Turning the tides of environmental destruction is possible. Improving education and supporting teachers is possible. Providing access to quality healthcare and healing is possible. Finding common ground is possible. And I believe the arts can help with that.Read More
If you are a music therapist or a volunteer musician, a good rule of thumb is to follow the same protocol of the staff at any given facility. Any gear that used communally must have a hard, cleanable surface, and should really be cleaned in between every patient interaction. Now, in some settings you might adapt stricter rules to make things easier. For instance, at some day programs for seniors I’ll start and end each group by passing around hand sanitizer for each person to use. During the group, we interact and share instruments, and at the end of it I wipe down my musical instruments. But if you are visiting, say, a cancer center, you’d want to be much more careful. If patients can come out and join in a music group, they are likely not on specific precautions. If you are visiting patients’ rooms and working bedside, you’ll want to pay attention to specific precautions- and you may need to wear a mask, gloves, and/or a gown. Singing and playing guitar in a mask and gloves is a real adventure! It’s one of those things you don’t get to practice in music school, so you learn by doing. My advice is to size down on your gloves so that you can still play chords.
Unfortunately, the instruments that make the most beautiful sounds are usually the least infection-control-friendly. This is something I would love to see changed. Consider this blog a call to entrepreneurs, musicians, and luthiers: PLEASE create some therapy-friendly instruments! We need washable instruments. While you’re at it, we could also use some disability-friendly instruments. Something to consider! Developers could make a fortune off these things. And I won’t even take 10% for the idea- I’ll just take a few instruments for work ;).Read More
If you're a music therapist, music teacher, activities director, or anyone who would like to incorporate instruments in your healthcare setting, this list is for you.Read More
circuits in the brain called mirror neurons provide us with the empathy to connect our own meaning to that of the music- even if we don’t know what the composer actually meant. Experiencing empathy leads to feeling compassion, and this feels good. Listening to music, therefore, is good for all of humanity.Read More
“One person has a bunch of excitement and distraction, the other person is at home just… doing stuff. The longer it goes, the more challenging it gets.” This is something that has to be navigated, but it’s not unique to artists. If you love someone, you figure it out.
if you follow your gut and have a sense of flexibility, you’ll land on the right pathRead More
Working together, we used music as a distraction, as a reward, and as the motivation. Responding to Mia’s actions and moods through musical improvisation meant that she felt understood and was more motivated to participate in the therapy session. The music pushed her to lift higher, stretch longer, and laugh in the middle of crying.Read More
So here's to trying something new in the new year. Taking more, smaller trips. Carrying less. Taking time to breathe.Read More
Alas, even when one is doing the ‘right thing’, one still has to consider finances and make strides to grow. So I run, and I think, and I feel stress, and I keep running.Read More
any music therapist should have clinical practice backed by firm research and implemented with creativity and flexibilityRead More
realizing a new perspective doesn’t mean you can stop brushing your teeth or paying your rent. Self-care doesn’t mean you can abandon all responsibility and go to the beach for three weeks.Read More