Music Therapy Songwriting

I am so excited to be talking about one of my favorite topics this week… SONGWRITING! I love songwriting (if you couldn’t already tell from my music page)! I write new songs nearly every day of the week.  Some of them stick and become recorded, published works, where as others are never heard by another soul. Songwriting doesn’t have to be a serious process, but I promise, the more you do it the better you will get.  My songwriting practice occurs all day, every day, singing to the dog, singing to myself in the car, recapping my day in song format, etc. During piano lessons, I’ll spontaneously create songs to give instructions or teach a new concept and my students ask, “how did you do that?”  Easy, I sing my thoughts and ideas and occasionally come up with great rhymes.  It’s that simple. Sometimes, my songs are more thought out and start with an idea on a piece of paper that gradually evolves into lyrics with a chorus and verses that take a week or more to complete. Often, I’m Read More

We Are…Musicians

As MUSIC therapists we are defined as being MUSICIANS. MT’s have often debated whether we are primarily musicians or whether we are mostly therapists but, personally, I believe it is a good balance of the two.  When completing a degree in MT, students must learn to play guitar and piano, as well as learning to sing.  MT’s are also required to take courses in music theory & music history, perform in ensembles, and take lessons on their primary instrument.  On top of all that, MT’s are always learning new music, practicing, and performing. Many of the MT’s I know are involved in performance groups or bands and some record their own music.  When I tell me\y students that I practice almost every day, I’m not kidding.  I am making music all the time! Being in a music related profession was never a question for me.  Music has always been a huge part of my life and I feel so lucky to have found a profession where I can use my love of music to better the lives of others! Read More

We Are… Kinesthetic

I got the idea for this post from JoAnn Jordan’s post related to ABC’s of Music Therapy.  JoAnn posted a quote regarding the kinesthetic part of music therapy that I completely agree with! “I hear and I forget. I see and I understand. I do and I remember.” – Confucius Personally, I learn by doing, by moving, by trying things, and by playing around.  I have to explore and actually feel things in order to completely grasp a new concept.  I know this is the same for so many of my clients.  We do  A LOT of moving, playing, and exploring in all of our session.  The movement and activity are both a great way to engage my clients and help them learn new concepts.  You may have noticed by exploring My Music Page that many of the songs I write or the interventions I post on the Blog include movement, actions, or doing of some sort. Below are some of the links to interventions I have created.   Can You Play Like This? Kick It! 3 Songs for Movement Tiptoe Read More

We Are… Individualized

If I haven’t emphasized it enough in previous posts, (i.e. We Are… Goal Oriented, Flexible, Data Driven) music therapy is incredibly individualized.  Every client, treatment plan, intervention, and session plan is individualized.  Though there are standards for music therapy practice and specific intervention that are tested and supported, those standards and intervention sets are often broad and can be manipulated slightly to meet the specific need of each individual. Think about it this way.  If you are a client that really enjoys pop music but despises country, it may not be in the best interest of the client to do a movement exercise to or lyric analysis of a country hit.  Just like using a 90’s pop song for a child born in 2003 or using a song from 2010 for a reminiscence project of an 80 year-old woman may not be appropriate.  However, you won’t necessarily know what is best for that client until you have the opportunity to get to know them.  Not every person will respond to an intervention the same way. Individualism also applies to the Read More

We Are… Advocates

As I stated yesterday, it is social media advocacy month for music therapy!   I am thrilled to be a part of this project!   Nearly every day this month I am going to make a different post related to this year’s theme, “We are…”.  This theme centers on exploring and honoring the profession of music therapy as a distinct profession, unique from other professions and professionals with which we work. To help highlight some of the unique aspects of the music therapy profession, I will be doing a series called the “ABCs of Music Therapy”  Each day I will focus on 1 letter of the alphabet and an adjective describing music therapists.   I hope you will enjoy this series as much as I will and that you can learn something new along the way!     Music therapists across the world are continually advocating for themselves, the profession of music therapy, the needs of clients, and for the use of music therapy services!  Not a day goes by where I do not talk about my profession, why music therapy Read More