{Guitars & Granola Bars} Episode 38

by Rachel on October 9, 2015

GGB Episode 38: Ashley Lundquist

I’ve interviewed quite a few moms with young babies since starting this podcast, but Ashley Lundquist takes the cake for having THE youngest baby to date. She gave birth to her son Phoenix less than a month ago, yet still took time out to talk with me.

I loved getting the perspective of a brand-new mom, and Ashley was kind enough to share all the interesting details related to her journey so far. It reminded me just how unique of an experience it is having your first child, and how it felt so different for me the second time around.

Ashley talks about how losing her voice affected her music therapy career, the way she incorporated music during her labor and delivery, and how she is settling into her role as a first-time mom just a few weeks postpartum in Episode 38 of the Guitars & Granola Bars podcast.

Be sure to check out the show notes page for more information about Ashley, along with links to the resources she mentions in the episode.

This episode is sponsored by Music Teacher’s Helper, which is software for music teachers and therapists that helps manage your private music lesson studio and/or music therapy practice. I’ve used Music Teacher’s Helper every single day since 2011, and it is one of the best tools I have to keep my private practice running smoothly.

Sign up here for a 30-day no risk trial. If you choose to sign up after the trial using my link, you’ll save 20% off your first month!

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My Small Business Story: Part 2

by Rachel on October 8, 2015


Last week, I shared Part 1 of this series, in which I’m giving you the full scoop on how I went from having a full-time day job and a small private practice on the side (headquartered in my car) to now co-owning a thriving business with a facility of our own and a team of 7.

Part 1 was all about the side hustle: getting my name out there, starting a small private practice on the side, and then literally hustling from one client’s home to another every evening after a full day at work.

Part 2 begins in June 2009, when I opened the first version of my home studio. In the full post, I detail the evolution from “side hustle” to “two full-time jobs” — including my thoughts on home-based private practice, preparing to quit my day job, and making changes to become a full-fledged business owner.

You can read parts 1 and 2 of my story, along with key takeaways and action items, over on Listen & Learn Plus, where you’ll also find a vast collection of over 200 songs (mp3, lead sheet, and instrumental track), videos, tutorials, and visual aides, plus ALL new releases from Listen & Learn Music.

Listen & Learn Plus!


Shake It, Baby!

by Rachel on October 7, 2015

Shake It Baby Album Cover

Last week during our music therapy intern’s supervision meeting, we asked her to make a list of songs that could be used with shakers. After she named a few, my business partner Katey and I couldn’t help but chime in with our own favorites. In just minutes, we had a super long list of both original and familiar songs perfect for shaking along.

One of my most frequently used shaker songs is an original that I wrote for one of my music classes a while back. It’s one of those easily adaptable, learn-in-5-minutes, back pocket tunes that works in a variety of settings.

This song also happens to be super popular amongst the 2-year-old crowd; my son and his friends are big fans and request it frequently. Parker now wants to sing every song “fast, slow, up high, and down low” and I think this song might be the reason why ;)

What shaker songs top YOUR list of favorites? If you need more shakin’ inspiration, consider joining Listen & Learn Plus! Members have instant access to tons of instrument songs right inside the Dropbox folder I share with them.

Learn more about Listen & Learn Plus


An Inside Look at Listen & Learn Plus!

by Rachel on October 6, 2015

Listen & Learn Plus Insider

By now, you probably already know that I have a membership site where I provide hundreds of downloadable resources and knowledge related to music therapy, music education, business, private practice, songwriting, and recording. Listen & Learn Plus has been up and running for 6+ years, and everything inside is available to those who join.

I’ve received quite a few questions lately about what exactly is included in the membership, which is why I’m giving you an inside look, complete with several completely free downloads. All it takes is entering your name and email, and then you’ll find a link to the insider page in your inbox.

Click here for a free inside look.

I hope this inside look answers any questions that were holding you back from joining. It’s a great time to become a member and gain access to tons of goodies that will help you give your clients, students & children an even richer musical experience!


