Welcome to “The Final Countdown: Internship Edition.” This is the spot where you can exclusively find my personal experiences, tips, and tricks towards the internship process. Although everyone’s internship journey is different, this blog series will highlight my final countdown as an intern at the Groovy Garfoose, which brings me one step closer to becoming an MT-BC! Thanks for reading, Bri!

 

Gratitude. A word most of us hear on a regular basis around this time of the year. But, what does it mean? I love how the word gratitude is so versatile, because it means something different to everyone! For me gratitude is a word that helps me reflect on all that I have and how I’ve grown in the past year, especially now that the year is ALMOST over! To help my reflection reach its fullest potential, I created a personal “Gratitude Checklist.” My checklist includes positive words that hold personal meaning, especially over the past year. I love checklists because they can be personalized to you and your story! For example, the word growth to me means my growth as an intern at the GG.  But, growth can mean something different to you, or you might even have a completely different word in mind! Here’s my personal “Gratitude Checklist” as an inspiration to help get yours started:

Growth

Research

Appreciation

Teaching

Inspiration

Thankfulness

Understanding

Diversity

Excitement  

I encourage you to take a few minutes out of your day to create your own checklist and to find a safe space to keep it. When times become difficult, revisit your checklist. For myself, it reminds me there’s more to be thankful for than that hard time that I’m experiencing. As I conclude always remember to:

Relax. Reflect. Be Grateful!

HOW TO STRUCTURE YOUR SESSION

There two ways in which I structure structure a music therapy session around a Thanksgiving theme.

One way is to find all songs that mention thankfulness, turkeys, fall weather, etc. Plan your session around these songs based on your client’s or group’s goals.

Another way is to reflect on certain things we are THANKFUL for, and find songs that fit those themes. Some common things people are thankful for are family, friends, safety, health, and nature.

 

INTERVENTION IDEAS

Below, I’ve listed some of my favorite Thanksgiving interventions in a simplistic form. Most of these can be adapted across ages & populations.

Thankful Chant

  1. Pass out drums to group members or to your individual client.
  2. List things that the group/ individual are grateful for by writing it on a whiteboard, picking options out of a hat, or offering two choices.
  3. Chant “I am thankful for ___________” while keeping steady beat on the drum.
  4. Repeat through all group members or several times with an individual client.
  5. To adapt: You can try coming up with different rhythms for different things each person is grateful for. Practice the rhythm which each individual group member and play a symphony of thankful rhythms!

We All Eat ______ on Thanksgiving Day

  1. Ask individuals or group members their favorite thing to eat on Thanksgiving. This could be done by verbally asking, giving them a choice board or AAC device app on your iPad, or picking from a drum.
  2. Sing this phrase “We all eat insert food here on Thanksgiving Day” to the tune of “She’ll Be Coming Around the Mountain.”
  3. Go around the room and continue to add to your meal until you’ve eaten all you want for Thanksgiving.
  4. At the end, for humor & further discussion, you can add “We all will take a nap on Thanksgiving Day” or include what clients do after they eat their meal.

We hope these ideas work well in your sessions and inspire some Thanksgiving interventions of your own!

 

 

We did it! Our first adapted music & dance class, “MOVE & GROOVE,” was a success. Over the course of 7 weeks, 6 teens of all abilities came together to make move & groove culminating in a final performance “Dancing through the Decades” for their friends & family.

Here’s how we did it:

  1. Started each session with an individualized hello song to help us feel the beat & get to know one another.
  2. With the help of a trained dance teacher, we warmed up our bodies from head to toe to music. We adapted the warm-ups to be effective, but also meet the needs of every individual in our class.
  3. A Game! We played movement games across the floor. Some weeks we tried making the biggest steps possible, moving side t
  4. o side, or grape-vining across the floor. We moved many different ways to help support brain development and focus.
  5. BRAIN BREAK. After all that hard work, our brains needed a break before moving onto our next task. We took an improvisatory approach, sometimes faciclitating a drum circle, other times playing a tune on the pentatonic xylophone.
  6. Learning our dance move. Each week, we learned a move from a different decade, the twist, the macerena, the moon walk, even the whip & nae nae. Members of the group were focused and determined to learn.
  7. Before we left for the day, we took some deep breaths and sometimes engaged in a progressive muscle relaxation to cool down.
  8. Goodbye – We sang our goodbyes until next week.

