Category

Ideas

The Power of Visualization

By | Guitar, Ideas | 3 Comments

In today’s post, I’m entering an area that can, on the surface, seem a bit “woo woo”. (How did new age-y things ever get that name, anyway?) I’m exploring the practice of visualization and how it can help us as musicians, students, educators, therapists, and human beings. First of all, what is visualization? I was first introduced to it as a practice in middle school athletics. We would be on the bus traveling to a football/basketball/wrestling/track event, and our coaches would silence the bus and have us visualize the contest…

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You Could Play Like Hendrix

By | Guitar, Ideas, Inspiration | No Comments

Improvements on guitar, like many things, occur in baby steps. We get better little by little. Big leaps are rare, although they do sometimes happen. But we can’t expect them to. We have to get better each day, even if progress is barely noticeable. A key skill is being able to recognize: where you want to go, what the steps are leading up to it, and acknowledging when progress has been made. Having a strict timeline can help, but it can also hurt as it will be discouraging if things don’t…

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What are you playing for you?

By | Ideas | No Comments

What are you playing for you? As music therapists, we make a lot of music for other people. It’s what we signed up for and it’s immensely fulfilling. When is the last time you made music for fun? For yourself? For your own expression and well-being? I know that some of you do this regularly. For you it’s necessary. Maybe you play in a band, perform at open mics, or strum your favorite tunes in your office after hours. I just saw two fellow Bay Area musicians rock out at…

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The Power of Vulnerability

By | Clinical Insights, Ideas, Inspiration | No Comments

By now, you may have seen Brené Brown’s wildly popular TED talk from 2010. I remember watching in 2012 and I recently revisited it as she has been promoting a new book, Rising Strong (which I have admittedly not yet read but plan to in the near future). In case you haven’t seen it, feel free to view it here. I recently gave it another watch and thought about how vulnerability (or lack thereof) affects us as students, clinicians, and in our lives in general. In the video, Brené talks about “excruciating vulnerability”….

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Music is Medicine, Music is Sanity

By | Ideas, Inspiration, Media Morsel | No Comments

I thought I had shared this video on here before, but it must have just been on the MTS Facebook page. What I love about this video from Robert Gupta is his description of the transformation he saw in his “student”, a former Juliard pupil with paranoid schizophrenia. It reminds me of a variety of clinical situations I’ve encountered in almost all of the settings I have served. Music can change an environment, in can change a person’s state, and it can open pathways to positive interaction and expression. Enjoy…

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Music Therapy Jobs

By | Ideas, Jobs | 4 Comments

The other day, I was talking with Sara, who is a high school student (and a talented singer and clarinetist), and her mom.  Sara was exploring music careers, and her mom asked me, “Are there jobs in music therapy?”. This is probably the second-most common question I am asked, the most common being, “What is music therapy?”. It’s a valid and important question. I mean, what’s the point of getting a music therapy degree if there aren’t any opportunities for employment? Well I’m going to answer the question to the best…

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Imagine Early Childhood Magazine 2013

By | Ideas, Podcasts | No Comments

If you haven’t yet heard, the Imagine Online Magazine for Early Childhood Music Therapy was released at the beginning of this month. It is chalk full of excellent articles, podcasts, and teaching episodes. If you’re working in early childhood, checking out this magazine is a must! I contributed another podcast this year, entitled “Ten Essential Skills for Working in Early Childhood Settings”. Kudos to Petra Kern, Marcia Humpal, and the rest of the team for another great edition! Enjoy!        

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An Exercise in Convictions

By | Ideas | No Comments

In a quaint Thai restaurant, over a meal of tofu and stir-fried vegetables, I had a philosophical conversation with John Rapson, my good friend and former jazz instructor. John brought up the topic of convictions, and what it means to have them and to live accordingly. It really got me thinking, especially as I am preparing to make some big life changes. Sure, moving to California represents a geographical change for me. But I suspect (or hope, at least) that it will also come with intellectual, maybe even spiritual, growth….

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6 Self-Care Strategies to Start Using Today

By | Ideas | 2 Comments

Compassion fatigue. Burnout. These are terms you’ve heard before, and they commonly apply to people in helping professions. See, the “problem” with us is that we over-empathize, which is probably why we ended up in our professions to begin with. Empathy is one of the characteristics that makes us so good at our jobs, and it’s also what makes self-care strategies necessary so we can continue to be effective. Compassion fatigue and burnout are two separate things, though one tends to lead to the other. In short, compassion fatigue is…

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Benefits of Performance

By | Ideas | No Comments

It’s a Sunday afternoon and I’m working on grad school stuff – statistics – and drinking decaf tea. I’ve been checking out some music therapy blogs and doing other music therapy-related things. But in a couple hours, I’ll have to make a pretty substantial mental shift. I’ll be on stage with my band, just like I was last night. It’s an interesting shift, and there are many aspects of it that I could talk about here. But today I’m going to talk about what I get out of performing with…

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