{Guitars & Granola Bars} Episode 37

October 2, 2015

Tweet I have to be honest with you: I can’t help but become a total fangirl when it comes to this week’s podcast guest. Megan Resig is one of my music therapy business owner heroes, and she’ll be yours too after you listen to her interview. Megan was kind enough to share lots of insight […]

My Small Business Story: Part 1

October 1, 2015

Tweet This week I was honored to be featured in the Springfield Business Journal, which was not only a great opportunity for my business but also a music therapy advocacy win. Even though I’ve been practicing here for 8+ years, I still find myself explaining my profession on a daily basis. Reading the article and […]

{Guitars & Granola Bars} Episode 36

September 25, 2015

Tweet I thought I had a lot going on during my pregnancy…until I interviewed this week’s podcast guest. Maggie MacArthur is an impressive lady, and quite the trooper for working 3 jobs (one of which was serving tables) while pregnant. Luckily, Maggie’s professional life looks drastically different following the birth of her son Keegan, as […]

Autumn at Music Therapy Connections

September 24, 2015

Tweet I celebrated the first day of autumn yesterday but stopping at Starbucks for my first pumpkin spice latte (nonfat, no whip if you ever feel like bringing me a present, ha!) of the season. It was the perfect midday pick-me-up as I did some planning before my first client arrived. It’s already been a […]

{Seasonal Song Pack} Fall!

September 23, 2015

Tweet Happy first day of Fall! I’m not sure how we got to this point in the year already, but here we are…so we might as well sing about it. Many of my music therapy sessions, early childhood classes, and groups revolve around themes, so we’ll be doing plenty of singing about all things FALL […]

We <3 Our Parachute

September 21, 2015

Tweet Those of you who already own one of these will never believe that this is the NEWEST addition to our collection of movement props. We have just about everything else (including most of what is available from our friends at Bear Paw Creek) but for some reason, a parachute didn’t make it into our […]

{Guitars & Granola Bars} Episode 35

September 18, 2015

Tweet Interviewing this week’s podcast guest was actually the second time in the same week that the two of us had an in-depth conversation. I first connected with Catherine Hershey a few days earlier when she interviewed me for her music therapy blog, and I enjoyed talking to her so much that I immediately invited […]

The Gang’s All Here

September 16, 2015

Tweet It’s hard to believe, but Music Therapy Connections, LLC has grown from a duo to a team of 7 in the span of just one year. On Monday we had a full house in our studio with 5 music therapy sessions, lessons, and groups happening at the VERY SAME TIME. It was awesome. We […]

What’s in Those Binders?

September 15, 2015

Tweet Every few weeks, I post a photo like this to my Instagram feed. It means that another round of music classes has begun at Music Therapy Connections. Lots of you have asked what’s inside of those binders and what kinds of materials we provide to our families, so I’m giving the scoop today. Continued […]

How Dropbox Has Changed My Life as a Music Therapist (No Joke)

September 12, 2015

Tweet I used to have a whole shelf of binders filled with songs I had written and collected over the years. When I planned my music therapy sessions, I would go through those binders, most of which were organized by song topic, and pull out pages to practice or take with me into sessions. Most […]

{Guitars & Granola Bars} Episode 34

September 11, 2015

Tweet I’m so appreciative of the fact that every guest I’ve interviewed for the podcast has been willing to open up and share her (and his!) very personal stories. This week’s guest is no exception; Lesleigh Zundt and I had a conversation about the not-so-fun side of motherhood: baby blues and postpartum discussion. But we […]

Lollipop Start & Stop

September 8, 2015

Tweet For some reason, telling kids to “freeze” while playing an instrument is a whole lot more effective than just asking them to stop. The part where they have to wait is deliciously excruciating for everyone involved — okay, delicious for me, and mostly just excruciating for them ;) That’s the basic concept of Lollipop […]

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