Intern’s Corner-Week 21

Happy Holidays everyone!

I hope that everyone is at home spending quality time with their family. I’m so thankful that I was able to make it home for the holidays. Like I’ve previously mentioned, this season is my favorite time of the year because everything is just so magical. Also, it’s currently snowing, which makes everything seem a little brighter and gets anyone in the mood for holiday cheer.

During the holidays, many students, interns, and professionals practicing music therapy may have to explain music therapy several times to family members and friends. Thankfully, my family is extremely educated about music therapy because they have done research themselves and they were the ones who introduced me to music therapy in the first place; when they don’t understand something, they typically ask me about it, but I never have to give the elevator speech during the holidays. I know that many other students or interns may have to give several elevator speeches regarding music therapy, but I view this as a great way to practice advocating for our field.

Even though it may feel frustrating at times for some people, it’s so important. Telling people, including family, about music therapy can spark questions and even encourage them to look up research. If that happens, then there are more people to advocate for music therapy and we all know the benefits of advocation. I know that when people ask them what I’m studying in school/doing now, my sister, mother, and father all tell them about music therapy in an educated and understandable way.

I don’t have to explain music therapy to any family members anymore, but I still like to think of the holidays as a great time for music therapy advocation while spreading holiday cheer. That being said, my goal for 2017 is to always advocate and never feel frustrated about explaining music therapy to people multiple times. Music therapy is such a wonderful field and I know that I want to share the greatness with everyone else.

I hope everyone has a great weekend and a fantastic New Years!

Sammy Springer

 

Intern’s Corner-Week 20

Time management. It’s something that is so important, yet so difficult to practice and be good at on a daily basis. I’ve mentioned several times in previous week’s that an important part of self-care is being able to leave work at home and time management is a HUGE part of that. I’ve been working really hard at being great at managing my time so that I can have some of that self-care time every evening and weekend. Not only is managing time important for self-care reasons, it’s just generally a good concept to practice, especially as a future music therapist who is working on a schedule with limited documentation and planning time. I would love to share what I’ve learned so far about what works best for managing my time; I would also love to hear from you about some of your tips and tricks that will help me in my future career

I keep a detailed planner with all of my sessions and lessons outlined in a clear and colored coded way. I use google calendar, which has been a giant lifesaver during my internship. I print out a copy of my schedule every week, especially since it can change frequently and put it into my clinical binder (where I take data, etc). I also have a paper planner too (in my opinion, you can never have too many planners!). Both schedules are color coded to differentiate between sessions, lessons, hospital time, and even my own personal life including my job. Looking at my schedule immediately reduces any anxiety I have about my day.

I make a weekly to-do list of everything that I want to accomplish that week and then I divide up those tasks for each day. Doing this makes everything more manageable. Someone once told me in college that it’s unrealistic to accomplish more than six tasks per day on top of every day life. That being said, I always make sure that my to-do list only contains six tasks and I only add more tasks to my to-do list if the tasks already on it are small and don’t take too much time.

I keep a log of every activity that I do in order to make sure I’m on track and managing my time well. For a music therapy internship, it’s required that you keep a detailed log of daily assignment work and clinical hours. Although I have to do this, I’ve found that it helps to determine how I’m spending my time, evaluate, and then change it accordingly. I can see how long it takes to me to complete documentation or an assignment; if it’s taking too long to complete something, I can determine the reason and then work on being even more efficient.

All of these activities help me get through my day. As I transition into a professional music therapist, my schedule will become even busier, but now I feel like I have the right tools to make sure I’m organized and practicing good time management.

Thanks for reading!

Sammy Springer

Intern’s Corner-Week 19

It has been a crazy week; so many unexpected events have happened in the past five days that I’m extremely happy that this week is now over. Even though some bad events occurred this week, some great ones happened as well. Also, despite everything else, I have learned some valuable life lessons that can be carried over into my clinical practice.

Enjoy every moment that life gives you because something can happen and it can be taken away from you in a split second.

