Showing posts from 2020

One Thing At a Time

I am back at work - with TWO interns again - trying to get myself accustomed to working with company in a modified schedule where my job responsibilities have shifted yet again. Don't get me wrong, now. I am so glad that things have progressed to the point where we are able to open up our facility to volunteers (like my interns) and to family members of our clients (who visit in the outside areas of our facility at the moment), but it signifies another significant change in how we do things.
I am not a person who does well with significant and immediate change.
When I have to figure out changes in my own life, I take some time to weigh the pros and cons of the situation, consider as many options as possible, and then I make my change. Once I make a decision, I rarely second guess it because I feel like I have considered as much as I can and can move forward on a path that works for me.
This pandemic has shattered my ability to make choices for myself - mainly because it was not perso…

Crawling Back to School

Today is the day that I return to my extended school year sessions. We are heading back into the modified schedule of late, working for four hours with clients and then heading home to try to do more work at home. I am not successful at working at home. The good news is that my interns (that's right, after today I will have two of them again) will get to be with me (as long as they have been taking their temperature and isolating a bit) as we start to figure out the new normal.
There are so many rumors out there. Budget cuts and layoffs looming for everyone. Going to split live interaction classes - half the class present for in-person interaction and half the class engaged in remote learning. No singing forever. The information is multiplying and difficult to keep track of, and I am tired of trying to figure out ways forward to have them dashed by administrators and legislators and heads of state who really don't have a clue what it is like to be constantly wondering about wha…


These are not happy times in my country. There are riots happening in various parts of the territory and people are engaged in a pissing contest about who is right and who is wrong and who has what power and who will bend first. I am sinking under the weight of it all.
I strive to be a good person. I strive to be inclusive and I strive to focus on each person as a unique and special person who offers so much to the world. I am a person of privilege, and I acknowledge that fact whenever I write about situations where biases are prevalent and that cause friction. I cannot and will never understand the situations that others live in and through every day. I know this, and I find a bit of shame in the fact that anyone in this world is treated with less than compassion in every single interaction with every single person. I tend to internalize this shame and it is fed by constant triggers from social media and the outrage of others.
I feel powerless when it comes to speaking out about gender…

Six Things to Do With...

I have an arbitrary rule for myself and my storage space. It is not something that I based on anything other than my tendency to collect things and head towards hoarding, ESPECIALLY with music things, but it has been handy in the 27 years that I've been a professional music therapist. Six things to do before buying/keeping/storing.
Simply put, this means that I have to come up with six goals or therapeutic music experiences (TMEs) in which I use the material in order to keep it in my storage space. Since this is my guideline, I strive to make things that can be used in many different ways so I can justify keeping them.
Here's how this goes... I see something new, and I start to think - "Can I afford this?" "Do I want it because I just want it?" "Can I think of six things to do with this thing to justify buying it?" The questions start to come fast and furious...What is it? Would it be something I could use in my current music therapy job? (If the answ…

My Summer Music Therapy Reading List

It is time to start my summer music therapy reading list. I have a new notebook for taking notes (I filled up the first one!), and I am looking at some more time with my modified work schedule, so I want to do something productive for my professional development.
I go to my music therapy bookshelf to find something to read and think about...
I think I will start with information from the Neurologic Music Therapy training by Michael Thaut. I took this course a long time ago, but I know that some of the information offered then will still be relevant. I would like to purchase some of the more recent texts that Thaut has produced, but I'm not going to spend the capital at the moment. I will start with the information that I have at hand.
My first foray into professional development reading will be the Training Manual for Neurologic Music Therapy.
Time to get my supplies ready.
Five different types of post-it notes (I have LOTS of cute ones because of my stationery subscriptions). I think …

Thoughtful Thursday: Back to the Quote Box

I have a small box that sits on my computer desk that I look around every day. You know, the type of thing that sits there but that you don't really pay attention to all that much?
I have had it for many years - it came from a box from Music Therapy Mailingsa long, long time ago, and I have used it ever since. I flip to a new quote when I am paying attention to it which is not often. Today, though, it caught my notice, so I flipped to a new card.
It is a bit difficult to see, but this quote by Gloria Steinem was the one that I flipped to. It says, "the future depends entirely on what each of us does every day."
Hmm. This makes me stop and think a bit about what I do on a regular basis. I work with children and adolescents in a residential and day program for persons with intellectual/developmental diagnoses and chronic psychiatric symptoms. I am not often all that future oriented when it comes to what I do every day, but I do think about where my clients will be going once …

