This is a season of change for my private practice. What started as a tiny little side hustle for me back in 2007 has blossomed into a full-time business for not one, but TWO music therapists. I couldn’t be happier to have Katey Kratz as a partner in what is now Music Therapy Connections, LLC.
Along with our new name, partnership, and location, it was only fitting to update our look as well. My father-in-law graciously offered his photography services, and our new photos make this whole venture feel officially official! Over the course of this month, I’ll be busy updating our business cards, brochures, and web presence, but the first stop was our Facebook page.
Now that we have new photos (because, you know…priorities), our focus is on the look of our new studios. The furniture and equipment have been purchased, moved in, and mostly assembled, so now it’s time to find a home for the rest of our supplies and put the finishing touches on our new space.
We have a lot of work to do before we welcome students on Tuesday (eeek!) but I’m optimistic that it will all get done. I’m trying to resist the urge to post progress photos — we love how it’s shaping up so far! Stay tuned for a first look inside the Music Therapy Connections, LLC studios.
I’m not sure how it happened, but yet another summer has slipped away and a new school year has begun. My Facebook newsfeed is full of back-to-school photos (which I love, just to be clear…as long as I don’t have to think about my child going off to school anytime soon!) and we’re gearing up for our fall session at Music Therapy Connections.
For most kiddos, the transition into the school year can be challenging: they have to get up early, establish a routine, work hard all day, and spend lots of time making social interactions (which is much harder for some children than others).
Knowing that many of my own students are facing those challenges inspired me to put together a little roundup of all the songs I’ve written on these topics. So without further ado, here are a few of my musical tools for making the back-to-school transition a success.
One of the most common complaints I’ve been hearing from my students is that now they have to get up “sooooo early!”. That alarm clock can be a rude awakening (literally) after a whole summer of sleeping in, which is where this song comes in super handy.
I wrote this song specifically for younger kiddos who are off to school for the very first time, and aren’t sure what to expect. It can be scary and overwhelming, which is why I broke it down in this song.
Not only do children learn to play nicely at school, but they also must learn how to work together in both small and large groups. This can be a foreign concept to some, especially the younger set, and it can seem foreign after doing their own thing all summer long.
My adaptation of the pop song “Call Me Maybe” is all about making friends, which for some children is the hardest aspect of going to school. I know it was for me, since I was on the shy side. This song is a reminder that making new friends can be fun.
Just as wake-up times get earlier at the start of the school year, so do bedtimes. I always dreaded that part of the new school year as a child, since my parents were pretty lax during the summer months. I sing this song to my son as part of our own bedtime routine.
This entire album is a good resource for getting back into the swing of things. My Clothes and My Shoes, That Yellow Bus, Making Friends, Cleanup Time, Time to Say Goodbye — all apply to the average school day.
What songs would you add to this “back to school” roundup? I’m betting most of you have tips for easing into the school year routine, whether as a parent, music therapist, teacher, or anyone else with little ones in their lives. Sharing is caring!
Fun fact: It was my mom, not me, who wrote the first song dedicated to my son Parker after he was born last summer. She would sing it to him every time she came over to see him, and now we all sing “The Parker Song”.
It took a couple of months for the fog to clear my new mom brain, but once it did, I was inspired by Parker to do some serious songwriting. The first song that came out of my creative burst was Welcome to the World, which came at the perfect time since so many of my friends were bringing home new babies.
Ever since, I’ve been recording versions of this song as gifts to parents of newborns. Every baby should have his or her own song, after all! The version on the album below was recorded for my sweet nephew, Alec, when he was born in April. I also included the instrumental track for the new babies coming into the world around you.
By the way, that adorable squishy little baby in the photo is Parker at five days old. Oh, how I miss him being that small! The older he gets, though, the more he inspires me as a songwriter — my own personal muse.
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I’m knee-deep in content creation for my new CMTE course — Early Childhood Programs: Create, Market, Make Music! — and I can’t wait to share it with you in a few weeks.
Creating a new group, class or program can be overwhelming, but it can also be extremely rewarding — especially when the end result is helping young children learn and grow through music. This 3-hour CMTE course will guide you through the entire process of designing, launching, and running a successful early childhood program.
The course is set to launch in late September, so plug in your name and email below for details and updates.
It has been a ROUGH weekend in the Rambach household. Zach was out of town, and it is Murphy’s Law that something always goes wrong when he’s away. This time was no exception — my poor baby Parker got sick for the first time ever.
It all started the day Zach left, which was Thursday. After work, Parker and I went over to my parents’ house for dinner. My stepsister was home with my niece, Annabelle, and baby nephew, Alec. Parker and Annabelle are a dynamic duo, and spent most of the evening chasing each other around the house. My mom noticed that Parker felt really warm right as we were getting ready to leave, so I took his temperature as soon as we got home.
Sure enough, he had a fever of 102. He wasn’t crying or acting uncomfortable, so I wasn’t too worried yet. My mom, on the other hand, was much more worried than me and insisted I call the telenurse. She basically told me to monitor him and call the pediatrician in the morning if his fever persisted and he had other symptoms.
Parker slept fine, but when I picked him up out of his crib on Friday morning, I realized he was burning up. He still had a fever of 102, and wasn’t acting like himself. I called the pediatrician’s office, but they didn’t want to see him unless his fever persisted for 72 hours. So I attempted to give him some Tylenol (most of which he spit out) and just tried to keep him comfortable.
Parker had no interest in eating breakfast, though I did get him to drink some milk. Mostly he wanted to just lay on my lap or on the couch and watch Sesame Street. That is sooo unlike him — this kid never sits still. We went for a walk around the neighborhood, but mostly just hung around the house the rest of the day.
I had to play a gig that night, so my in-laws came over to stay with him. They said he didn’t seem to be in a ton of pain, but he was still not interested in eating and had started tugging on his ears. He cried and whimpered in his sleep throughout the night, so neither of us slept well. I brought him in bed with me early on Saturday morning, and this is how pathetic he was. Poor baby.
He still had a bit of a fever and was really upset, so it was off to Prompt Care. Not my favorite way to spend a Saturday. That was a two-hour ordeal involving lots of waiting, screaming and crying, and two people holding Parker down so that the doctor could look in Parker’s throat, ears, and administer some drops. I wanted to cry, seeing my baby so miserable.
While we were waiting for the results of the strep test, Parker passed out from sheer exhaustion. Luckily, it wasn’t strep, but it was an ear infection. The doctor prescribed an antibiotic, so off to Walgreens we went.
Later that afternoon, my dad and stepmom came over to hang out with us. Parker was starting to feel better, thankfully, and did eat some yogurt and crackers. He slept much better at night, too — 12 full hours! My mom came over in the morning so that I could go grocery shopping, and then Parker and I laid low the rest of the day. I’m glad the weather was dreary all weekend; at least we weren’t missing out on being outside.
By Sunday afternoon, Parker was almost back to his old self. He was still more cuddly than usual (I’m not complaining about that!) but he was eating a little more and not tugging at his ears as much. The sun even came out after dinner, so we went for a walk before bedtime.
I’m really glad Parker’s first illness wasn’t anything serious, and I am so grateful he has stayed healthy for this long. Hopefully we don’t have a repeat of this weekend anytime soon (and Zach better bring me something good home from Vegas, since he got to miss out on all of this!).