A New Chapter Begins

Mia Goes to School

Today was a big day. I called it D-Day in my latest podcast episode — the day Mia started daycare. After 15 months at home with my baby, today was the first weekday during which I wasn’t her primary caregiver.

I talked on the podcast all about the mixed feelings I’ve been experiencing related to this day: excitement, anticipation, sadness, guilt…you know, the usual emotions that most moms cycle through on a daily basis. I’ve been looking forward to and counting down until this day for months now, but when the time actually came, so did the tears.

Saying goodbye to Mia on her first day of “school” was not easy. I’m so thankful that my mom takes and picks up the kids on most days, so she had the not-so-fun job of leaving Mia in her new classroom for the very first time. Better her than me, though; I call her my velcro baby because sometimes I literally have to peel her off of me.

Mia cried at drop-off, but not as much as expected. Her teachers sent photos of her playing and eating, and she actually napped! It wasn’t the best day ever for her, but it could have been a whole lot worse. I’ll take it.

It really did feel like the beginning of a new chapter for me today — a very strange and foreign one that didn’t include toting around a baby, cramming hours worth of work into one naptime, or rushing home to relieve the babysitter staying with Mia while I taught a class. Between several work-related appointments, a mountain of emails, and meetings with my team, the day flew by and was over before I knew it.

From here on out, my Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays are devoted to work while both kids are at school. I’m going to miss my one-on-one time with Mia, but I’m thrilled to have had 15 months of it up until now. I have a very good feeling about this new chapter, and I think it will be wonderful for BOTH of us.

Summertime Vibes

Summer Business Meeting at Starbucks

When I think back on Summer 2016, I will have lots of reasons to smile. I’ll remember how quickly it flew by, how hot it was, and how busy yet idle I felt, but mostly I will smile. So far, this has been the summer of:

  • celebrating my daughter’s 1st birthday and watching her learn to walk
  • celebrating my son’s 3rd birthday and watching him blossom into a “big boy”
  • celebrating the one year anniversary of being in our new studio
  • caffeine-fueled business meetings at Starbucks
  • experimenting with (and loving!) Facebook Live videos
  • preparing for a new intern to join us at Music Therapy Connections
  • gorgeous vacation destinations (Asheville, NC, Naples, FL, and one to come…)
  • long stroller walks around the neighborhood
  • eating Chipotle with my husband on Friday nights after the kids are in bed
  • pushing my kids on the swings in our backyard
  • finally sleeping through the night (at least 3x a week!)
  • wearing my hair in a ponytail every. single. day.
  • going old school using a paper planner
  • writing so, so, so many songs
  • playing so, so, so many singalongs

We’re only 2/3 of the way through, but August always feels like such a blur as everyone starts preparing for fall. In a few weeks, my daughter will start “school” (her first year of daycare) 3 days per week, giving me 3 glorious days to spend working. It’s a bittersweet time, so I am simultaneously looking forward to it while making the most of these last weeks having her at home all day every day.

Summer. The fastest of all the seasons. Soak it up.

Nominations, Recognition, and Gratitude

Chamber of Commerce Awards

In August of 2014, Katey and I joined forces to form Music Therapy Connections, LLC. Little did we know that less than 2 years later, we’d be standing in front of 200 business owners, the governor of Illinois, and television cameras as nominees for our Chamber of Commerce’s “New and Emerging” Small Business Owners of the Year award.

But that was our reality yesterday, and it was pretty freaking awesome. We didn’t realize what an honor it was to be nominated until we learned more about the calibre of our fellow nominees, looked around that packed ballroom, and received congratulations from so many community leaders. Wow.

Katey and I talked all about the experience, along with why being members of the Chamber is so important to us, over on our Facebook page in a live video yesterday.

I am beyond grateful to our clients, families, friends, and you for providing support in all forms; without it, yesterday wouldn’t have been possible. Being nominated for the award was a huge honor, but what it allowed us to do — advocate for music therapy and the impact we can make in our community — means far more.

The Songwriting Process, Blocks We Face, and How to Get Better

Anytime you have the opportunity to talk with a total rockstar in your professional field about one of your favorite topics, you take it. Dr. Andrew Knight is a professor of music therapy at Colorado State University, and someone I’ve looked up to since meeting him quite a few years ago at an AMTA national conference.

He interviewed me for the songwriting course he is teaching this summer, and graciously allowed me to share the interview here with you. We talk about how I approach songwriting, the blocks many music therapists face when it comes to writing and sharing their work, my actual process, and of course, the Songwriting Challenge.

The Challenge starts in 10 days, and over that time period I will continue to send out bonus resources and materials…so the best time to register is NOW. Become a better songwriter while receiving CMTE credit!

The registration fee for this challenge is $75.
This includes all of the educational materials, bonus resources, and 3 CMTE credits (preapproved by CBMT).

Join the Challenge!

Pay safely and securely via PayPal.

Become a Better Songwriter 🎶 AND Earn CMTE Credit 🌟

Take the Songwriting Challenge

One of the things I commonly hear from fellow music therapists is that they wish they were more skilled at songwriting. As someone who has written upwards of 300 songs for music therapy clients, classes, adult audiences, and otherwise, my response is always this: the more songs you write, the more skilled you become.

Prior to writing my first song, I didn’t have any specialized training. I wasn’t confident in my abilities at all, but I just kept writing. Each song became a little easier, and with time I gained the confidence to call myself a songwriter.

I love empowering others to do the same, which is why I created the Songwriting Challenge. I hosted this challenge for the first time last spring, and a huge group of music therapists participated. We collectively wrote and shared hundreds of songs over the course of a month, learning from each other along the way.

Those who participated not only improved their songwriting skills, but they also increased their repertoire of songs for clinical practice — something we all need to do on a continuous basis.

After the challenge ended, I had an overwhelmingly positive response to the experience…including dozens of requests to do it again as a CMTE course.

And that brings me to the Songwriting Challenge (2.0) – an interactive online course for music therapists that is approved by CBMT for 3 CMTE credits.

To learn more about the challenge and decide whether or not it is a good fit for you, click here.

Can’t wait to see you inside the challenge!

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