Back to coursework: Go to the book

I’ve been looking at Kenneth Bruscia’s Defining Music Therapy (second edition) over the past few days in order to research a little for a project a colleague of mine and I are doing. I am, again, struck by how lovely vision (and clarity of said vision) can be. For more than a year, I’ve been transitioning into and therefore learning about another way of practicing music therapy. Should you happen to own this particular Bruscia book, I’m specifically interested in pages 116 and 117. Page 116 lists some of the clinical goals of improvisation:

  • Establish a nonverbal channel of communication, and a bridge to verbal communication
  • Provide a fulfilling means of self-expression and identity formation
  • Explore various aspects of self in relation to others
  • Develop the capacity for interpersonal intimacy
  • Develop group skills
  • Develop creativity, expressive freedom, spontaneity, and playfulness with various degrees of structure
  • Stimulate and develop the senses
  • Develop perceptual and cognitive skills

I am especially drawn to his first, second, third, and sixth bullet points. Nearly all of my clients do not use speech, and, in music, I am hoping to facilitate a “channel of communication” (page 116).

To you readers who are not music therapists: Do any of these goals surprise you? How so? 

To you readers who are music therapists: How do you remember this text? I’m back in love with it.

Monday matters: Podcast list

I haven’t gotten to any of my podcasts this week, as I’ve been absorbing audiobooks (I really can’t call it “reading”). However, there are quite a few podcasts that I take in regularly, both directly having to do with music therapy, and indirectly, too. Here are some of the non-membership podcasts that are in my rotation.


Music Therapy Round Table

The Music Therapy Show

On-the-Go Studio

Urban Therapists


Arts and Healing Podcast


Wall Street Journal on Small Business

Internet Business Mastery


Voices in the Family (thank you to Roia for mentioning this podcast one day)

What am I missing?


I was happy to be able to spend time with music therapists Kat Fulton and Tim Ringgold tonight as they hosted a live Google hangout for music therapists as a way to launch their new project site, Empower U Academy. Kat and Tim shared ways for music therapists to know their value, which is another important factor in advocacy, I’d argue.

*I will be posting our first contribution on professional words of intention in just a few days. Feel free to contribute your thoughts on your word of intention for this calendar year.

Monday matters: Advocacy

January is Social Media Advocacy Month for music therapy. I am not an official participant in this project, but I do my part to advocate as I can.

What do I do to advocate? Most importantly, I provide the best service I can. I seek out educational opportunities in a variety of places. I receive clinical supervision. I collaborate. I reach out to other music therapists, as well as other professionals who are not music therapists, in order to develop an understanding of what it is they do. I attempt to provide a face that is considered educated, competent, and professional. I advocate for my profession on a daily basis.

See here for more information and resources.

How do you advocate?

Reading, anyone?

Apparently the turn of the new year is super exciting for me this time around. I’ve been thinking of yet another project for 2014 (oh, how to say No to myself). In our peer group we’ve discussed, albeit briefly, the thought of opening up a music therapy book club of sorts. Just quarterly, though, mind you.

Which of these three is most appealing to you as a reader? (If I get enough interest, I’ll post reviews of one of these books in March.)

Dandelion on My Pillow, Butcher Knife Beneath

Free Play

The Gift of Therapy

Please feel free to let me know in the comments if you’re interested in reading any of these books. 





Song find, “I Am Light”

I am happy to have found this song. I know India.Arie songs, but I didn’t know this one. I can see a number of uses for this.

I heard it used and covered on the podcast On-the-Go Studio, produced and recorded by music therapists Megan Resig and Wade Richards.

What are your thoughts on this song?

Song to share

I’ve used this song in the recent past, and it so happens that Lynn is a music therapist here in the Minneapolis area. Oh, the talent.

Meditate on it

Yesterday I wrote about some struggles I’m having coordinating a demanding home and work life. I got some really useful feedback from a fellow music therapist* here in the Minneapolis area. She suggested pre-session meditation, which immediately got me thinking about this fantastic app I have been using over the past several months. The app is buddhify and is coined as the “mobile mindfulness app for modern life.” What I love about it is that the guided meditations are only ten minutes long. I did try to meditate shortly before my last client this evening, and as hard as it was to do, I think I benefitted from the attempt.

Do you meditate? Are there other meditation apps that you like? What other feedback do you have to help dig out? Please leave a comment below.

*Oh, and that fellow music therapist can be heard on her podcast, Urban Therapists.

Some of the blogs I follow

Every so often I’m asked about what blogs I read and follow. Now that I have a baby and seemingly much less time, I don’t spend much time reading. I do try to get to some of these on a weekly basis, though.

My favorite blog right now is not written by a music therapist, but rather a psychotherapist. Martha Crawford, LCSW, writes what a shrink thinks.

There are 64 blogs that I follow written by music therapists about music therapy. I won’t list them all here. Some that I’ve been gravitating toward in the past few months are The Mindful Music Therapistmusic, therapy, and me, and Rhythm For Good, all for very different reasons.

Whom do you read? Do you subscribe to podcasts? Which do you prefer, blogs or podcasts?