Friday, June 11, 2010

Friday five: songs for self-concept

The age of braces, first loves, and even prom is an awkward stage for everyone. People are always changing and middle and high school is a time for finding yourself. Girls and boys are often judged by who they hang out with, what they wear, and which classes they take. Many of these young adults are vulnerable. They may be picked on, they may have a lot of pressure from peers, they may have stress from school and activities and sadly, some may have a miserable home life (or at least think they do).

There are also many adults out there that struggle in a similar way. They can't stand being single, they want a perfect family image, or they fear they're not doing a great job at work. Broken relationships, job loss, and financial stress can leave an adult wondering what went wrong with them.

If you work with anyone of this age as a music therapist, you may find yourself having to address self-concept. What does the client like about him/herself? What is he/she good at? Does he/she deserve more love than what they're allowing themselves? Today's Friday five is all about self-concept. Songs to introduce the subject and facilitate discussion or activities on the issue:

1) "Unwritten" by Natasha Bedingfield
2) "Video" by India.Arie
3) "You Gotta Be" by Des'ree
4) "Fifteen" by Taylor Swift
5) "Gone" by Switchfoot

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Music Jeopardy

I'm in the process now of developing a Music Jeopardy game. In this game, you will divide your group into two teams. Have the teams select a name and decide who goes first. Each team will get a turn to choose a question based on the number of points it is worth. To find the answer, the team will work together. Like Jeopardy, 100 point questions are simpler than 500 point questions. The questions and points are as follows:

100 points...Name that tune
Much like music trivia, play a song from the iPod and have the team guess the song's title.

200 points...Artists that start with the letter _____
Name a letter. A=Aretha Franklin, Aerosmith, ABBA.

300 points...Song scramble
mi awglink no nusihens=I'm Walking On Sunshine

400 points...Fill in the blank
Fill in the missing word(s) in the song title. I Walk the___________=I Walk the Line

500 points...Song titles that include the word _____
Give a word found in some song titles. Have the team come up with a title that incorporates that word. "Stop"=Stop! In the Name Of Love, Don't Stop Believin'

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Beach ball game

I am working on a session with one of my groups with the theme of "Beach Party." It being summer in Florida, it seemed only appropriate. One of the games I have planned is a game of catch with a goal of cognitive stimulation. To fit the beachy theme, I am playing catch with a beach ball. But really, you could toss a beanbag, a regular ball, etc.

Beach ball
iPod/speakers (the song I chose for this activity was "Surfin USA" by the Beach Boys)

When music begins, clients will toss ball back and forth. When MT stops the music, the ball stops moving. The person left holding the ball when the music stops will be asked a question*.

*The question asked will depend on the functioning level of the patient and the goals you are working on in that group. The patients I will see tomorrow are generally low functioning adults. I may ask questions like, "What kind of things can you find at the beach?" or "Name another song that the Beach Boys sang." If I am working on self-concept with children, I might ask them to name one thing they like about themselves.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Google alerts!

Today is a very quick post about how you can make Google work for you in staying up-to-date on music therapy news. I think this will only work if you have G-Mail account or have the ability to subscribe to a news feed. Go to From this form, you can type a keyword that you want Google to search for you. You may choose to receive alerts as-it-happens, once a day, or once a week. You can choose how many results you want to see in one alert. You can even choose which places you want Google to search (news, blogs, video, or discussion boards).

I personally have Google alerts set to email me once a day using the keyword "music therapy." While many of the links Google suggests are unrelated, you often find some great news articles on your topic. There is always MT news to be heard!