We had so much fun teaching this class, that we’re going to do it again next year!

The class will be on Thursdays 5:45-6:30pm January 11-February 22.

Check the HCER website later this year to register.

If you are interested in volunteering to assist with our MOVE & GROOVE class, please contact ellen@groovygarfoose.com. No dance experience necessary.

Welcome to “The Final Countdown: Internship Edition Part 1.” This is the spot where you can exclusively find my personal experiences, tips, and tricks towards the internship process. Although everyone’s internship journey is different, this blog series will highlight my final countdown as an intern at the Groovy Garfoose, which brings me one step closer to becoming an MT-BC! Whether you’re looking to become a music therapy student, currently searching for your perfect internship site, or just curious about the Groovy Garfoose internship program, this page is for you! Thanks for reading, Bri!

WHERE TO BEGIN? THE POWER OF OBSERVATION

As music therapists in training, we learn a lot about the power of observation. It is not only a prominent skill to have in the field of music therapy, but also throughout life. In class, we are taught how to apply this learned skill toward client goals. But, how can we use observing to enhance our search for an internship?

I would confidently say observing the Groovy Garfoose in action led to the decision that it was the perfect internship site for me. I understand that reaching out to a potential boss is SCARY, but putting yourself out there will actually answer a lot of questions you have before sending out an application or getting a call for an interview. When I observed the GG, I LOVED how my approach to therapy was similar to everyone that worked there, I was in AWE by the rapport they created with their clients and their families, and I RESPECTED how versatile sessions were to fit each individual, no matter how busy the day was. These are just a few things I would have never learned without observing the therapists at Groovy Garfoose before applying for the internship.

What I loved most about observing was that it allowed me to get comfortable with potential internship including bosses, supervisors, clients, facilities, etc without having to commit to said internship. I was encouraged to observe once, twice, even four times to get an idea of what music therapy services were like, what they have to offer, and whether I would be a potential good fit as an intern!

Which brings me to another benefit of observing: you get a chance to show why you would be the perfect fit for the internship. Observing lets the director put a face to the name on the application, lets them see how you interact with clients and family members, and gives you a chance to be yourself around wonderful therapists that you can learn from. Even if the place you observe isn’t the best fit for you, that observation could turn out to be a helpful learning experience that you can take with you on your internship journey!

 

 

 

Boo! It’s time for us to share some of our favorite Halloween songs and interventions with all of you. These can all be adapted across population, but keep in mind age-appropriateness, abilities, and preferences of the group!

The Addams Family – Use the theme song from the spooky TV show to address cognitive skills, such as attention and impulse control.

  1. Either play a recording or use a LIVE version of the song.
  2. Instruct clients to only tap their sticks, play the drum, snap their , clap their hands, etc. TWO times when they are cued by the ascending “bum bum bum bum.”
  3. During the verse they can play how they please.
  4. This can be adapted by singing during the “bum bum bum bum” and replacing it with instructions such as “now tap up high” or “behind your bak” for additional prompting as needed.

If You’re Spooky & You Know It – This is the name of a singable story, but I have also found it adapts well across ages for motor skills

  1. Sing to the tune of “If You’re Happy & You Know It”
  2. Write cards so that one side has a “Halloween word” like creepy or wicked and the other side has a direction like “wiggle your fingers” or “laugh like a witch”
  3. Put the cards in a drum or a “cauldron” that different group members have to pick from.
  4. Go through the song with new words and movements your clients pick.

Hope you enjoy these Halloween Interventions.

As a bonus, here are some of our favorite Halloween songs. How will YOU use them in a session?

