Sunday focus posts - the worksheet is finished and it is time to move on.
If you are interested - here's what my final version looks like (with all the paragraph marks and the spelling questions - that's how I like to write...). I received a copy of the Journal of Music Therapy this week (I think), but I have not opened it yet. I'm going to be searching through research references to see what catches my interest. I have not done that yet, but you can go through the process with me...

First step - Google Scholar.

My search string was "music therapy adolescents special education." The dates on these top results indicate to me that this is not a well researched population, especially recently, but this is not surprising. I know that there isn't much available on this particular age group, and I have my theories about why - that isn't really relevant here, but is interesting to me. Most of these resources are ones …