This is the biggest lesson I’ve learned this week and I believe that it’s very important. Life can be taken away from you at any moment (sorry, it’s true) and it’s too short to be worrying about the small stuff. Enjoy every moment of life, the good and the bad, no matter. I don’t want to look back at my life and only remember the things that I spent hours worrying about because that would be a waste of my time and energy. I want to look back at a life that I’ve lived happily, to the fullest, and surrounded by those who mean the most to me.

Sometimes things just don’t go as planned, no matter how much we plan or prepare.

If you’ve read my previous blog posts, then you know I’m a planner and not planning so much is something that I’ve been continuously working on as well as not over thinking everything. Well, this week threw me some situations that were definitely not planned, and no matter what, could not have been avoided. I had to remain flexible throughout the entire week and realize that my plan was not happening. Sometimes, it’s like that in sessions as well. I may have a plan of interventions, music, etc. and the client will come in needing something completely different. That’s were flexibility is key; I throw out the plan for the day and just meet the client were they are and hear/listen to their needs.

Things happen and it’s all going to be alright. 

Things happen by surprise every day and I’m so incredibly thankful for those in my life, my health, and this internship, which is helping me in ways that I didn’t even realize I needed. Even though some bad events may occur, it will always be alright and the bright side of life will appear again. For me, next week will be better and I will continue learning, growing, and celebrating this wonderful holiday season.

Thanks for reading!

Sammy Springer

Intern’s Corner-Week 18

Happy December everyone!wordswag_1480712021235

It’s hard to believe that it’s already December; time is flying by so fast! This is my favorite time of the year and I enjoy every minute of it. Even though it’s a great time of year, the holiday season c
an quickly become extremely busy and overwhelming and it is my first holiday season not being a traditional student. Things in my internship have been busy and I’ve been finding it more and more difficult to leave my work at home and enjoy this holiday season during the evenings and weekends because self-care has not been my priority.

Self-care, especially around this time of year, is essential to maintaining sanity, health, and just an overall positive attitude. It’s definitely hard to put self-care first when life gets busy; the to-do list just grows increasingly long and it always includes gift shopping, finishing treatment reports, holiday parties, recitals, dealing with snow, and the list goes on and on. However, I’m learning that self-care doesn’t mean that you have to block out a huge chunk of time to just sit and relax (which is actually really nice and is necessary to do sometimes); self-care can be as minimal as taking five minutes before a session to just close your eyes and meditate or think of positive and happy thoughts. If life gets too stressful, reminding yourself to take deep breaths can even be a form of self-care. Katey uses essential oils frequently and the one time that I used lavender, I became calm and more relaxed, my anxiety significantly decreasing.

This holiday season, in order make self-care a priority, I will be intentionally changing my mindset and taking time out for myself, especially when it gets closer to the holidays. In order to do this, I’m going to try my best to leave my work at my internship, continue to maintain an eight hour sleep schedule, work out on a regular basis, enjoy looking at the snow (once it comes), and eat healthier meals. The minute my life gets busy, my diet goes out the window and I find myself eating more junk food, fast food, and chocolate. However, this is no good because it brings down my energy level which I need to combat my to-do list. Also, I want to read a book so I’m going to make it a priority to read and relax. Before every session that I am either co-leading or leading, I will take five minutes to take deep breaths and re-focus, grounding myself. Interns and professional music therapists always want to help their clients feel grounded and more aware and it’s just as important that we feel this way as well. I encourage others to join me and do the same because it will help ease the stress of the holidays!

I would love to hear from you so that I can build up my self-care routine; how do you de-stress during the busy holiday season and maintain self-care every day?

Thanks for reading and I hope that everyone has a great week!

Sammy Springer

 

 

Intern’s Corner-Week 17

Happy Thanksgiving! I hope that
interns-corner-week-17-piceveryone had a wonderful holiday and ate delicious food. This is a great time to reflect on what I’m thankful for during these past few months here at my internship. Everyday is a blessing and I’m so incredibly grateful for all of the learning experiences that occur each day! That being said, I would love to share with you a few of the things that I am thankful for in my life right now.