Thriller, Monster Mash, Witch Doctor, Ghostbusters, Purple People Eater, Time Warp, Love Potion #9, Little Drop of Poison, I Put a Spell on You, Charlie Brown theme, The Munsters, Abracadabra.

Earlier this month, Bonnie and Ellen went on a self-care retreat in the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains. Here’s what we learned!

Self-care is caring for your own needs in each moment to help care for your best self. Why is it important for a music therapist to practice self-care? Here are some highlights from our retreat.

Self-Care is not a reward

Sometimes we feel once we’ve accomplished all our goals for the day, then you can indulge in caring for yourself. This assumption is a myth, and can actually be detrimental to our mental health and how we accomplish the tasks throughout the day. For music therapists, this can mean how we best serve our clients.

Self-Care is a daily occurrence

While getting your nails done, or going out to dinner with a friend is fun and rewarding, it may require some extra support to truly care for yourself. Creating a daily routine like journaling, exercise, or even taking a deep breath are all ways to care for yourself on a daily basis.

Self-Care is unique

Not everyone’s self-care is the same. Nor should it be! Taking time to examine your personal needs. Just like everyone human on earth is different, so is everyone’s version of self-care. Take some time to think, and even write down, what YOU need to care for yourself.

Do you have self-care practices in place now? We’d love to learn from you and how you best care for your amazing self!

Happy Fall! As we begin a new season, school is starting, leaves are falling, and I’m ready to share some of my favorite fall-theme intervention ideas with you.

Movement interventions are some of my favorite. Music paired with movement primes the brain and body to work together to move & groove.

September  by Earth, Wind, & Fire is song with a strong steady beat to engage clients.

  1. Write down several 70s dance moves (i.e., the bump, the funky chicken, disco, the robot).
  2. Put them in a drum.
  3. Have a client pick one out the drum.
  4. Teach a modified version (whatever is safe & accessible).
  5. Have your client help teach it to the group (or practice individually in a session).
  6. Play the song and rock out!

Music therapy in a group setting provides a natural opportunity to practice social skills.

Changes by David Bowie is a great song to use in the fall, as leaves change color.

  1. Start with passing out various hand-held percussion instruments.
  2. Sing the chorus of Changes as written.
  3. Stop the chorus and then sing this altered verse – “Time to make a change. Pass your instrument to the left. What I play is changing. But I’ll still have fun”
  4. Repeat until clients have had a chance to play all or most instruments.

Enjoy the fall, embrace the changes, and enjoy intentional fall music-making!

This summer, we are leading music therapy & enrichment groups surrounding the theme of “The Elements.” Each week we are sharing interventions & experiences that utilize songs that mention Earth, Wind, Fire, & Water.

We just finished a successful first week, and wanted to share an “Earth” intervention that exercises motor, social, and cognitive skills.

Carole King’s hit I Feel The Earth Move is a great song to piggyback. Paired with each group member playing maracas, I played a live version with these lyrics:

I feel the earth move under my feet,

I feel the sky tumbling down

Play the maraca under your feet

Play it all around

I then asked different group members to choose how they wanted to play, to practice choice-making and promote creativity & leadership. Instead of under their feet, they  chose fast, slow, around, etc.

Other songs we used this week were “I’d Like to Teach the World To Sing,” “We Are the World,” and “What a Wonderful World.”

Stay tuned to hear about our favorite “Air” interventions on the next blog post.

Summer is a time for fun and playing lots of games outside with friends and family. I like to bring that fun spirit into my music therapy sessions with a game of musical pictionary.

Musical pictionary can be used with a variety of populations and exercises cognitive skills and memory, as well as communication and social skills. I encourage music therapy groups to work together as a team to figure out what song the picture is trying to convey.  Best of all, musical pictionary can be adapted to a broad age range of clients, ethnicities and preferences.

Here are two musical pictionary boards I used with a group of 8-10 seniors with varying stages of Alzheimer’s and dementia. Can you guess what songs they are?

This first one was a number #1 hit in the summer of 1955

This next one was a number #1 hit in the summer of 1958

 

Pro tip: Musical Pictionary works best when the title of the songs are concrete concepts and 5 words or less. I hope this inspires you to have a fun summer using musical games!

