Saturday, May 14, 2011

Post-Friday Friday Five: Helpful tips, ideas, and resources

I made a few discoveries in this past week or two that were important in my music therapy-life. Of course, I want to share the things that helped me in hopes that they may help you!

P.S. This was intended as a Friday Five, but as it is in the music therapy world, we are constantly adapting to unexpected changes in plans.

1) Play Ball! music activity for geriatric clients. I was fortunate to come across this activity on Rachelle Norman's blog while looking for ideas for a session. I used it the next day and it went over beautifully!
2) Dry erase/wet erase white board trick. I found this genius songwriting tip on Michelle Erfurt's website. And if this trick wasn't brilliant enough already, Kat Fulton commented that smeared white board marker can be cured with nail polish remover.
3) Wikifonia lead sheets. Wikipedia, WikiHow, WikiAnswers, WikiBooks... now Wikifonia? Possibly the greatest Wiki ever created, this site provides sheet music for a long list of songs. In fact, this was the only place that I could find free chords for the Pennsylvania Polka. I don't know much about this site just yet, but I imagine some songs (like oldies) are easier to find than others. If you know more about Wikifonia, feel free to comment!
4) Online music games. To incorporate these in sessions, you'll have to be creative. But i believe there is a lot of potential for some of these games. Browse music games at sites like, PBS Kids, and Nickelodeon.
5) Preschool songs and activities. This site provides links to a number of ideas for development-related activities. Some examples include learning the days of the week, vowels, and creating a rain storm.

Hopefully you find these helpful! If anyone has more helpful tips and discoveries to add, I invite you to comment.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Music therapists take a supporting role

Tallahassee MT’s went to the movies tonight! After anticipating its release to theaters and reading several movie reviews on other MT blogs (MT Maven & MTI in the ATL), we finally saw the film, The Music Never Stopped.

It has been said before that the movie is not about music therapy. I had to remind myself of this as I watched. It is about a father’s attempt to rebuild a relationship with his son following the son’s loss of his short-term memory. Yes, music therapy plays an enormous role in this process, but the music therapist is nothing more than a supporting character.

As I watched, I realized how closely this reflects our profession in reality. We may play the lead role in our own lives, but when we interact with others, we are never anything more than the supporting character. Just as in the movie, music therapy is a practice through which great things are achieved. We are simply in a client’s life to facilitate the plot - improving his or her quality of life.

In short, it is never about us. Music therapy is about the wonderful people we work with. We are only there to connect the dots and help a person make things happen…

We come into a person’s life to enhance it, never to star in it.