Music, the co-therapist

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.

Inaccessible music

I keep a limited amount of music on my iPhone, because it doesn’t have enough capacity to hold my whole library (and frankly some of my music is embarrassing). My husband has thousands and thousands of tracks on Google Music, and though I know the password and where to log in, I am not able to do so when suddenly, for instance, a client says, “I like [this artist].” I know we have that music available on Google Music, but it’s obscure enough that I don’t keep it handy in my iTunes.

This happened three times tonight alone.

Dang. It. 

Bluetooth keyboard teams up well

I have come across the best tool combination for note-taking and efficiency therein. Thomas the New Husband bought me an iPad for Valentine’s Day this year, and although I have been using it pretty consistently for its apps, I’m even more enamored with it now. Now I’m using it with its own little tiny (perfect for my child-sized hands) Bluetooth keyboard, and the team of those two cut down the length of time it takes me to write up progress notes by at least half. Probably more.

I’d been using the Evernote app for dictation while commuting between clients or accounts, but now I’m able to use it for synchronized notes as well.

Anything to make paperwork more pleasant.

In double-sickness

And I’m sick. Over the past two weeks, this cough I’d developed turned itself into bronchitis and I woke up Monday with a painful sinus infection. Two unrelated problems, that hit me at the same time. Luckily, I have some pretty understanding families (who would want a sick person around their child?), and one mother told me she thinks it could’ve happened because my body hit a let-down following the wedding. Probably true. Honestly, I was expecting to get a little sick, but not quite this bad.

I’m medicated now, and feel much better than even yesterday. Today I’ve caught up on all the music therapy, speech-language pathology, and music education blogs that I read. One of the music education blogs,, mentioned an app I might put into use, called “Note Squish” (find the full description here). The app seems that it would engage some of my clients, especially those who are infatuated by anything technological and who seem to engage with my iPad more than with the dry-erase board I use (and this doesn’t surprise me).

GoodReader and its helpfulness

I have a tendency to acquire tools, materials, apps, and even instruments that I enjoy knowing I own, but do not actively use for as long as months after I buy or receive them.

Enter: GoodReader. My fiancé happens to be a computer and technology genius and seems to have daily tips and advice, and showed me GoodReader probably months ago. Not until this morning did I use it.

Essentially, GoodReader opens PDFs on an iPad or iPhone, but what’s great about it is that it allows the user to highlight text and save edited copy. I’d been reading my music therapy articles from the real live paper journals and had been highlighting passages with a real live highlighter. Though I love handwritten notes and paper planners, I find that GoodReader’s capability is really useful since I will likely be finding more material online now than in the older research I have in printed form.

Ah yes, my handwritten planner

Tell me: Do you use GoodReader? How else do you use it?

Newfound resource:

I heard a really nice interview with Rick Smith on The Coffee Klatch podcast. Smith is a father whose 15-month-old son, Noah, has Down syndrome. On his site, Noah’s Dad, Smith writes about discoveries and celebrations that are direct results of his life with his son. Smith posts short videos that are meant to educate viewers of familial experiences with a child who has Down syndrome.

Newfound podcast: WSJ on Small Business

One way in which I have been trying to branch out as a young professional is to develop my business skills. My fiancé offers endless assistance, for which I am grateful. I am also trying to seek out any resources I can utilize on my own.

Podcasts are huge for me right now. I am in the car a lot, driving from client to client to contract to client, etc. Perhaps it’s my Suzuki upbringing, but I absorb a lot from listening to interesting content; I love to read, of course, but I think I gain more from the act of listening.

One podcast I’ve liked this week is Wall Street Journal on Small Business, which can be found here. The podcast is short and provides synopses of several pieces that are applicable to small business owners and entrepreneurs.