 

Music therapy is a beneficial choice for individuals with cerebral palsy and other physical disabilities.

Music is processed all of the brain and can be be a motivator that transcends regular ability. Have you ever been listening to music and then notice you’re tapping your foot?  Music therapists use this phenomenon to assist children and adults with physical limitations improve their motor skills.

Below are pictures (shared with permission) of how a music therapist uses specific interventions to improve motor skills paired with cognitive and communication goals as well.

Strumming the guitar. We are keeping a beat, and using the dominant and non-dominate hand alternatively. This is motivating because without strumming, the music will not continue!

We use adaptive mallets and instruments that make music accessible and rewarding.

Playing the piano helps reach fine motor goals. Additionally, we were playing a start & stop game that helps practice impulsive control and following directions.

Music therapy can increase quality of life by providing music experiences to help ALL clients be successful, have autonomy, and increase quality of life.

 

I really enjoy piggyback songwriting when helping clients reach their goals. One of my favorites is teaching emotions through the pop song “I Got a Feeling” by the Black Eyed Peas.

You can play this as a game with feeling flashcards, or just by singing through the song and filling in the end of the phrase. Here’s my version!

 

I got a feeling, when stomp my feet

When my face gets red

When I cross my arms , I’m feeling mad

 

I got a feeling, when everything is alright

When nothing’s going wrong

When nothing’s bothering me, I’m feeling fine

 

I got a feeling, when I start to yawn

When my eyes start to close

When I want to lie down, I’m feeling sleepy

 

I got a feeling, when I want to jump up and down

When I can’t stop smiling

When I think something’s really cool, I’m feeling excited

 

I got a feeling, when I want to frown

When something’s got me down

When I feel like I could cry, I’m feeling sad

 

I got a feeling, that when I want to smile

When I’m with the people I like

When I like what I do, I feel happy

 

I got a feeling, when I’m by myself

When no one is with me

Yes I got a feeling, I’m feeling lonely.

 

I got a feeling, that I can do anything

When I solved a problem

When I help a friend, I feel strong.

Can you think of any other emotions? Leave us a comment with your own verse!

Ellen

At the Groovy Garfoose, we are proud of what our all of our clients accomplish in their music therapy sessions. For Autism Awareness Month, we want to share with you a song by one of our clients that encourages and inspires those of all abilities. Composing, practicing, recording, and sharing original music is a creative way to express yourself, build self-confidence, and give back to your community.

Here is Lift Every Voice & Sing , just one song by the band  that formed within our music therapy sessions: “The Garfooses.”  The mission of “The Garfooses,” collaborated on with all members of the band, is to inspire and help people realize they’re wonderful just the way they are!

We were given permission by parents and clients to share this video with our community. Please click on the video to see the full screen!

Enjoy!

Lyrics:

Verse 1 :

If you’re feeling nervous, like you have no purpose

There’s 2 minutes till the show comes on

The tension builds up inside you.

You want to run and hide you think that this sounds worse than it has to

Pre-Chorus:

I know it seems hard, like it’s not meant to be

But there is something great inside you; set your voice free

Chorus:

Lift every voice & sing, let the voices ring

When we sing together, we can do anything.

Lift every voice & sing, just let out everything

Doesn’t matter if it’s right or wrong

These voices can bring, joy to the world

Lift every voice & sing

Verse 2:

When you walk on the stage, and you have shaking knees

You can’t pick up the microphone; You feel like you can’t sing

Let your confidence guide you through everything you’ll do

Never look behind you; what I’m saying is true

Bridge:

Everyone feels this way sometimes

Don’t let it tear you down

Everyone feels this way sometimes

But you can come around

 

April showers, bring lots of spring-themed music therapy interventions. Check out some of our favorite ways to incorporate a spring theme into music therapy sessions.

