Today is the Day… We Move

TODAY, Rachel and I move into our new office!!!!!!

Thursday, August 14, was my LAST DAY traveling to my clients’ homes.  I couldn’t help getting a little emotional. The families I work with have been so welcoming, inviting me into their homes, treating me like a member of the family, and respecting our boundaries during lessons.  I’ve seen younger siblings grow up and been a part of their lives every week for the past two years.  I will definitely miss those parts of teaching in clients’ homes… though I won’t miss living out of my car and all of the issues that come with being a traveling music therapist

photo (9)like this mess when I come home and drop everything after a long day

However, there are some AMAZING benefits to having our own studio space.  My students and therapy clients will have a quiet space dedicated solely to the purpose of learning and growing through music.  I have control of the distractions in the room and can use as many or as few props and aids as needed.  I will have access to ALL of my materials at my fingertips!  If I need to print something for a students, I’ll be able to do it in an instant.

No more forgetting things at home, losing things in my car, leaving things at homes, etc!

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I got a little teary as I started packing up my home office, but couldn’t be more thrilled about the amazing adventures ahead.  I’ll spend the majority of today moving instruments, furniture, and books; unpacking boxes; and assembling desks and shelves… and I’m looking forward to every moment of it!!!

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futniture I will be sharing pictures of the new office very VERY soon!!!!

Travel Trouble

Over the past couple weeks I’ve talked a lot about being a traveling music therapist.  I’ve shared tips, favorite apps, podcast lists, funny quips, and much more.  Today, I am delighted to share a specific story about the trials of being a traveling music therapist.

Things were going really smoothly today as I was on my way to do music therapy session and lessons this afternoon!  That is until I saw a series of two police cars, lights flashing, pulled to the side of the road.  Soon after, traffic slowed, then came to a grinding halt.  For the next 2 HOURS, we crawled a grueling 3 miles.

Of course, this meant my whole day would be thrown off.  At first, I thought my sessions would just be pushed back a few minutes, maybe an hour.  As our journey continued, I found out I was in for a long haul and had to cancel several sessions.  I had made my (normally 45 minute trip) into town to see only 1 client.  ONE.  At that point, I was simply thankful that I had even made it in time for that individual.

To make matters even more exciting, my gas light was on the entire 2 hours of the crawl, there were tornado and severe thunderstorm watches throughout the area, and my bladder slowly began screaming at me.  All traffic was directed off the highway because an overturned firetruck was blocking both lanes of the south-bound highway.

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I  screamed with delight when I finally saw a gas station and was able to stop to empty and refuel.    Thankfully, I was able to make it there!

Overall, I kept a very positive attitude about the whole experience.  I had to laugh.  The whole situation was simply hysterical.

Lessons learned:

  1. Always, ALWAYS, have more than a 1/4 tank of gas. 
  2. Don’t drink too much water.
  3. Always have water and snacks in the car.
  4. Leave early
  5. Find ways to keep your mind occupied (podcasts, music, car games, etc)
  6. Check traffic reports
  7. Find a local radio station with traffic and weather reports

10 Truths of the Traveling Music Therapist

Do you find these 10 truths of the traveling music therapist to be true for you?

  1. You feel like you live out of your car.
  2. You get more oil changes than the majority of your peers and put more miles on your car than you could imagine.
  3. You end up spending more time (and money) at Starbucks than you ever thought possible and find the stray Starbucks cup, sleeve, or napkin in your car on a regular basis.
  4. You learn that driving is exhausting and can quickly lead to burn out.
  5. Some days your office ends up looking like this when you come home…photo (9)
  6. You don’t want help with your instruments because you’ve finally found a way to “balance” them all.
  7. You know how to improvise because inevitably there comes a day when you leave something important at home.
  8. Your car makes strange noises when you turn or hit a bump because of all the instruments in the trunk.
  9. You find stray egg shakers and drum sticks in the most random locations.
  10. You work strange hours and always take your work home with you.

What other traveling truths can you share?

The Traveling Music Therapist – Apps I LOVE part 2

When I posted about the apps I love to use on the road, there are a few of my absolute favorite that I forgot!  Here are a few bonus apps to round out the bunch I listed yesterday!   Enjoy!

1. On Song – A wonderful app for downloading, organizing, and creating lyric and chords sheets that you can always have on hand digitally.

2.  Music Notes – I have an account with where I download the majority of music for my students.  What’s nice about the app is that once you purchase the song, you also have a digital copy available that can be transposed into most any key!  You can also add any of the notes you need, highlight specific words, notes, or parts, and easily flip between pages.

3.  Wordpress – Because my website it done through wordpress, I love having the app handy.  This way I can write blog posts from Starbucks, my car, or hotel room (at conferences or on vacation) without having to lug my computer along!   I can also make several edits to my pages as needed.

4. Dropbox – for sharing & keeping files

Other apps that have been suggested to me that you may want to check out on your own: 

  • Dragon Dictation 
  • Super Duper Data Tracker
  • Expensify
  • DocScan – Mobile scanner for iPad

Do you have other favorite apps?

The Traveling Music Therapist – 12 Apps I LOVE

Whether I am on the road, in my office, or with clients, I almost always have a device with tons of apps I like to use for a variety of purposes.  The following apps I’m going to talk about are apps for business and travel.  Enjoy!

1.  Triplog – mileage tracker.   I loved this app when I started using it because I could press “start trip” and it would use GPS to track my miles.  However, I have poor GPS signal in several of the rural towns I go to so I have taken to manually inputing my miles.  This is a great apps for people in larger cities or areas with great signal strength

2. iCal – I have my google calendar synched with my iCal so that all my events pop up and sometimes even have alarms

3. Chase – I do not live near my bank and am always on the go so I use my Chase app ALL the time

4. Maps – I have given up trying to use my Tom Tom for the reason I stated in #1 and the fact that it needs to be updated.  I use my Maps program nearly wherever I go.

5. Music Teacher’s Helper – This is the program I use to schedule and invoice clients.  The mobile apps is great for setting lesson attendance, checking payments, or letting a family know how much they owe.

6. Find Me GF – I have celiac disease so knowing where I can eat and what I can eat comes in handy!  The “near me” function also let’s me know what is in the area with a gluten free menu.

7. RetailMeNot – Who doesn’t like a deal?

8.  Weather – Umbrella? Jacket?  Sunscreen?

9. Voice Memo – When I’m in the car or need to quickly remember something, I make a voice memo.

10. Notes – I take notes about everything!

11. Wunderlist – the perfect app for all of us list makers

12. All of my social media (facebook, pages, twitter, linkedIn, etc) – for making busines posts on the go!


What are some of your go to apps?