{Guitars & Granola Bars} Episode 2

GGB Episode 2

Happy Friday! This week has been pretty wonderful for many reasons, but in large part thanks to the emails, comments and social media feedback I’ve received about the new podcast.

I have to admit, I was a little nervous about putting it out into the world…especially since it is geared to my colleagues who I so greatly admire. Many (okay, most) of them are far more experienced music therapists and moms than I am, so to tackle both topics in podcast form is going a bit beyond my comfort zone.

But that’s what life is all about, right? Pushing past those comfortable boundaries and trying new things. So with your encouragement, I’m back this week with a new episode — this time featuring music therapist Tamara Leszner-Rovet.

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

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The Empathy Song

The Empathy Song Album Cover

A few months ago, my wonderful teacher friend Rene came to me with an idea for a song. She uses music quite a bit in her classroom, and wanted to do so in teaching and reinforcing the concept of empathy.

I tried to put the definition and description of empathy into words (that rhyme, no less) as best as I could, and I think the song paints a good picture of what empathy looks like for a kiddo who is just learning.

However, I think you’ll agree with me that empathy is something that needs to be experienced to fully understand it. I hope that my song provides a bridge to putting empathy into practice.

Do you have other musical tools you use for teaching concepts like empathy? I would love to explore this further, perhaps in a group setting where social skills are targeted. Yet another idea to add to my ever-growing list…

P.S. Did you know that you can gain instant access to 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?

Learn more about Listen & Learn Plus

Guitars & Granola Bars: A New Podcast

Guitars & Granola Bars Podcast: Music Therapists Talk Motherhood

A funny thing happened in the last six months or so: I became addicted to podcasts. Although I’ve been co-hosting the Music Therapy Round Table podcast for five years now, I never thought to branch out beyond the few music therapy podcasts out there to which I subscribe.

But after one of my favorite bloggers listed a few of her favorite podcasts, I decided to check them out and was hooked. I loved hearing interviews with woman who owned businesses, were pursuing creative endeavors, and most of all, were doing both while raising children.

A seed of an idea was planted in my head: what if I started a podcast featuring music therapists like myself — women who balance their music therapy work (whether it be clinical, academic, entrepreneurial, or otherwise) with being a mom?

That was back in November. I tabled the idea because I had a lot of other things going on and wasn’t feeling well due to pregnancy, but it kept surfacing in the back of my mind.

I took that as a sign, and a few days after the new year began, I decided to go for it. I didn’t tell a soul, not even my husband. Instead, I brainstormed a title, came up with a concept for the artwork, wrote some interview questions, and then emailed Janice Lindstrom. I knew I wanted to feature Janice as the inaugural guest, because she pioneered music therapy podcasts when she started The Music Therapy Show many years ago. Luckily she was on board, and we had a really wonderful discussion that got me even more excited about my new endeavor.

So there you have it: a really long-winded introduction to Guitars & Granola Bars: Music Therapists Talk Motherhood. You can follow the link to read more and subscribe on iTunes (you can also do that here).

I have a long list of potential guests that I would love to have on the show, so if you are a music therapist and a mom, be on the lookout for an email from me in the future — or get in touch with me if you’re interested!

I Have a Bean Bag

I Have a Bean Bag Album Cover

This isn’t the first time I’ve mentioned what a HUGE fan I am of the movement props created by Bear Paw Creek. Their stretchy bands and connect-a-bands are both staples in my collection, and I just recently added their bean bags as well.

There are so many ways to incorporate bean bags into my music therapy sessions and early childhood music classes, but I knew exactly how I wanted to introduce them for the first time — with a brand new song, of course :)

I wrote “I Have a Bean Bag” with several goals in mind: listening skills, body part identification, and imitation. An added bonus skill this song addresses is balancing, which is funny to watch my kiddos try to do once they’ve placed the bean bag on the correct body part.

Although this song was written with bean bags in mind, I’ve already adapted it for scarves in bigger groups where I don’t have enough bean bags to go around (yet!).

A special thanks goes to Janet Stephens, owner and creator of the products at Bear Paw Creek, for her support of Listen & Learn Music. Everything in her shop is made right here in the U.S.A. and is of the utmost quality. Please check out her movement props and other resources if you haven’t already!

Pregnancy with a Sidekick

Holding Hands with Parker

I loved being pregnant the first time around. I had the perfect situation, really: self-employed and working from home, I could take naps when I needed them and move as slowly as I needed to during the height of my 1st trimester morning sickness. I felt that “glow” from my 2nd trimester on and worked out every weekday morning up until the week I gave birth.

Naturally, I was thrilled to be pregnant again, and just assumed it would be as enjoyable as my first one. But any second-time mom knows what I soon found out: subsequent pregnancies can be…challenging.

I’m still thrilled to be pregnant, and there have been some wonderful moments — like when Parker kisses my belly, and every time I feel those little kicks — but it hasn’t been easy. I was much sicker this time around than I ever was with Parker, starting at week 6 and holding strong until week 18. Even now, at almost 22 weeks, I still have not-so-good days.

On top of the relentless morning sickness, I looked about as good as I felt. My skin went crazy, my hair was a lost cause; I swore that I was having a girl because any beauty I once might have had was completely stolen from me.

It's a Girl - 20 Week Ultrasound

Turns out, I was right! Our little girl is healthy and growing right on track, and I’m finally starting to get back some of that energy I missed so much. It’s a good thing, because I need a LOT of energy to keep up with my little sidekick. At 19 months old, Parker is a ball of fire and needs my constant attention; there are far less naps for mama this time around!

Pregnancy #2 has not been a walk in the park, and I’m only a little over halfway there. But I’m done complaining, because I know it could be much, much worse. I’m extremely lucky to be pregnant, especially with a perfect baby girl.

2nd trimester is all about getting settled in our new house (more about that soon!), charging full speed ahead on some exciting work projects, and enjoying these last few months with Parker as an only child. Still trying to wrap my head around that one.

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