Create a Thunderstorm 

Try creating a thunderstorm indoors using instruments and body percussion to to mimic the sound of rain (finger snapping) and thunder claps (hand clapping). If you’re leading a group, give members different instruments and have them follow your cues to get loud and soft, depending on how intense your storm gets. If you’re with an individual, try working together to create a specific order of instruments to create a unique and personal thunder storm. You can also put music in the background to support the storm. Ideas include: “Set Fire to the Rain” by Adele, “I Love a Rainy Night” by Eddie Rabbitt, and “Singin’ in the Rain” by Gene Kelly.

 

You Are My …

You are My Sunshine is a traditional song that is accessible across ages and populations – which is what makes it so great for songwriting. Rewrite this song with other things, besides sunshine, we see in the spring. For some populations, you could have them answer spontaneously or provide a choice sheet.

You are my ________, my only __________

You make me happy when skies are grey.

You’ll never know dear how much I love you

Please don’t take my __________ away.

Happy music making and happy Spring! 

Today is an exciting day at The Groovy Garfoose because we have officially met our fundraising goal for Rainbow Camp!  I have been working behind the scenes to raise money to keep camp tuition costs low and I’m thrilled to share that with the help of our Groovy Garfoose supporters and friends and our Groovy Garfoose Ambassador, James Denton, we have raised $2,000 for camp!  This Summer we are offering not one but TWO camps, so these funds will be divided between the camps and allow us to reach twice as many families of teens and adults with special needs than previous Summers.  And best of all, we will be able to provide camp to a handful of deserving families for FREE! :) A huge thank you to our supporters and our celebrity rockstar, Mr Denton!

You may be asking, how DO you thank a celebrity for supporting our little camp?  Well, you promote his latest movie, of course!  And it’s a great family flick. “For Love And Honor” will air for the second time on The Hallmark Channel April 13th at 9pm EST / 8pm CST and it not only stars James but his son!  To watch a promo and behind the scenes footage click here.  James, a sincere thanks from all of us at The Groovy Garfoose for your support! #jamesdentonROCKS

With all that said, there are still plenty of spots left for our Macedonia, Ohio camp and only a handful of spots left for our Mayfield, Ohio camp so be sure to register ASAP to secure your spot for this Summer.  Learn more and register for either camp here. :)  And contact Bonnie at bonnie@groovygarfoose.com to learn about a scholarship to attend camp for FREE!

We can’t wait to see YOU at Summer Camp!

The Summit County Board of DD has created the Family Engagement Program to allow your family to access your community the way you choose. The fund uses local dollars to that Family Support Services funds can be now be used as a match for Waivers. It can be used when services or supports cannot be paid for by Waivers. The purpose of this program is to help families access money for services or equipment ahead of time, without worry or burden.

The Family Engagement Program is eligible you are:

  • A child or young adult age 0-22
  • Living at home with parent or guarding
  • Not receiving waiver funding

To access this program, simply contact your Summit DD SSA, Referral & Support Specialist, or Developmental Specialist, and they will walk you through the process. Need your SSA’s contact info? Check out our How to Contact Your SSA blog at SummitDD.org.

We are so excited for the Family Engagement Program of Summit County, because the funding can be used to fund music therapy services and our summer camp. As Holly Brugh, the Director of Service & Support Administration and Children’s Services, says “The more children and young adults with disabilities engage in their communities, the more relationships they develop, and ultimately – the better our communities become.”

In addition to the Family Engagement Program of Summit County, The Groovy Garfoose accepts 3rd party funding from:

  • Family Resource Services of Lake County
  • Electronic Classrooms of Tomorrow
  • Autism Scholarship Program
  • The SELF Waiver
  • Akron Children’s Hospital Palliative Care

Coming July 2017: The Jon Peterson Scholarship

Please contact Bonnie@groovygarfoose.com with any questions about funding sources and have a groovy week!

Ellen & Bonnie

Love is in the air! Below are some fun ways to incorporate my favorite love songs into your music therapy practice or a fun activity at home with YOUR loved one.

Put on some Nat King Cole and practice motor and academic skills by spelling L-O-V-E with your whole body. This works well for all ages for people with limited mobility or as a sensory break both in groups and individuals.

