Dance Monkey

Hello! It’s been a minute since I last shared on the blog, but I’m excited to share with you something I’ve been working on during these long days at home. Now that I have more time, I’ve been able to try new things, in addition to Zoom calls and bread making, of course. ;)

One afternoon as I was preparing for an online session, I heard a song that sparked my creative gears. It had a catchy beat and lyrics that had potential to be adapted to a goal-based song that I could use with my clients. Pretty quickly after I heard it, I knew I couldn’t let the opportunity to get creative pass me by. I didn’t know exactly what I was going to do, but in the next coming days, “Dance Monkey” by Tones and I, evolved from a song on the radio to a full out-goal based adaptation, complete with a music video.

With the help of my husband, (shout out to all the music therapist spouses!) I put together all the vocal tracks and movie clips..all of which I was learning how to do the fly. In week 8 of social distancing, I’m excited to share with you all this video and adapted song.

Feel free to use it as a resource to promote your clients’ motor and directionality goals in your online sessions. You can download the adapted lyrics and chords for free right here. Enjoy! 

Looking For The Good

A sweet drawing that a well-wisher drew on the chalkboard wall in our lobby at Music Therapy Connections.

Recently, my coworker Laura shared a great new Jason Mraz song, “Look For The Good”, with our team. It’s a beautiful song about looking for the good amidst troubling times in your life. I immediately realized that it might be beneficial for some of the people I work with, especially in light of the current COVID-19 pandemic.

I was able to collaborate with my supervisor Katey on a music therapy activity to go along with it. As all of our sessions now take place via Zoom or pre-recorded video, this activity was designed to be done by the participant on his/her own, instead of during a live, in person session. However, it can be modified to fit the needs of the people you work with.

I’d love to share that activity with you today!

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Support Systems

Some members of the fabulous music therapy team when I began my internship.

It’s easy to feel alone as a music therapist, especially if you are the only MT in your area. We are constantly advocating for ourselves and facing challenges. It’s important to surround yourself with people and resources that support you and what you do. 

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Transitions to and from the Music Room

Transitions are something we address often. In our Listen & Learn classes and music therapy sessions, we often start with a hello song and end with goodbye to help with these transitions. We also make spaces in between songs short and sweet as we quickly move on to the next thing. But what about the time spent getting to and from the session/class room?

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Learning New Repertoire Quickly and Efficiently

If you are like me, learning new repertoire can sometimes be difficult. Whether you have a lack of energy or you’re not in the right mindset, sitting down to learn new music can seem like a big task. I’ve found that my number one reason for procrastinating is by telling myself that I don’t have the time because I have other “more important” things that also need to get done. 

There are times that I need to learn 20+ songs in a week due to Listen & Learn classes starting back up, coupled with requests made by students and clients. I used to struggle with this greatly. There are so many songs to learn in what feels like such a short period of time. To try and combat this “lack of time”, I have figured out a routine that works well for me to learn new music quickly and efficiently. 

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MTC Adult Recital!

Music Therapy Connections provides so many unique opportunities for their students: the chance to learn more than one instrument during their lesson, 2 studio-wide recital days each year, and mini-recitals throughout the year. One of my favorite events, the Adult Recital, occurred last week!

MTC welcomes people of all ages through our doors for lessons and music therapy services. Yes, this includes adults! I applaud all of our adult students who choose to learn a new instrument or refine their pre-existing skills. It’s definitely not easy!

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“Into the Unknown” – Drumming Intervention

I’m sure all of you have seen or heard about the movie that is all the rage nowadays: Frozen 2. If you haven’t seen it yet, I highly recommend it. If you haven’t heard the music, listen to it. I thoroughly enjoyed this film, and I couldn’t help but get some inspiration from the amazing music for future music therapy interventions.

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Enthusiasm and Energy During Music Time: Tips On How to Have an Orderly Session Without Diminishing Their Excitement

Some kiddos arrive to their session full of pep and raring to go! I often think to myself, “Wow, I wish I had half the energy of this child.” Here at Music Therapy Connections, I work with a lot of students and clients between the ages of 3-7 years old in individual and group settings. This age seems to bring a lot of energy, as well as joy and excitement for music!

Along with this enthusiasm often comes difficulty listening and following directions. This can lead to some not ideal, and even dangerous, situations. Thus, I have come to discover some effective ways to channel this energy into listening, respecting other participants, and following directions.

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How I Discovered Music Therapy

Some students know what they want to do when they grow up from a young age. Me? I had no clue.

As a kid, my ambitions for a future career ranged from nanny to teacher to dolphin trainer (I know, quite the variety). By the time I actually needed to decide on a degree route when applying for colleges, I still was not sure what I wanted to do. How I discovered music therapy was by no means miraculous, but I still think it was pretty special.

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