I’m thankful for a supportive and loving family.

I don’t know where I would be in life if it weren’t for the love and support that I get on a daily basis from my family. They are constantly there to encourage me or lift me up when I am down. There have been several times during my internship where I have felt defeated, but my mom and dad always remind me where I need to find the strength to continue and they always bring a smile to my face. they have never once doubted me or my abilities and this has helped immensely during my internship. Thanks family for being so awesome!

I’m thankful for fantastic supervisors.

I am being completely serious when I say this, but my internship supervisors are amazing people. I’m thankful for them because they have helped me grow as an individual and have helped me gain a significant amount of confidence that I didn’t have before, in every area of my life. They welcome me with open arms and never expect me to be anything else but myself around them. They’re great mentors and people that I look up to and inspire to be one day. I’m so thankful for this internship and for all of the wonderful people that surround me here.

I’m thankful for my friends.

Even though we live miles and hours apart, I can always count on them to be there for me. Sending me random texts throughout the week of funny GIFS or even just calling me up/skyping with me makes me feel incredibly special and is a constant reminder that I am loved. They bring a smile to my face every day and I hope that they know just how much they mean to me and how valuable they are in my life.

I’m grateful for music therapy.

Obviously, I am grateful for music therapy and my soon-to-be degree, but music therapy is such a blessing. Watching the smiles on my client faces as they realize their success is so wonderful and music therapy can help people grow in many different ways. I’m thankful that music therapy is a valuable and effective service to many and helps improve overall quality of life. I’m already thankful for my future co-workers who will help me continue to grow in this field and for their work that they are doing with their clients.

I’m so grateful for each learning opportunity.

I am so fortunate and privileged to live in a society where I have the opportunity each day to learn by being in school/internship. I have the chance to use what I learned in a constructive and beneficial way for other people. No matter what, each moment in the day is some sort of learning opportunity therefore I am grateful for the bad moments and the awesome moments because I know that they will help me become a kind, empathetic, and mindful person.

Well, thank you for reading this post. It’s always a good reminder to reflect on things that you might be grateful for, especially around this time of year.

Have a happy holiday!!

Sammy Springer

Intern’s Corner-Week 16

wordswag_1479496343854As I progress through my internship, I realize how important it is to have fun with what I am doing because lets face it, music therapy is a fun and an effective profession. It’s something that I have been learning recently and I finally had a break through this week. Yesterday, I had fun working with my clients and students and they all made significant progress towards their goals.

I’ve written in previous blog posts about being myself in sessions and growing in my personal life. Yesterday was the first time that I finally felt like I had been my complete self in every single session that I lead. It wasn’t scary; it actually felt natural and I had fun working with my clients! I was better able to assess their needs in the moment because I wasn’t so focused on what I was doing. Also, like previously mentioned, my clients were better able to meet their goals. If I am having fun and not focusing so much on myself, my clients definitely notice and they, in return, enjoy what they are doing which is important so that they can work towards their goals.

I think that it’s common to forget to have fun in any profession. Daily life stress, documentation, requirements, and other projects may get in the way and it’s easy to forget why you went into the field in the first place! This can lead to negative feelings, work stress, and a decrease in work production. I’ve noticed that when I have a bad mindset and think too much (aka not be myself), I am miserable and then I don’t want to do anything because everything seems terrible. Dale Carnegie said “people rarely succeed unless they have fun in what they are doing.” This quote speaks volumes to me because I learned this week that when I get out of my head and start to have fun with my clients while working towards their goals, a lot more gets accomplished. My clinical skills were significantly better and the clients were more successful all because I changed my mindset to be more positive and decided to enjoy every little moment.

It may be easier to have a negative outlook on life, but everything is much better with a positive outlook. Having a positive mindset and enjoying the time with clients can be so huge and change everything. I love music therapy and I love what I do everyday at my internship working with many different clients.

Basically, just make sure you are having fun in your profession because life is too short and music therapy is awesome.

Thanks for reading!

Sammy Springer