Week in the Life of Maine Music & Health

One of the questions students ask me in career interviews is "What does a typical day look like for you?" Each day is so different, it's hard to describe a 'typical' day, but I know this is important.  I know from my own experiences and from working in college admissions that lifestyle is an important consideration in career choices.  And lifestyle was a huge consideration in my decision to be self-employed.  Now that I am self-employed, I work a LOT, but weird hours.  Even my mom doesn't understand my schedule; she's always confused about why I'm going for a run in the middle of the day and working on my website late on Friday nights. 

This blog post is a peek into my life, a photojournalist approach to answering the classic question, "so.. what do you do?"   I present: 

A Week In The Life:

MONDAY:  I get up and practice a bit at the piano, say goodbye to Linus, and pack my car for the day.  (Yes, all those instruments get dragged in and out of the car and up three flights of stairs at the beginning and end of each day).  I hit the road- today it's a pretty view on the drive!, and my first two music therapy sessions are at day programs for teens and adults with developmental disabilities.  The first is one on one, the second is a group.  In the late afternoon, I give an adaptive guitar lesson.   I go for a run at sunset to get some exercise and relax.  At 8pm, I'm on a long conference call with four other music therapists (2 of whom are working in other states!) and someone from the national office, discussing our Maine State Music Therapy Task Force.  

Total Miles Traveled:  36

TUESDAY:  My meeting this morning was canceled so I worked on social media posts a bit and then headed to the children's hospital.  We have a weekly 'jam group' for kids and families to participate in, and then I take referrals for bedside sessions.  Today I worked with a preteen boy who jammed on the wing (a tiny vibraphone) for about 20 minutes straight!  He was so musical, and it was a great chance for him to express himself and let out some energy after spending the past few days in bed.

After the hospital I headed to Frank Glazer's house, a 99 year old classical pianist and family friend who I visit every few weeks.  The photo of his piano shows the piles of sheet music we put together, as he is planning his concerts out for the next six months. 

I had a half hour break on the road so I stopped at Starbucks- just their parking lot, though (sorry, Starbucks)- I don't love coffee, nor do I love spending money on it, so I just checked my email and then hit the road to Auburn.  I guest-lectured in an expressive arts course at USM in the evening, the students were engaging and asked some great questions!  I plugged our Creative Health annual conference, which means I actually have to plan the second conference...

Total Miles Traveled:  137

WEDNESDAY:  Wednesday mornings are errand days- so I had a few appointments scheduled, and got some groceries (finally!), and visited my friends at Coffee by Design to see their new pet cat.  Then I tried to map out my travels for next week's road trip- I'll be driving to Kentucky to the AMTA conference, where I'll get my certificate in Neurologic Music Therapy at an intensive pre-conference training.

In the afternoon, I had a group for children with physical disabilities (yet, SO MANY musical abilities!!) in Scarborough.  From there I drove to Lewiston, where I helped facilitate a drumming group for cancer patients and survivors at the Dempsey Center.  I was early, and a bit stressed from driving in the rain storm, so I sat and read this great book on creativity before the group started.  The Dempsey Center is where I volunteered as a student and then worked when I first moved back to Maine, so it was nice to be back there- things have changed a lot.

Total Miles Traveled:  109

THURSDAY:  I had an early breakfast meeting at Bernstein Shur with Women Standing Together, a women's business support network; and then had a meeting with some integrative medicine doctors about potential collaboration.  In the afternoon I headed to York for a music therapy group in which we are working on breath support through singing and recorder playing.  I got home around 5 and prepared some music and packed a bag for Friday's work in Boston. 

Having a little extra energy, we went out to see the Jerks of Grass for an hour or so.

FRIDAY:  I've been driving down to Boston College every Friday since I started working there, about a month ago, but since I wasn't in a rush to get back this time I decided to try the train.  I took the Amtrak to North Station and then the subway to BC.  It took longer, but I love the train (and miss it from living in NYC), and I had a beautiful walk/chance to breathe pre-class instead of parking and running in.  The 5pm train home was delayed, not returning to Portland until about 8:45, so they handed out travel vouchers- this lovely family I had met from TN gave me their vouchers!  Which was such a blessing- I will certainly take the train more often when I don't have to drive, it was so relaxing and nice to meet other travelers. 

I spent Friday night tuning and trying out an Autoharp for the first time, and went to bed early so I could get a hike in Saturday morning.    Sometimes I work on weekends, but lately I've been trying to keep those open so I can visit family or spend time outside. 

Total Miles Traveled:  normally 260, but I took the train today!