There is a small group of music therapists in the Minneapolis and St. Paul areas that meets on a (relatively) regular basis. If you happen to be a board-certified music therapist in our area and are interested in a peer supervision group, please feel free to contact me directly about joining us.
Our next meeting is Wednesday, April 24, at 7:00 PM. Our agenda is still yet to be entirely determined, but we each will provide five or more songs of one genre that we happen to use often; we will more than likely play whatever instruments we all decide to bring; and we will spend time catching up with what’s new in the last few weeks.
Ah, yes. I have been away for quite some time. Frankly, this Winter offered me too much to combat, and some things– like writing as much as I really want to do– fell by the wayside.
However, I plan to be back here on a regular basis. I truly believe that the darkness and the cold of Winter tore apart my ability to create a cohesive work day. Now that the sun is out (even though it was at freezing temperatures today), I am feeling rejuvenated.
To serve as a brief update, I will say that I found out that I am going to be having a baby at the end of August; our MinnTwin Music Therapist Group has met once to discuss the happenings of the Minneapolis area music therapy scene; I have moved residences (and therefore offices); I am continuing to write as a guest blogger at Child Development Club; I was in a car accident that took me out of work for one week (which could’ve been much, much worse); and I am finding more stability in my definition of my practice as a music therapist.
Find my last blog posts at Child Development ClubChild Development Club.
Any Family Can Be a Band of Musicians
Shake and Pass Your Egg Shakers
I was posed an interesting question today. “What do you do for self-care?” Well, I have a clinical supervisor and a therapist, and I also have the pleasure of seeing a music therapist for GIM sessions. All of those things amount to a lot of self-awareness. Day in and day out, though? I think it’s hard to say. Because I have the luxury of creating my own schedule, I can also figure in pockets of time that I can use to do whatever I need or want to do. The hardest question for me, though, is, what do I need, or want, to do? If not something directly related to productivity, then there has to be something indirectly related to productivity that I can manage in my between-time.
Currently, life revolves around traveling to see clients, seeing them, documenting the sessions, and then moving on to the next client. Where else is there time? Should I give up sleep? I could try. Oh, to have a scheduled recess like I remember in elementary school.
I had another enlightening supervision session tonight. Thursdays are my really busy days, and I’m always a messy pool of goo when I finally make it to 6:45 and talk with my supervisor, but regardless, I took away a great thought:
“The therapist’s job is to say the unsayable.”
I’ve been noticing one of my clients offer resistance in regard to potentially uncomfortable emotions she seems to be experiencing. I say “potentially” and “seems to be” because alas, we haven’t gotten too far into some of these issues. (Which is not to say that we must; just to say that I’m aware of her blocking certain subjects.) Anyway, the above quote is valuable to me because I could actually speak the words “I’m noticing you don’t seem to want to talk about this anymore” (or anything else along those lines), as opposed to drifting over the silence or the displacement or however else that discomfort and unease is manifesting itself without acknowledgement.
That’s my very brief thought on this very big idea. Happy Thursday.
My favorite part of the week thus far: When one of the elementary school kids I see in a special education class teaches me the lyrics to a song, and then goes on to add harmony before creating a song of his own about the Chinese New Year, Kwanzaa, Hanukkah, and Christmas. Man, that kid made my week. Or month, even.
I love what I do.
Out the front door
Yesterday, we here in the Minneapolis and St. Paul areas experienced snowfall for about 24 hours, amounting in 15 inches or so in my neighborhood. This is a shot out the front door.
Luckily, even though I schedule myself rather tightly, I still lumbered my way through the streets and made it to nearly all of my sites. My big concern this winter is what to do when a storm like this hits in the middle of a weekday. I’ll have to pick and choose, and then probably re-schedule sites and clients for the weekends.
Snow. Lots of it.
Music is such a great co-therapist. What a revelation for a music therapist to have.
I can know this, and have known it intellectually, for years, but much of the time I have trouble trusting that the music in my music therapy sessions works more effectively than anything else.
One of my clients tonight had a lot of trouble transitioning into our session together. So much so that he balled himself up into a chair and decidedly did not communicate with me, verbally or otherwise. I sat with him in quiet before laying out a number of instruments, including the drum sets and kits on GarageBand (a favorite of his). I then played piano for a few minutes before he unwrapped himself and explored the instruments in front of him. Soon we had a conversation on our instruments, and I’ve never felt more connected to this client than I did tonight. Though he’s able to communicate verbally and has done so unabashedly in the past, we related to one another differently, and seemingly more clearly, tonight.
It’s nice to have another therapist in the room.
I know I’ve been absent from my website and blogging. All I can say is, my list of daily to-dos shifted considerably for a couple of months there.
A short catch up of what’s going on at Sound Matters:
- I have a clinical supervisor with whom I Skype (when Skype works) or talk on the phone (when Skype doesn’t work) once a week. I am so happy that I have professional support when I feel stuck or confused about a situation.
- I presented to two different groups earlier this month. One was a group of college students at Macalaster College in St. Paul, Minnesota, who gather on Wednesdays for what they call “Wellness Wednesdays.” I also presented to the Parish Visitors group at Bethlehem Lutheran Church in Minneapolis, Minnesota, who were interested in different ways to take music to the people they visit.
- The LLC is a little over one month old now. I am still in the process of establishing insurance reimbursement ability.
- The peer support group that I head is taking a break over the holiday season and will resume in January. I look forward to seeing all of my local peers and learning about what new trainings and conferences, etc. that they’ve attended.
- The Music Therapy Association of Minnesota had its fall conference at the beginning of the month. The sessions focused on guitar and drumming techniques.
- I bought a djembe that I love dearly.
Our Thanksgiving was great, and even though it’s really hard to believe, Christmas season is upon us. We’ll see where that takes us.
Thank you to Macalaster College for having me present during Wellness Wednesdays. I enjoyed the group and look forward to answering any further questions.
Upcoming events at Sound Matters Music Therapy
Meeting of the Minds in Music
September 29, 2012
Music Therapy in Mental Health:
A Presentation on the Effects of Music and Its Use as a Tool
November 18, 7:00 PM