The Temptations’ hit My Girl is the perfect song for some piggyback songwriting. Instead of singing “my girl, my girl, my girl” fill in the blanks with things you love. This helps with communication, cognitive, and creative skills.

I’ve got sunshine on a cloudy day

When it’s cold outside,

I’ve got the month of May

I guess you’d say

What can make me feel this way?

___________________________

___________________________

___________________________

Talking ‘bout

___________________________

___________________________

 

I hope these ideas have helped and you use them or make them your own to have a very musical Valentine’s Day!

Ellen

Hello music therapy, special education, art education, art therapy, music education, and creative arts and expressive therapy students!

We will be offering Rainbow Camp twice in back-t0-back weeks to better serve our growing client base in Northeast Ohio this Summer 2017! Our Lake County Area Rainbow Camp will run M-F June 19-23 rom 4-6pm at 435 SOM Center Road in Mayfield, OH. And our Summit County Area Rainbow Camp will run M-F June 26-30, 2017 from 4-6pm at 8575 S. Freeway drive in Macedonia, OH.

To ensure camp is our best camp yet, The Groovy Garfoose is seeking student volunteers with relevant education experience eager to gain experience working with teens and adults 15 and up of all abilities. Students will have opportunities to support and encourage camper participation (i.e., staying on task, passing out instruments, providing hand-over-hand assistance , socialization) in addition to observing two board-certified music therapists in action (Ellen Antes, MT-BC & Bonnie Hayhurst, MT-BC). Camp is only as successful as the people that run it, and we hope you will consider helping us make it AWESOME! Here’s what that entails…

As in Summers past, we are anticipating 10-20 campers per camp.  Each day of camp will start as a group.  During this social time, we will learn our theme song and introduce the color theme for that day.  Then we will divide campers into three small groups.  Each group will rotate through 30 minutes of creative arts experiences (Dance, Art, Music).  The end of each camp will conclude with a group experience wrapping up the theme of the day.  Volunteers will spend the entire week supporting one group of campers through each arts experience for consistency.

We are looking for energetic students willing to jump in and learn even if you are new to our camp or special needs in general.  We ask that volunteers arrange their own transportation to and from camp and that you be willing and able to commit to the entire week of camp to provide consistent support and familiarity to campers.  Interested but still have more questions?  Please contact Ellen Antes, MT-BC at ellen@groovygarfoose.com for more information.

To sign up to volunteer at The Groovy Garfoose RainbowCamp, please email Ellen@groovygarfoose.com with the following information:

Your Name:

Address:

Cell Phone:

Preferred Email Address:

T-Shirt Size:

Previous Clinical Experience:

 
Which Camp(s) You Would Like To Volunteer:
Thank you and we hope you can join us this Summer!
Miss Ellen
Ellen and I are SO excited to announce the return of Summer Camp at The Groovy Garfoose!  After taking last Summer off, we are thrilled to share that we are offering not one but TWO camps in TWO different counties to better serve our growing client base in Lake County and Summit County, Ohio.

If you are new to The Groovy Garfoose Summer Camps, each are designed for teens and adults with special needs ages 15 and up to express, engage and feel empowered through intentional music, art and dance experiences. The beauty of the arts being there is no wrong note, no wrong color and no wrong step in creating something as unique as each of the campers we are privileged to serve. This Summer 2017 we are proud to offer:

Our Lake County Rainbow Camp will be held June 19-23, 2017 from 4-6pm daily at 435 SOM Center Rd. Mayfield, Ohio and will be lead by Ellen Antes and Bonnie Hayhurst. And our Summit County Rainbow Camp will be held June 26-30, 2017 from 4-6pm daily at 8575 S. Freeway Dr Macedonia, Ohio and Ellen and I will lead this one, too.

