{Guitars & Granola Bars} Episode 6

GGB Episode 6: Laura Theismann

I had the opportunity to speak on a panel about work-life balance at the 2013 AMTA national conference, which turned out to be an informative and wonderful experience for everyone in attendance. It also made apparent just how great the need is in our field for more resources related to this topic.

After the presentation ended, one of the attendees came up and introduced herself. We talked about both of our struggles with work-life balance and how it has nearly led to burnout. We exchanged contact info and kept in touch after the conference — and now I’m so happy to have Laura Theismann on the podcast.

Laura shares the story of finding out she was pregnant, how her son has influenced her work as a music therapist, and the challenges and perks of having a background in child development when it comes to parenting in Episode 6 of the Guitars & Granola Bars podcast.

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

iTunesClick here to subscribe on iTunes, or search “Guitars & Granola Bars” in the podcast app on your Apple device.
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Click here to listen and subscribe on Stitcher, or download and search the app on your mobile device.

Shake Those Bells!

Bells are for Shaking Album Cover

Sometimes I come across a song I wrote YEARS ago that just needs a little facelift. Bells are for Shaking is definitely one of those songs, because it’s such an effective one for hitting so many different targeted objectives.

When I sing this song with my kiddos, I’m working on following directions, motor skills, identification of left and right hands, and attention to task. As far as they are concerned, they’re just playing bells and having fun (isn’t this the case so often in music therapy!?).

I dug this song out of my archives for the latest session of Listen & Learn for Little Ones, my early childhood music class, which necessitated a new recording to include on the class CD.

Much better than my 2009 version, if I do say so myself! Out of all the “bell” songs I’ve written, this one is probably my favorite…and I’m pretty sure my students feel the same way. Hope you can get some good use out of it, too.

P.S. Did you know that you can receive a DOWNLOAD of each new Listen & Learn release (including mp3, lyrics/chords, and instrumental track when available) emailed directly to your inbox?

That — PLUS access to the blog archive containing over 150 other songs, lead sheets, visual aides, and valuable resources — for only $9.99 per month. Learn more about becoming a Listen & Learn Plus! member or just subscribe below. You won’t be disappointed!

Sissy’s Room

Baby Girl's Pink Nursery

Every time we go upstairs, Parker asks the same thing: “Sissy’s room?”

Actually it sounds more like “issy’s room” but we know what he means. It’s the room with the pink walls, his old glider, and a little side table — and literally nothing else. For some reason, this is Parker’s favorite room in the whole house, and we can get him to go upstairs without complaint (even for diaper changes and naptime) because of it.

The other day, I watched Parker climb into the glider and hold the “it’s a girl” teddy bear while he rocked back and forth, singing the ABCs to himself. The sun was streaming in through the windows and I got the feeling this was one of those defining moments I would look back on fondly in 30 years, recalling the best days of my life.

It doesn’t get much cheesier than this, but I’m going to write it anyway: my heart nearly bursts with happiness when I think about Parker and his “issy” and the relationship that they will have, being so close in age.

He loves her so much already; the frequent belly kisses and smiles when we talk about the baby make that quite apparent. But I can’t wait to introduce them for the first time and watch them grow up together.

10 *MORE* Songs That Make Me Feel Good

10 More Songs That Make Me Feel Good

Back in the summer of 2011, I put together a list of 10 songs (current and not-so-current) that I was digging at the time. Since almost four years have passed since then, I thought it was high time that I post an updated list.

I have my students, son, and Pandora to thank for the random assortment of music that is currently helping me beat the wintertime blues:

  1. “Love is an Open Door” from Frozen – I heard this song before I ever saw the movie, because I had a couple of students request it. Now that my toddler is a little obsessed with Frozen, I hear it several times a day…and it has really grown on me.
  2. “Stockholm” by Jason Isbell – my music partner Matt and I recently added this song to our set list, and I can’t get enough of it. When it comes to songwriters, this guy is the bees’ knees. Plus, the harmony is really fun to sing.
  3. “Girls Chase Boys” by Ingrid Michaelson – her newest album, Lights Out, is great, especially this track. It’s an earworm I find myself singing hours after I hear the song.
  4. “Put a Little Love in Your Heart” by Renee & Jeremy – a throwback song covered by a children’s group. They are my favorite when it comes to recorded music (I use it for instrument play-alongs in one of my early childhood classes).
  5. “Back to the Earth” by Jason Mraz – If you’ve been reading this blog for any length of time, then it comes as no surprise that I love Jason Mraz. This song is from his most recent album, and it’s also a favorite of one of my music therapy clients (it’s even helped us with several in-session breakthroughs).
  6. “From This Valley” by The Civil Wars – when I think about their break-up, I want to cry…but this song helps ease the pain. It’s another one Matt and I added to our set list, and I have such a blast singing it.
  7. “Shake It Off” by Taylor Swift – nope, still not sick of it yet. This song gets my blood pumping and my body moving every single time.
  8. “I’m Not Angry Anymore” by Paramore – one of my students is learning this on the ukulele, and I couldn’t help but smile when we listened to it for the first time. Short, sweet and totally fun.
  9. “Thinking Out Loud” by Ed Sheeran – I don’t listen to the radio often, but I’m glad I caught this song on one of those rare occasions a few weeks back. Not sure if it’s his voice, the lyrics or both that completely got me hooked on it.
  10. “The Clean Up Song” from Barney – please forgive me for this one. They play it at Funshop (a mommy & me play class), and it quickly became Parker’s go-to song. I have to admit that it gets the job done…he starts cleaning up every time I sing it, and better yet, he sings along.

I could probably keep going, but I’ll stop here for now. And maybe I won’t wait another four years to post an updated list ;) What songs are making YOU feel good right now? Share ’em in the comments!

{Guitars & Granola Bars} Episode 5

GGB Episode 5: Meryl Brown

Meryl and I met way back in the day, as grad students in the music therapy program at Illinois State University. We’ve served on the board of the Illinois Association for Music Therapy together, swapped business advice, and been a listening ear to each other when it comes to all things motherhood and work-life balance.

Meryl openly shares her struggle with postpartum depression, how she completely rebuilt her private practice after recovering, and the steps she took to successfully prevent PPD after the birth of her second daughter in Episode 5 of the Guitars & Granola Bars podcast.

Meryl's Photo Collage

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

iTunesClick here to subscribe on iTunes, or search “Guitars & Granola Bars” in the podcast app on your Apple device.
Subscribe on Stitcher
Click here to listen and subscribe on Stitcher, or download and search the app on your mobile device.