A lot was supposed to happen this last week.
- I was going to lead a new intervention with the students at the Hope School.
- My midterm project was due.
- I was writing an adapted piano piece to do with a client.
- I was supposed to lead a majority of the group time at SPARC.
- And more.
There was a lot to do this week.
Monday night I had a tickle in my throat. By the next morning I was congested and had a sore throat. I had a cold. Two years ago I would have shrugged it off and gone to my classes. I maybe would have worn a mask if I felt like it was truly needed. However, it is not two years ago and I now work with many clients who are immunocompromised. It is better to be safe than sorry to protect our clients, so I took a sick day. Then one day became two, two days became three, and three days became four.
I don’t particularly like taking days off. I dislike missing days, as it makes me feel unproductive and behind. Additionally, I was sad not to get to see our client for so many days. I did not like taking four days off. However, I still had a productive week. This blog post will be a little peek into what sick week is like for a music therapy intern.
So I had a sense of normalcy, I woke up every day around the same time I typically do. Along with that, I got ready and dressed like I typically would. When I felt well enough to, I worked on projects and documentation during the mornings. I found time to practice piano, voice, and guitar.
While I missed out on going to some of our contract sites, I did get to zoom into some of the lessons and sessions at MTC. I was so glad for this, as this meant I at least had the opportunity to observe the sessions and lessons. Additionally, we did repertoire check and supervision via Zoom.
To my dismay, I found myself also needing to take breaks to rest and nap. I was itching to get back to MTC and work with our clients, but I needed to feel better before I could. I made sure I was drinking a lot of water, eating regularly, and resting when I needed it.
Over this week I learned that:
It’s okay to not alway be productive.
When I originally took Tuesday off my thought was “I am going to get so much done today”. While I did get a lot done, I did not get as much done as I thought I should have. I originally felt upset with myself because of this. However, I realized that I wasn’t feeling well and I needed to also focus on feeling better so I could get back to my clients quicker.
Thank you for reading! I hope you all stay healthy and have a happy holiday!
One of my biggest musical inspirations and influences for a majority life has been Taylor Swift. This week is Taylor Swift’s birthday and my 13th blog post. I thought it would be fun to reflect on the influence Taylor Swift and her music have had on me as a person and a future music therapist.
My Swiftie Origin Story
As a child I listened mainly to country music. Country music is very male-heavy, which, while I enjoyed it, didn’t resonate with me as a 9-year-old girl. I think this is why Taylor Swift’s music stood out to me. Her music was country, but held a similarity to the music in other media I was consuming, like Disney Channel. Taylor Swift’s debut album was one of the first CDs I owned and I was hooked from there.
Inspiration to Learn
As a child, seeing videos of Taylor Swift playing the guitar excited me. I wanted to play the guitar like Taylor Swift. I received a guitar for Christmas when I was in the 6th grade and I attempted to learn to play it for years to come. Taylor Swift’s songs were a helpful tool for me while I was learning how to play the guitar, ukulele and the piano. I used songs like “Mean” and “Stay Stay Stay” to learn and become comfortable with bar chords on the guitar. When I did my guitar and piano competencies in college, I used the songs “New Years Day” and “Stay Stay Stay.”
Soundtrack to My Life
Taylor Swift’s songs have a reputation for being about relationships and breakups. However, there are many songs that I was able to relate to as a child and then teenager listening to her music. Using Taylor Swift’s music, I learned how to emotionally relate and identify with songs. Additionally, I have many memories associated with the songs and albums of Taylor Swift.
- “I’m Only Me When I’m With You” makes me think of my elementary school friendships.
- “Mean” got me through the ups and downs of middle school.
- Her album, 1989, brings me back to driving around my hometown as a teenager with old friends.
- Her album, Lover, brings me back to driving around Macomb, Il with my friends in college.
- Her albums, Folklore and Evermore were bright spots to an otherwise dark year, 2020.
- “This is Me Trying” was a support for me during the stressful times in my senior year of college.
A Uniting Factor
Taylor Swift’s songs have been a uniting factor in my life. I bonded with people in college who later became my friends because of Taylor Swift songs. Additionally, I have bonded over Taylor Swift songs with professors and supervisors. Since Taylor Swift is a very widely beloved singer, discussing and using Taylor Swift songs helped me build rapport with clients and patients who are Taylor Swift fans.
Without a doubt, I wouldn’t be the person and musician I am today without Taylor Swift and her music. I am incredibly grateful for her music and am so excited about what she is going to do next.
Happy Taylor Swift Day!!!
Many music therapists make use of song rewrites of familiar songs with clients. In honor of the Holiday season and my 12th blog post, I decided to do a rewrite of the 12 Days of Christmas based on my internship experience. I give you: The 12 Days of Christmas at MTC!
On the first day of Christmas at MTC…
I Practiced One Piano Piece
I have been working on my piano skills lately, particularly practicing Silent Night.
I Read Two Singable Stories
We make use of singable stories during Listen and Learn sessions and our sessions at the Hope School.
I Talked with Three Supervisors
I work directly with three music therapists at MTC: Katey, Molly and Emma.
I Went to Four Contract Site
With the MTC music therapists, I go to four contract sites to conduct music therapy sessions: St. John’s Children’s Hospital, The Hope School, SPARC and Concordia Senior Services.
I Wrote Five Session Notes
After each session, we write sessions notes based on what happened during the session and the client’s goals and objectives.
I Strummed Six Guitar Strings
The guitar is the instrument that I use the most on a daily basis when working with clients.
I Sang Seven Listen and Learn Song
I have learned many Listen and Learn songs that I use during Listen and Learn sessions, at the Hope School and with patients at St, John’s Children’s Hospital.
I Played Eight Colorful Chimes
We use a set of eight chimes with one of the clients we see at MTC and many of the patients at St. John’s Children’s Hospital.
I Made Nine Garageband Songs
As an intern, I am required to do weekly assignments. For these weekly assignments I have written nine songs and made recordings of them on Garageband.
I Shook Ten Egg Shakers
I’ve found that giving clients instruments, particularly shakers are a great way to encourage participation!
I Lead Eleven Interventions
I’m not quite leading full sessions yet, but I lead many music therapy interventions a week with our clients during sessions.
I Wrote Twelve Blog Posts
Another one of my internship assignments is creating weekly blog posts. I have now written 12 Intern’s Corner blog posts!
I hope you enjoyed The 12 Days of Christmas at MTC!