{It’s Here!} A Look Inside the Introvert’s Guide

The Introvert's Guide to Thriving in an Extroverted Career

Well, this cartoon basically sums up my entire professional life. Every single day, I push outside of my comfort zone in order to be the best music therapist and business owner that I can be, even when I’m feeling completely spent.

If your work day is anything like mine, it probably includes facilitating sessions, teaching classes, leading groups, interacting with client families, speaking with colleagues, networking with other professionals, and attending work-related events. Add to all those face-to-face interactions the inevitable emails, social media exchanges, and phone calls, and I’m 100% “peopled out” by the end of the day (if not sooner).

I absolutely love my career, and couldn’t imagine doing anything else. But I will admit that it’s been a steep learning curve, becoming good at my job, given the fact that I am a total introvert. I’ve had to challenge myself with uncomfortable and sometimes downright scary situations in order to grow as a music therapist, and after 10 years, I finally feel like I have insight to offer fellow introverts who also experience similar professional challenges.

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A Labor of Love

The Introvert's Guide: A Labor of Love

It seems fitting that I decided to release The Introvert’s Guide to Thriving in an Extroverted Career the day after Labor Day. When I committed to creating this course earlier in the summer, I didn’t realize what an undertaking it would be.

While I’ve created many courses in the past, none have required the amount of focus, vulnerability, and transparency that this one has. But I knew that in order for it to be truly beneficial to my fellow introverts, I needed to tell my own story as openly and honestly as possible. That meant sharing my shortcomings, failures, and hard lessons learned throughout the course of my life and career.

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One Last Summer Hurrah

Mom and Kids at the Beach

This has been one of the most chill summers my family’s ever had. Aside from a few performances and work-related obligations, my weekends were free and clear to spend at the pool or just hanging out at home, and I loved it. Slowing down summer was the best idea ever.

But we did plan one quick getaway to celebrate the end of the season: a trip to Florida that was anything but slow. No, the Rambachs don’t do slow while on vacation, thanks to my husband who likes to plan everything down to the hour.

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10 Years of MT-BC

10 Years of MT-BC

July 2007 was a good month. I got engaged to my now-husband, and then just a few days later, passed the board certification exam to become an official board-certified music therapist. This photo was taken the following month — the earliest one I have in a work setting with those four letters (MT-BC) behind my name.

These past 10 years have been full of learning, growing, and stretching myself in ways I never though possible. I thought it would be fun to take a little trip down memory lane, highlighting my music therapy journey from the beginning to where I am now.

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8 Songs for Rhythm Sticks

Rhythm Sticks Songs for Children

Rhythm sticks are a go-to instrument in our music therapy sessions and classes. They’re not colorful and interesting-looking like some of our other instruments, but they are super versatile and can address so many important skills.

Another benefit of rhythm sticks is that they’re inexpensive, so we always have enough on hand to that everyone can play at the same time, no matter how big our group. We buy these in bulk.

Since we use our rhythm sticks so often, I’m constantly writing new songs specifically for them. It’s been awhile since I shared a song round-up, so here are 8 of my favorite stick tunes for working with children.

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The 5 Second Rule

The 5-Second Rule by Mel Robbins

Recently I was having a FaceTime conversation with my friend Jocelyn, when she mentioned this audiobook to which she had been listening. “It’s called The 5 Second Rule,” she said, which immediately brought to mind the rule that dropped food is acceptable for consumption as long as you pick it up within 5 seconds. #momlife

But then Jocelyn went on to explain the basic premise of the book: that you can get yourself to take action on any task by counting backwards from 5. I liked the concept, but I was confused as to how it warranted an entire book. Despite my skepticism, I used one of my Audible credits to download the audiobook version, and stated listening after we hung up the phone.

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“Since When Are You an Introvert?”

Introvert | Listen & Learn Music

It was my dad, of all people, who asked me this question just the other day.

“But how can you be an introvert? You’ve been performing in front of people your whole life. That doesn’t seem very introverted to me.”

That’s when I had to debunk the common misconception that being an introvert means being shy and uncomfortable around other people. I explained to my dad that while I have no problem getting up on a stage and singing, it’s the interaction with many people before and after that completely drains me and necessitates time alone to recharge afterwards.

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How We Maxed Out Our Summer Music Classes

Scarves in Early Childhood Music Class

When we first started offering early childhood and preschool music classes, there were 2 options: a morning class and an evening class. And before every session, I worried that we wouldn’t have enough families sign up, and we would have to cancel a class.

Thankfully that never happened, although there were plenty of sessions with small class sizes throughout those first few months. But with each session, we learned what worked (and what didn’t) when it came to filling classes. Over the last two years, we have consistently filled 5 different classes per session — a huge feat considering where we started.

Before our summer session began this week, my business partner Katey and I set specific goals for class registration numbers. We aimed high because we love a good challenge, and then we came up with a plan to meet those goals.

Katey and I had a little emoji party on Monday after I texted her that not only had we achieved those pie-in-the-sky registration numbers, but we had actually exceeded them with a waitlist for several of the classes. What the what?!

I would love to share with you our specific strategies for maxing out this session of early childhood and preschool music classes, because I know the struggle all too well.

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Sometimes Business Ownership is Dreamy

Sometimes Business Ownership is Dreamy

Most days, being a business owner is far from glamorous. The majority of my work is done from home, sitting at my desk in front of the computer, balanced out with a few hours of music therapy sessions, music classes, and meetings throughout the week.

I’m definitely not complaining; as an introvert, this was the ideal work life I envisioned for myself all those years ago when I became a full-time business owner. But every once in a while, I have those days away from my desk that remind me how rewarding and fun business ownership can be.

Today was one of those days.

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The Favorite Song Challenge

Favorite Song Challenge

Can I tell you how excited I am about this week!? We’re getting ready to host Music Therapy Connections’ annual Favorite Song Singalong, which is a free event for families with young children.

The Singalong, which will be held on both Tuesday morning and Wednesday evening, features a variety of our favorite songs (both original and traditional) that we’ve included in music classes over the last year.

One of the reasons I love this event so much is that it allows us to welcome in many new families from the community who haven’t attended our classes before. We also get to see our “regulars” — a big treat since we’ve been on break for the last month.

Add to that the opportunity to share my favorite songs, play our favorite instruments, and make music with lots of excited kiddos…well, it’s basically the recipe for an awesome time.

As I was working on the details of the event this past week, I thought, why not bring a similar concept to Listen & Learn Music? Except instead of sharing only MY favorite songs, I want to hear YOURS. Enter the Favorite Song Challenge.

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