Each day of camp will begin with 15 minutes learning our theme song and the color(s) of the day.  Next, campers will break into three small groups and rotate through 30 minutes each of music, art and dance experiences led by Ellen and Bonnie and some amazing college art students from Kent State. The end of the day will wrap with an immersive music, art and dance review.
Registration is now open and will be capped at 20 campers per camp.  Camps fill up fast so secure your spot today by clicking the register button below!

Since we offered our first creative arts Summer camp back in 2011, our fans, families, friends (and even a celebrity or two!) have helped us raise over $6000 to cover all of our camp expenses and keep the out of pocket costs to camper families low for 5 straight Summers.  And with your help, we hope to do it again in 2017, too!  This year we are setting a goal to raise $2000 for Rainbow Camp (that’s $1k per camp) by June 1, 2017.  When you donate to Rainbow Camp, you will receive an exclusive video thank you message from campers the week after camp via email.  AND you will be entered to win one of 5 Groovy Garfoose SWAG prizes!  5 Winners will be drawn at random on Thursday, June 1, 2017 via our GG Facebook Page!  To donate, click the donate button below and you will be directed to PayPal to support GG Summer camp.  You can also support our fundraising efforts by sharing our donate page on Facebook and Twitter.  Bring on SUMMER!




 


It’s time to advocate! January is social media advocacy month for music therapy. Bonnie and I are always advocating for music therapy with administrators, parents, program directors, people in line at the grocery store, our families, etc. Basically anyone who will listen…

Now we’re asking for your help.

Are you a music therapist?

Are you a parent or family member of an individual receiving music therapy services?

Are you a program director contracting with a music therapist?

Are you an individual receiving music therapy services?

Keep reading to learn how to advocate for music therapy!

Music Therapist

You already know how powerful music therapy is – you’ve chose it as your career. But how can you communicate that with others? By giving specific and intentional examples of how music therapy can address goals for communication, mobility, self-esteem, and memory recall. Give concise and focused responses, and keep your audience in mind.

Parent or Family Member

Are you witness to the positive effects of music therapy with your loved one? Tell someone about it! Emailing a boss, a funding agency, a program director, or even your state representative about a specific experience your family member had in music therapy. You could help ensure that the program or funding continues, and others will receive services, too!

Program Director

You can advocate for music therapy with administrators because music therapy is a powerful marketing tool. Music therapy has the potential to increase healing time, shorten hospitalizations, help individuals reach goals faster, and provide unique services to your facility that others may not offer.

Client

If you are receiving music therapy, you can advocate by letting anyone you know how music therapy has positively influenced your life. If music therapy has made you feel more confident, then tell someone. ANYONE. Be proud of how music therapy has shaped your life, and maybe your story will inspire someone else to seek music therapy services, too.

Good luck advocating this month. Remember, advocating is more than just convincing, but sharing the power of what you believe in!

Miss Ellen

The new year is upon us. A time to reset and make resolutions to become better versions of ourselves. As a music therapist, I write S.M.A.R.T. goals for clients and patients. This creates an environment for accountability and conducive for success within our sessions. Each letter stands for a component of the goal. Let’s walk through one of my new year’s resolutions – improving my piano playing –  and see what makes it S.M.A.R.T.

Ellen will practice scales, songs, and sightreading 3 times a week for 30 minutes for 3 months. 

What makes this goal specific? Instead of saying, Ellen will practice piano, I listed definitive aspects of piano skills I want to improve on to ensure my practice is focused.

What makes this goal measurable? I made plans for how long and how frequently I want to practice. I could even make a practice sheet and set a timer to hold myself accountable.

What makes this goal attainable? This goal is realistic. Ellen will practice…2 hours a day 6 days a week is not a practical goal for my life. Making a goal too lofty can be discouraging, starting small and working your way up can sometimes be motivating!

What makes this goal relevant? I am a music therapist and improving my piano skills will help me achieve more musicality with my clients in their sessions.

What makes this goal time-specific? There is an end-date in sight! After 3 months, I will re-evaluate my progress and set a new goal more appropriate to my current skill level.

Happy New Year from the Groovy Garfoose! And all the best setting your S.M.A.R.T resolutions.

Miss Ellen