Stress-Free Session Planning

Stress-Free Session Planning
During my first year as a music therapist, I was just trying to get my footing (can you relate?). Whenever I felt like I didn’t know what to do or was stuck, I would start hunting for resources, songs, or interventions…and I always came back to Listen & Learn Music.

When searching for materials, I’d come across great music, but I often couldn’t find a lead sheet or even lyric sheets. I had so much work to do, I didn’t always have time to type out lyrics and figure out every chord. That was the biggest reason I became Listen & Learn Plusmember.

Instead of searching and finally finding a song, having to track down lyrics, figure out chords, and then adapt it for my needs, I had everything at my fingertips when I turned to Listen & Learn Music.

Even better, once I downloaded the Dropbox app onto my phone and iPad, I could search through the different categories, such as emotions, seasons, cognitive skills, or movement, and find the right song for my purpose.

After I built up a wide repertoire of L&L songs addressing lots of goals with lots of instruments, I started branching out and learning songs with seasonal and holiday themes. Yep, there are categories in the Dropbox folder for that too!

Right about the time that I was feeling really comfortable with lots of seasonal songs, using so many instruments, and addressing a wide variety of goals, a position to work for Listen & Learn Music opened up. Since then, Rachel and I have been busy worker bees, making sure that all members of Listen & Learn Plus are squeezing every ounce of potential out of all of the resources available to them.

So, let me tell you about the new and exciting things we’ve been working on!

Song Directory | Listen & Learn Music

The song directory is a real game changer. Looking for a song that targets a specific goal, such as crossing midline? Check out the directory! Need a song that utilizes a specific instrument? The directory can help! The Listen & Learn Music song directory can guide you towards the right songs, with links to the Dropbox files you’ll need.

A super cool new addition to Listen & Learn Music is facilitation guides! They’re basically a “how-to” for each song. Each facilitation guide lays out the goals targeted, the materials needed, the steps to take for each intervention, and a few adaptations for each song.

Facilitation Guides | Listen & Learn Music

My favorite feature of the facilitation guides is the adaptations, and that each guide details which goals can be targeted. I just love thinking about different ways to use each song, and I’m sure that everyone who reads them has different and amazing ideas. Hopefully, the adaptations can be a springboard for your own creativity when utilizing songs from the catalog.

Another new addition to Listen & Learn Music is monthly session plans! Every month, a new monthly session plan complete with recordings, lead sheets, and facilitations guides is released. This is perfect for anyone who has limited time, is just starting out in his or her career, or is just looking for a repertoire refresher.

Monthly Session Plans | Listen & Learn Music

The monthly session plans have been a huge help to me. When leading early childhood music classes, it can be very beneficial for parents and children to hear and sing several of the same songs each month. Moms, dads, and grandparents can sing along and make strong connections with the special child in their life, and the monthly session plans have helped me to establish my “theme of the month”.

These new elements of Listen & Learn Music are seriously so cool. By now, you all know that I am a hardcore L&L fan, and I am fan-girling over all of these additions. This incredible resource just got even better with the song directory, facilitation guides, and monthly session plans!

Tell me in the comments: how has Listen & Learn Music enriched your practice?

{10 Years of L&L} Upleveling in Year 11

Kicking Off Year 11 | Listen & Learn Music

After 10 days of looking back on the history of Listen & Learn Music, I couldn’t end this party without a little talk about the future around here. We’re officially into Year 11, and its off to the best possible start.

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{10 Years of L&L} Year 10: 2017

L&L Turns 10 - Year 10 | Listen & Learn Music

I can say with 100% certainty that Year 10 has been my favorite chapter in Listen & Learn’s story thus far. For the first time ever, it has played a role equal to Music Therapy Connections in my professional life, and I’ve found a beautiful balance between the two. I’m more confident in my songwriting than I’ve ever been before, and I appreciate the difference my music has made in others’ lives on a whole new level.

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{10 Years of L&L} Year 9: 2016

L&L Turns 10 - Year 9 | Listen & Learn Music

It was during Year 9 that I finally came up for air and regained a bit more balance in my life. My daughter started part-time daycare, meaning I had more hours in my day to get back to the part of my work I missed most: writing and recording songs.

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Listen & Learn Music: Making My Life Easier Since 2015

Listen & Learn Music: A Resource for Music Therapists

This blog post is by Cacia King, MT-BC, a board-certified music therapist who joined the team here at Listen & Learn Music after years as a reader and Listen & Learn Plus member. Thank you, Cacia, for sharing how you have benefited from L&L resources in your first few years of practice! 

I have a clear memory of the first time a colleague told me about Listen & Learn Music. I was about to take on one of my first school contracts and would be working with lots of small children. I had a pretty solid repertoire, but I wanted more resources, more songs, and especially, a different spin on the same goals.

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