A Music Therapist with No Voice

I love to talk and sing.  I rely on my voice all day, every day to create live music, interact with families and clients, convey my thoughts, and give directions.  SO, what happens when I lose that voice?  When illness strips me of an essential tool!  That is what I’ve been dealing with the past several days.  Thank goodness there was a weekend in there to relax and regain a little, but my voice is still shaky! Here are a few things I’ve been doing to help myself function!

1.  Music based interventions that don’t require singing.   I have been using a lot of instrument playing, improvisation, and relaxation.  Try thinking outside the box.  Use ALL of your music skills.  Also, you can encourage clients to sing!  Focus on the clients strengths and goals instead of on your inability to use your voice!

2.  Recorded music. I much prefer using live music when I can, but when I cannot sing or talk creating live music can turn distracting and obnoxious. The client focuses on how the song sounds different from the original instead of the therapeutic reason you are creating the song.  So, recorded music sometimes comes into play when I am sick.

3. Technology. There are so many apps that require very little verbal input from the therapist but still help address the clients goals and objectives.  Check out some of my recent app reviews for a few ideas!

Singing Fingers

My Note Games

YouTube

Choice Board Creator 

4. Song Writing! My clients LOVE song writing!  I use song writing to address a variety of needs and change the song writing process depending on the needs of the clients.

5. Letting my clients know I cannot talk loudly or repeat directions.  I had a short discussion with most of my clients that I had very little voice and that they really needed to pay attention because I had very little voice

6.  Using proper vocal technique!  If you do have to sing or talk, use proper vocal technique.  Be sure to take appropriate breathes and don’t force your voice.

7.  Rest.   I try to get as much rest of possible when I’m sick or have no voice.  The less talking and the more sleep the better!  Sometimes there is no other option but to cancel a couple things a take a nap!

Rachel Sleeping

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