Desperately Seeking Something

It has happened.
I have reached the middle of my break, and I am slipping into my mid-break slump. I woke up today with a headache and a general feeling of "ugh." Nothing seems all that appealing to me right now. Turn on the television? Nah. Get something to eat? Nah. Make a book out of paper? Nah. Write a blog post? Well, I've tried that now three times. Is anything going to stick long enough to be published?? We shall see. I am not motivated to do much of anything.
My remedy for when this type of feeling takes over is to fill my environment with things that I love. This morning, I did something that I don't usually do - I reached for my iPod. My iPod is the only iThing that I allow in my home. We have come to an agreement - I will backup and update the thing as long as it keeps my commutes full of tv shows, movies, and podcasts. I have some music on it as well, but I don't usually reach for music to fill my silences. Many times it is just too much for me, so musi…

Persephone - Chapter Seven (Part A) - The Routine of It All

I have this idea that we are at a crossroads in the profession of music therapy. I've been feeling this way for some time now and have watched as the association has struggled to find leadership, find members, and find a common direction. My feelings are not based on anything other than the thoughts that I get at times and the luxury of being someone who is not part of the association (other than membership) watching the entire picture from the far outside.

I think this is part of my current interest in writing futuristic fiction about music therapy. I am thinking about "what ifs" and am making them into some sort of structure - one thing I like is structure. My heroine, Persephone, is just starting her music therapy educational coursework. She has a degree in Music Psychology and has been accepted to one of the four international music therapy education programs in the world. She has come to music therapy how many of us seem to come to the profession - a family member wh…

Life - Getting Ready for the Next Quarter of This Year

May has flown by, hasn't it? March and April seemed to drag along, but May has just whooshed past me in a blur. I wonder if this indicates that I have become used to my new routine and it is now just what I do rather than something different. Hmm. I am sitting down with my bullet journal to do some planning for the next three months.

My performance on my last quarter's goals was abysmal. This past quarter included lots of changes and panic and shifting from one thought to a completely different one in the blink of an eye, so I did not really move forward on many of my goals and objectives. As I look at my progress and my failings, I have to remind myself that global pandemics happen and can change everything.

I have done some of the things that I set out to do three months ago. I have maintained my sing about mini edition subscriptions. I have been engaged in being the music therapist as my intern has been in quarantine (facility requirements). I have been saving money and have …

Updating My Internship Program

It is SO past time for this particular project, so I am taking some time during the next 9 days to review my internship program and adjust some of the requirements, assignments, and timings of things. This project is one that I take on every couple of years and is something important for me as an Internship Director (ID) and as a therapist. This time around, I have LOTS of things to think about as I get ready to welcome intern #30 and intern #31 into my program in the next several months.

This recent pandemic has illustrated several things to me as a therapist. First, I think that telehealth is here to stay. I don't think it will ever take over the face-to-face interactions that many of us currently miss right now, but I think it will continue to be a niche of all human interactions from now on. We have found ways to keep doing elements of music therapy through an electronic interface, and there will always be clients who will want this type of interaction over others. So, teleheal…

New Instruments and a New Decade

Yesterday was my birthday, and I got some new instruments! I tried to post some videos, but they were a bit too big for Blogger to process, so here are some pictures of my new instruments for your perusal!!

When I first started my life as a music therapy major, my family members asked me what they could give me that would enrich my training and services for my clients. I told them any sort of music or instrument or recording or sheet music that they could find. They were a bit hesitant to start off with, mainly because they didn't want to give me things that I already had. I was fine with getting duplicates, but they didn't want to do that. So, I gave folks some instructions.

"Go to the $3 bin at any store and grab a bunch of random CDs. I will use music from all genres and time periods and styles. Don't spend too much money on this type of music - most of the time, the best music comes from the universe through seemingly random manners."

"Head down to the loc…

Tomorrow Starts My Next Decade

Today is my last day in my current decade, and tomorrow starts a new decade of living for me. That's right - tomorrow is my birthday, and it is a big one. I have been practicing the thought of this new decade for months now, so the transition isn't as shocking as it was when I turned over the last decade, but I am still a bit awed by the fact that I have lived as long as I have. It doesn't seem possible and seems all too real at the same time. 

A new decade.

My last decade was marked by severe health-changing events every three years. I'd be happy to give up that pattern for sure! My last decade included a series of changes - some of my doing and some not - in my professional goals and ideas and wishes for myself. My last decade included betrayals by people I thought were my friends but who turned out to just use me, but this decade also included friendships that strengthened into really important relationships for me. I have lost more friends to sickness and death in th…

Persephone - Chapter Six - Getting Into a Routine

Let's see - when we last left off, Persephone was trying to answer a question about her own use of music for a therapeutic benefit. (Here's an excerpt from the post on May 9, 2020)