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 local music store, take a seat, and ask them to bring you the strangest percussion instrument that they have in the back. There is always something that was ordered and then not picked up because it was the wrong pitch or just didn't really match what the original buyer wanted. Take that instrument because I will use it!"

"Go to the thrift stores and grab anything that is by Reader's Digest! Song books, music collections, single song sheet music - all that will be used! 

These prompts have served my gift givers and myself well over the past several decades. There have been some instruments that have challenged me - look up LP Guiro Torpedo and realize that mine is bigger than the 20" version that seems to be standard - but all of them have been used in my music therapy career in one way or another. I have wonderful recordings by obscure groups and performers. I have antique sheet music from all time periods of printed music. My family members have done well over the years.This birthday celebration was no exception!

I was under strict instructions NOT to open up anything until the actual day arrived, so I heeded those instructions and stared at two boxes, one package envelope, and two card envelopes until yesterday at 10:30ish am. I started with the package envelope and found an Otamatone! (That's the first two pictures in this post - isn't he cute??)

I have seen these before and never took it on myself to get one, but I can already see some use for this for people with fine motor goals. He's just fun to play with, and he will have a name pretty soon. I love how his mouth has to open to complete the circuit for his singing sound. I had a video, but blogger couldn't process it, so I'll try to upload one to YouTube and post it here later.

The second was this wonderful little bag - nicely padded and wildly patterned. I opened it up to find a small steel tongue drum with a songbook included! The mallets fit inside a pocket on the strap which expands to hold more things. The sound is wonderful (if you like metallic pitched percussion, this is for you!), and it fits in one hand!

I am starting to come up with some ideas for new blog post series as well as some therapeutic music experiences to run with these new tools and instruments. I love it when inspiration comes from unexpected places, and I am looking forward to starting this new decade of my life with some new ideas to share with all of you! Thank you so much for being with me on this journey through music, therapy, and me!!


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