2016: Simplify, Streamline, Self-Care (part 3)

STOP!!!!  Stop what you are doing right now!

Take a deep breath. 

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How did that feel?  Pretty great, right? Take another one. A slow, deep breath.  Remind yourself to simply breathe and take a second to step away from everything.

Close your eyes and take another deep breath.

 You’ve got this. 

When I feel myself starting to tense up and my shoulders slowly creeping toward my ears, I remind myself to stop, take a moment. Breathe. Remember, to breathe.

Previously, I’ve talked A LOT about self care in a series called “Love Yourself”.  However, it’s soooo important that I’m going to rehash it now.

Take at least a little time out of every single day to…you guessed it…


Do something (literally ANYTHING) for yourself.

We get so consumed in the tasks we “have” to do every day that we simply forget to take care of ourselves.  We forget that in order to care for our families, help other people, or be successful at work, that we first have to take care of our selves.  We have to make sure our proverbially batteries recharge at some point so they don’t shut down and power off entirely.

Self-Care can be ANYTHING!!!

It can be anything that helps you to recharge, unwind, relax, find yourself, or however you like to look at it. It just has to be something for YOU! No one else. JUST YOU!

Can it help someone along the way… sure, maybe. But, it has to help you!

How do I self-care: Jogging, baths, reading, cooking (when I WANT TO), playing piano (for fun), wine, drawing, watching Netflix with my husband, writing, going to the dog park (with the dog), taking pictures, organizing my closet, writing a blog post, shopping for home decor, taking a nap, calling my sister, yoga/pilates, coffee dates, meditating, coloring, massages, traveling, etc.

I want to know…

How do YOU self-care?

2016: Simplify, Streamline, Selfcare

After a very long and productive meeting on Tuesday, Rachel and I established  three key words for the new year.

Simplify, Streamline, Self-care

I have been in an constant state to growth, movement, and just trying to keep up over the past several months and needed to take a moment to assess where I’m at and what the next steps are.  Personally, I think the business will continue to grow and develop without much extra work, which is good because I’ve run out of hours in the day to add new tasks.  That’s not to say that I won’t be working, but that I’m  attempting to not take on anything EXTRA that will distract from the awesome growth that is happening and instead use any additional time I have (outside my normal work load) to focus on enhancing what is working and eliminating or adjusting what is not.

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In 2016, I believe we can ALL benefit from is implementing the words above.  I have decided to adopt these words as not only a work motto but as a personal theme as well.  In the next few posts I’ll share my thoughts on each and the action steps I have to achieve them.

Simplify –

There are a number of things that I either do because I feel like I have to or because I’ve overcomplicated things.   It doesn’t help that I’m also surrounded by so much “stuff” all the time.  The never ending to-do lists and mountains of “stuff” take their toll and easily make me feel overwhelmed.

In 2016, I want to cut some of the “stuff”  from my life.  In “The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up”, Marie Kondo asks readers the challenging question, “Does it spark joy?”  If the answer is no, get rid of it! NOW!  While she may be talking about the clutter in your closet or your home, I like to take this question to a more personal and professional level. Does writing this blog post spark joy?  Does the dress I’m wearing my me feel good? Does checking facebook 67 times a day make me any happier?   Do these 6 items really need to be on my to-do list or is there someone far more capable who can do this in a way that will save me time, energy, and unneeded stress?

These might seem like silly questions, but they are a really good way to reassess what I want and need to make my life as joyful as possible.  By simplifying, I’m going to declutter my life thus creating more time and energy for the things and people I love.

Action steps:

  1. Ask, does it spark joy?  If not, it’s gone!
  2. Delegate, assign, ask for help, hire someone, etc. (You don’t have to do everything yourself)
  3. Eliminate the little to-dos and never-ending list by creating short, actionable goals and objectives that can be achieved within a reasonable time frame.


What are your goals for the new year??

Happy New Year – Looking back at 2015

After our wedding in September 2014, life for Chad and I was supposed to slow down.  I remember telling myself every day leading up to our nuptials that it would “be ok, you’ll have plenty of down time when you get back from your honeymoon”.

Chad and Katey Wedding  Never have I been so wrong.  As soon as we got home from our honeymoon, life resumed it’s hectic pace but at an even faster speed. Even though it’s been busy, it has been the most crazy, fantastic ride!

Two years ago this week, Rachel Rambach and I sat down to talk about the holidays, our favorite books and plans for the new year over a casual cup of coffee at Target (both of which are still big parts of our routine).  We talked about life and how great it would be to open a music therapy clinic space.   And that was just the start…

Within months, Rachel and I had formed an LLC and started renting space from Capitol City Music in Springfield, IL. We created early childhood classes that have take off like wild fire and started an online database where our original class materials can be purchased.  BUT IT DIDN’T STOP THERE!



2015 was an even bigger year both personally and professionally.

In March, MTC started looking for a new home.  Knowing that we wanted to continue our growth, we knew we would need a larger space and to grow our team.

We ended the year with:

  • a 2,300 sq. ft. space that we renovated over the summer
  • our first intern
  • 3 subcontractors teaching individual music lessons
  • 1 subcontractor providing music therapy
  • 1 administrative assistant
  • 4 new classes
  • 40+ new individual clients
  • a growing online resource database
  • and plenty of other milestones I’m probably missing

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  • Bought a new (old) home in Springfield (closing the same week as we signed our contract for our MTC building)
  • Started renovating our new (old) home
  • Started a rental business by renting out our Lincoln house and renting our 3rd story apartment
  • Learned the trials, tribulations, and exciting parts of being landlords VERY quickly
  • Celebrated our first year of marriage with an impromptu trip to the Dominican Republic
  • traveled to Germany & France
  • Chad traveled to several states and won six trophies with his mine rescue team
  • I sang with a band numerous times
  • I presented at our national Music Therapy Conference
  • I visited the Grand Canyon for the first time
  • ran 4 5Ks
  • we made some amazing new friends
  • and TONS of other small and large things that I KNOW I’m missing.

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Needless, to say it has been my busiest but also best and most memorable year to date. I’m looking forward to taking on whatever 2016 has to offer.  

Happy New Year

We Are… Goal Oriented


Those are two key words in the realm of music therapy!  GOALS is even an essential word in the AMTA definition of music therapy:

“Music Therapy is the clinical and evidence-based use of music interventions to accomplish individualized goals within a therapeutic relationship by a credentialed professional who has completed an approved music therapy program.”

After an assessment, music therapists create individualized goals for each client.  One of the biggest misconceptions I deal with is the thinking that these goals are music oriented, like learning to play an instrument, when in fact nearly all of the goals are non-musical.   Major goal areas include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • emotional well-being
  • physical health
  • social functioning
  • communication abilities
  • cognitive skills 
  • motor skills

These goals can then be addressed through music-based interventions such as:

  • music improvisation
  • instrument playing
  • receptive music listening
  • song writing
  • lyric discussion
  • music and imagery
  • music performance
  • learning through music

MTs continually re-evaluate their clients’ needs, assess their progress, and modify goals as needed.  MT interventions and interactions are all directly based on the clients needs/goals.

We Are... Goal Oriented

This article from the Children’s Hospital of Pennsylvania states some of the specific goals of Music Therapy and Art Therapy in a pediatric hospital setting

Coast Music Therapy has several resources pertaining to MT goals when working with Children in Special Education

This article by Dorita S. Berger in a 2009 edition of “Voices” gives advice On Developing Music Therapy Goals and Objectives