As I enter my 19th year as a board certified music therapist I still get immense joy out of supporting, learning from and celebrating my clients.  Holidays have always been a fun and easy way to ground my session plans in time. But lately, I’ve been trying to pick monthly themes that can both connect to holiday celebrations but also to my client’s emotional and expressive needs.  We have ALL endured so much in the past few years and no one is exempt from the heaviness we have all been carrying, our clients included.  So, prioritizing a moment of connection in which my clients are SEEN and HEARD is something I try to foster every session.
One of my favorite months to session plan for each year is February because it’s easy to hit a bunch of important cultural celebrations and holidays with one overarching theme (and I’m sure you guessed it!): Love.
This February, like in so many past, I had the extra challenge of curating a session plan that is appropriate for ages 2 – 70!  Of course, there are certain songs I’m swapping out for the littles and experiences I’m swapping in for my adults and vice versa. BUT, there’s one experience I’ve been using with all ages that has been an absolute standout and we’re only half way through the month!  It’s an intervention I’m calling “Self-Love”.
Last week, I shared a video of the experience on instagram and you can watch it below to learn the melody.  I like to lead into this song AFTER we’ve finished a song about loving others/things (ie: friends, family, teachers, school, community, earth, etc).  Something like, “We’ve sung about loving others but we can’t forget to sing about loving ourselves.  We’re worth it!”  Then, each client takes a turn playing along on the Hapi Drum (C Pentatonic) to celebrate themself.  Choice boards are available for anyone needing support or ideas. Some used the choices.  Some didn’t.  Some shared very personal things about themselves and their world that I never knew (isn’t it awesome when our clients bravely share about themselves?!).  And others BEAMED when they shared about themself: I am… “smart”, “silly”, “cool” and one kiddo said “hungry”!  The honest answers are always the funniest for me. 🙂 Some sang and played with tremendous pride. Most of all, it was thrilling to watch each individual rise to the occasion when it was their turn, almost as if the love that each of them shared about themselves encouraged the next person and the next person to shine BRIGHT.
Self love sure is contagious and I hope you take time to celebrate YOU, too.  You’re worth it.


I. Am. Me.  (Self Love Chant)

By: Bonnie Hayhurst, MT-BC

What do I love about me, me, me?

I’m ____________  and ______________ you see, see, see.

I am free to be me, me, me.

I.  Am.  Me.