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?

Tuesday podcast share

I have been listening to WNYC’s “Radiolab” podcast for years now, and I always love their episodes that have to do with music. “The Septendecennial Sing-Along” is no exception.

As a short description, I’ll say that the story is of a man who plays clarinet with animals. One species he interacts with musically is the cicada. This is a really fascinating episode, and you can find it by clicking on its title (above) right here.

In sadness

I am so sorry for the loss that the families and community of Newtown, Connecticut has experienced.

I cannot imagine their pain.

I had a session with a small group of elementary schoolers this morning. I didn’t know what to expect with respect to whether or not they’d be feeling anything in regard to the violence that happened on Friday. They didn’t speak of it at all, nor did their paras mention it; we spent a good deal of time improvising about what they liked during this time of year. I am aware, however, that my clients throughout the rest of the week may need to address what happened.

If they do, I will try my best to be there for them.

“Special Ed”

I do have a fantastic love for podcasts. One that has always been playing through my speakers is “This American Life.” I imagine you’ve heard it. A few weeks ago, the podcast rebroadcast the below episode called “Special Ed.” Take a listen.

“Boléro” in the morning

I have always had trouble listening to music unless it is for a specific reason. Sometimes that reason is for research, sometimes it’s to keep me at a certain pace while exercising, and of course sometimes it’s to change or augment my mood.

I came across the idea of creating a “waking playlist” (as I like to call it) or a playlist to hear in the morning which has the function of staging the coming day. I read about this in a couple of different music therapists’ blogs, and I really like the idea. The first piece that I choose for mine is “Boléro” by Ravel. I discovered this piece when I was in fifth grade, and have adored it since.

Recently I heard a Radiolab podcast called, “Unraveling Bolero,” in which the hosts reported on a very unusual story involving one Anne Adams, a biologist whose path resembled Ravel’s in a peculiar way. Here is a synopsis of the episode:

At some point, Anne became obsessed with Maurice Ravel’s famous composition and decided to put an elaborate visual rendition of the song to canvas. She called it “Unraveling Bolero.” But at the time, she had no idea that both she and Ravel would themselves unravel shortly after their experiences with this odd piece of music. Arbie Orenstein tells Jad what happened to Ravel after he wrote “Bolero,” and neurologist Bruce Miller and Jonah Lehrer helps us understand how, for both Anne and Ravel, “Bolero” might have been the first symptom of a deadly disease.

Find “Unraveling Bolero” here:

Twice-exceptional and the DSM-V

I am so tired of being sick. I am not able to be as present as I’d like to be with my clients and students, nor do I have energy to spare. Man!

In other news: The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (fifth edition) will be published some time in May of 2013 (according to APA DSM-5). I heard a pretty interesting discussion about this next edition of the DSM on the Bright Not Broken radio show. This particular discussion examines those people who are considered “twice-exceptional,” having special gifts as well as special needs.

Feel free to click the link below to listen.

Listen to internet radio with The Coffee Klatch on Blog Talk Radio