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

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… Healthful

Music Therapy is not only a wonderful resource for individuals with special needs or illness, it can also be a great tool for people seeking health and wellness.  When I have explained music therapy in the past, a typical response has been, “That makes sense!  Music definitely can change my mood, motivate me, or help me relax depending on what I’m listening to!”  While individual music listening isn’t the premise of music therapy, I can certainly see where people make the connection.  They are right, music can help with mood, motivation, and relaxation in every day life,  but there are many more benefits to working with a music therapist. Healthy individuals can use music thearpy for stress reduction via active music making, such as drumming, as well as passive listening for relaxation. Music Therapists can facilitate interventions for stress management and relaxation.  Music Therapists can also work with clients who are grieving, dealing with chronic pain, chronic illness, depression, stress, or who are looking for spiritual or personal growth.  Music therapy can also be used in assisting labor and delivery. Some Read More

We Are… Goal Oriented

GOALS & OBJECTIVES! 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 Read More