Life has felt pretty heavy lately. We’re nearing the six-month mark of the COVID-19 pandemic, which means it’s been almost six months since my kids were in school, I was able to do my job as it is meant to be done, we’ve been able to travel…the list goes on and on.
And now that the upcoming school year is upon us, we’re facing hard decisions that will determine what our lives will look like in the second half of this insane year. There is bad news every day, the state of our current government is terrifying, and everything is uncertain.
I’ve also been listening to Taylor Swift’s new album folklore on repeat, which — as INCREDIBLE as it is — doesn’t do much in the way of lifting my spirits. It’s a work of art, but it is a moody and contemplative work of art that has definitely elicited some tears.
All of that to say: I was in dire need of some serious self-care this weekend. That meant *finally* getting some alone time (since during the week while my husband is at work, I’m with my children for 10+ hours/day), and using the first few minutes of said alone time to create a fresh playlist.
This is the first week all summer that I haven’t led any virtual early childhood/preschool music groups, and I have to say, I’m experiencing a bit of withdrawal. As excited as I was to have a break, I miss seeing those adorable faces on my computer screen, singing and playing along with me.
I’m looking forward to more virtual classes in the fall, but in the meantime, I decided to create a “Best of Summer 2020” music class video not just for my summer families, but for anyone who might enjoy and benefit from it.
This summer has looked very different than I had initially planned, as I’m sure is also true for you. In a normal, non-pandemic world, my kids would be busy with various summer camps and spend one full day each week with their babysitter so that I would have dedicated work time…but this is not a normal, non-pandemic world at the moment.
Instead, the 3 of us have spent each and every day together, mostly at home with some pool days thrown in to keep us all sane. That of course translates into me not getting as much work done (like, barely even a fraction of it) as I had originally hoped, but I’m giving myself grace — as we all should during the year 2020.
That said, I have managed to write and record a few new tunes, as well as breathed new life into a good handful of songs I wrote in my earlier professional years. You can check out all of the latest songs over in the store, but I wanted to feature 3 of them here for you. Hopefully you can get some use out of them as we enter the last full month of summer!
What does August have in store for you? Are you continuing virtual services, preparing to return to in-person classrooms and groups, or a combination of both? As for me, I am wrapping up my summer session of virtual music classes, getting ready to reopen Music Therapy Connections for in-person 1:1 services next week, and waiting with bated breath to hear what school will look like for my children.
I still don’t know when my groups and classes will go back to being held in-person, but I’m guessing that won’t happen anytime soon. That is why I’m continuing to create session plans that are flexible and can work both virtually and in physical proximity.
What better way to end my favorite month of the year than by giving away one of my favorite instruments?! I’m SUPER excited to be teaming up with Kala Brand Music Co., Music Therapy Ed, Music Therapy Memes, and Music for Kiddos to give away not 1, but 4 Kala Waterman ukuleles.
The giveaway ends at 12 pm ET on Tuesday, so make sure to enter ASAP! We’ll be announcing the 4 winners (one per music therapy account) on Wednesday at 12 pm ET. See you on Instagram…and I hope YOU win!
As my team navigates the conversation of how and when to open Music Therapy Connections for in-person services, I’m curious about how this process is unfolding for other music therapists, educators, and professionals. There are so many factors to take into consideration, especially with research showing that singing is considered a “super-spreader” activity.
My groups and classes won’t be resuming in-person until at least the fall, which is why I’m continuing to create session plans that are flexible and can work both virtually and in physical proximity. As has been the case since March, all of my songs, recordings and resources are fair game for use and adaptation as you provide services, and hopefully the July session plan will be helpful as we head into the next month.
Summer officially begins in just a few days, and yes, we are still virtual. As much as I had hoped that the physical doors of my studio and music therapy private practice, Music Therapy Connections, would be open by now, they are not. The safety of our team and families is our #1 priority, and the risk of COVID-19 still remains too high to resume in-person services.
So we will continue teaching lessons and facilitating music therapy sessions virtually, as well as holding our music classes via livestream. After a 10-week virtual spring music class session, I enjoyed a glorious two week break (during which I celebrated both of my children’s birthdays as well as my own!)…but now it’s time to get back into the swing.
Today is a big day in my house. It’s the LAST day of school!!! Like so many others, we’ve spent the last two months working and learning from home, and it’s been a challenge, to say the least. We’re all excited to have a break from schoolwork and just enjoy the summer.
Of course, teletherapy sessions and livestream classes will continue even though the school year is coming to a close, and I will be sharing monthly session plans throughout the summer.
As a reminder, all of my songs, recordings and resources are fair game for use and adaptation as you provide virtual services, and hopefully the June session plan will be helpful in the weeks to come.
Words and melodies have, for the most part, eluded me over the past 6 weeks. The best I could muster was an adaptation of Maggie Rogers’ “Give A Little” for bells, which I used in my livestream classes recently, but otherwise…nothing.
And then last Friday, our governor announced that all schools in Illinois are closed for the remainder of the school year. Even though I was 100% expecting this news, it hit me hard. I still haven’t told my kids, who are only 4 and 6…young enough to be content at home, but old enough to love and miss their school, teachers, and friends. Needless to say, the rollercoaster my emotions have been on plunged downward.
That night, I sat down with my guitar, and all these lyrics came pouring out, along with a melody to go with them. “It’s Okay Not To Be Okay” was the result, and I want to share it with you if you need a reminder of this message as much as I do.
It’s hard to fathom the thought of starting another month while still sheltering in place, but it’s looking very likely. For many of us, the show will still go on with teletherapy sessions, livestreams, Zoom meetings, or whatever online method you are using to connect with your students and/or clients.
As I shared at the beginning of the COVID-19 crisis, all of my songs, recordings and resources are fair game for use and adaptation as you provide virtual services, and hopefully the May session plan will be helpful in the weeks to come.
Welcome! I’m Rachel Rambach, board-certified music therapist and creator of Listen & Learn Music — educational songs and musical materials for children. I love sharing my work with you, along with my behind-the-scenes creative process, adventures in business ownership, and life as a mom of two little ones.
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Next month’s music therapy sessions, early childhood groups, or classroom music…planned for you in advance.
Click the image below for this free resource and song collection!