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

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 Read More

My Favorite Things Monday – My piano

Today, my allergies are really acting up! I feel gross, have almost no voice, and just wanted to stay in bed this morning.  One thing helped changed my negative outlook on the day into a positive one… my piano. I may not be a concert pianist or a beautiful solo performer, but I love to play and I enjoy teaching an instrument that people can play their whole lives. If I’m having a bad day, am in a foul mood, or just need a minute to unwind, there is nothing like sitting down at my piano and playing a tune. Somehow, just taking a minute to indulge in music making for myself turns my whole mood around. I am so thankful to have the gift of music in my life and to have the opportunity to share it with others.   I feel blessed to be able to say, “I love what I do.” My piano was a gift from a few of my family members.  It was my Aunt’s piano, before she passed.  Her husband and children wanted it Read More