We Are… Varied

Music Therapists work with a diverse population across an incredible range of settings, thus we cannot be expected to all use the exact same cookie cutter approach.  Music therapy is so individualized and specific to every client, that using the same methods and approaches for everyone would not make sense.  That is one of the many reasons MT’s have to be resourceful and creative!  We have to use what we know and have learned from all the research and apply and adapt that to meet our clients’  needs.  The same song and intervention aren’t going to work the same way for a toddler as it will for a teen. This variance that occurs within populations and settings also leads to specialization.  Some MT’s work exclusively with older adults or in hospice care, while others work primarily with children in hospitals.  There are unique trainings and continuing education courses that help MT’s become better in these areas and more highly trained and specialized. Each MT has their own unique skills sets, strengths, and specializations that make them a wonderful asset to Read More

We Are… Universal

“Music is the universal language of mankind.” ― Henry Wadsworth Longfellow “Where words fail, music speaks.”  ― Hans Christian Andersen “Where words leave off, music begins.” ― Heinrich Heine   All of these quotes speak to the universal properties of music.  Though we may not all speak the same language, rhythm and melody are understood be people of all nationalities and cultures.   Recent studies have shown that even with a language barrier, individuals can understand the emotional context of a song based on how it sounds. Often, our clients are not looking to talk, but instead they express themselves or learn by making music, moving with music, or listening to music.  No matter the culture, rhythm and music are always present.  Rhythm is with us through every part of every day, with every step, every breath, every heartbeat in time.   Music therapists work with people of all ages, abilities, and disabilities.  We work with people of all races, beliefs, faiths, and nationalities.  We work in many countries around the world and use all kinds of music to treat each individual. Music Read More

We Are.. Therapists

When I am working at the children’s hospital, I often hear people say, “Hey Music Lady!”  While I love that people enjoy having me around and love that I make music with the kids, they are missing a full HALF of my job title.  A very, very important half. I am not just the music lady.  I don’t simply play with the kids. I don’t haul around multiple bags of instruments and things just for fun.  I AM A THERAPIST! When people use the term “music lady” to describe me, I often start up a casual conversation about the music I provide at the hospital and throw in the words, “goal-oriented“, “board certified“, and “therapist”.   Those words generate a lot of questions and start a real conversation about the therapeutic side of my job. Like other therapists, MTs treat physical, emotional, mental, social, and spiritual needs and work to improve clients’ health.  The difference?  MTs use music-based interventions to achieve our goals. Being a therapist means that we have a therapeutic relationship with the client. We are not their parent, friend, Read More

We Are… Songwriters

If you have spent any time on my blog or follow me on facebook, twitter, or pinterest, then you certainly know that I love song writing!   Like many music therapists, I write several of the songs that I use in individual and group music therapy sessions.  These songs are written to address the specific needs of my client, but can be used with other individuals as well! Instead of writing a lengthy post about my song writing process, I thought it would be a appropriate to share a NEW song with all of you!  Happy Listening!   Hey! How Are You Today? by On A Good Note Read More

We Are… Resourceful

When I typed “resourceful” into google, this is the definition that popped up. re·source·ful riˈsôrsfəl,-ˈzôrs-/ adjective adjective: resourceful 1. having the ability to find quick and clever ways to overcome difficulties. synonyms: ingenious, enterprising, inventive, creative; More   Music Therapists have a huge toolbox filled with ideas, instruments, interventions, etc.  Because we are a people-oriented profession we have to be flexible and are constantly pulling from our toolbox of resources. When we can’t come up with a particular solution on our own, we either create it (like many of the songs and interventions I post on the blog), improvise based on the knowledge we have and what is at our disposal, or we look to others for inspiration! I wanted to take a moment to share with you some of my favorite MT resources! CMTEs Sometimes, when I have to learn something new, the best way to do it is by taking a CMTE course like the ones over at MusicTherapyEd.com Songs When in doubt, youtube, google, and pandora (or spotify) are great options for finding songs on the fly!  However, if you are looking for songs geared toward Read More