After weeks on end focused on writing my book, taking a break to put together the November session plan was a breath of fresh air. As much as I’ve loved the writing process, it will be nice to get back to the music sooner than later.
I always look forward to singing Thanksgiving songs with my kiddos, and had to hold back from overloading next month’s session plan with them. Of course, you’re always welcome to add more if you love this season’s repertoire as much as I do!
Creating the perfect session is a true art form. There are moments of high energy, pure peace, genuine connection, and of course, musical goal-oriented fun! The perfect session ebbs and flows, and has a natural progression that keeps all of the students and clients engaged throughout the music therapy session or music class.
I’d like to think that I have become a session-shaping master, and over the years, I’ve come up with a system that has worked really well for me. I hope it can be helpful for you, too!
A little over 4 years ago, Music Therapy Connections (my private practice and music studio) found a new home at 1234 Centre West Drive. My co-owner Katey and I were convinced it was meant to be when we first took a tour of the building; the layout was absolutely perfect for our needs.
Not only was the layout perfect, but so was the location. Our families commented on how convenient it was, and it also happens to be the exact midpoint between Katey’s house and mine. It’s also right down the street from our bank, Walgreens, and Starbucks (you know, the essentials!).
For the first two years, we shared the building with an eye doctor clinic until they moved out, leaving the other half of the building vacant ever since. It’s been nice having the common restrooms and parking lot all to ourselves, but our current landlord listed the building for sale, so we worried a day would come when a new owner would want our space for his or her own use.
I love incorporating seasonal themes into my music therapy sessions and music classes, and autumn is a special time of year where there are so many choices for themes to bring into my work! A few of my favorites are back to school, foliage, apples, Halloween, Thanksgiving, and of course, pumpkins!
With the incredible number of songs about pumpkins in the Listen & Learn Music catalog, it’s about time I wrote about all the ways we can bring the theme of pumpkins into music therapy sessions and music classes. Below, I’m highlighting my favorite pumpkin-themed songs!
As I shared with you at the beginning of September, I’ve been prioritizing self-care this month (with no plans to stop doing so anytime soon). To be completely honest, this has been easier said than done; I have a LOT on my plate right now, and at times it is temping to let my self-care practices slide in favor of completing other to-dos on my list.
I’m thankful that I was able to take part in Ami Kunimura’s 5-Day Self-Care Challenge this week, which provided me with support and accountability as I focused on practicing self-care. The daily videos and exercises helped me dive deeper into why self-care is so essential in my life right now, and I loved getting to hear from the other challenge participants as they shared their insights each day.
Many of you expressed the need to prioritize self-care in your own lives right now, which is why I am so excited to share that enrollment for Ami’s 31-credit CMTE experience, RESILIENCE OVER BURNOUT: A SELF-CARE PROGRAM, is open now.
My son’s favorite day of the entire year is Halloween, and for months now, I’ve been telling him it’s too early to start decorating, watching spooky shows, and picking out his costume. He saw me writing this post, though, and the first thing he noticed was the jack-o-lantern graphic…guess I can’t get away with those excuses any longer!
While Halloween may not be my favorite holiday, I do enjoy bringing out my October repertoire because these songs are always such a hit with my young students and clients. There are so many ways to weave developmental goal targeting into the seasonal themes related to this time of year.
Being a new professional isn’t easy. I remember those days vaguely…mostly because I wasn’t sleeping very much and working super hard for my new clients and students.
Right now, many music therapists and music teachers are getting into the swing of their first school year, so I felt inspired to pass on some of the wisdom I learned while in their shoes, braving the world as a new professional.
This is my 4-year-old daughter, Mia Belle. I couldn’t help but take her photo before she headed to soccer practice earlier this week, mostly to capture the unique outfit she had carefully curated just for the occasion.
If you know me in real life, then most likely you’ve heard the dramatic tales of our daily battles to get dressed and ready for school each morning. To put it lightly, Mia Belle is…selective when it comes to her clothes.
She wakes up with a strong opinion about what to wear that day, completely disregarding whether or not it is appropriate for the weather or situation (e.g. the sparkly bracelet, long plastic beaded earrings, and Superman headband she’s wearing in the pre-soccer photo).
I used to let her stubbornness get to me, and our morning struggle put me in a funk nearly every day. But recently I decided to loosen my grip, because I finally saw what was really happening here. She wasn’t purposely trying to antagonize me; she simply wanted to express herself.
Now that we’re all back into our school year groove, it’s time to jump into the first theme of the school year: FALL!
Ah, fall: that magical time of year when all of the leaves change colors, we go apple picking, take trips to the pumpkin patch, pull out all of our cozy sweaters…I could go on, but you get the picture! I like to bring seasonal and holiday themes into my music therapy sessions and music classes in order to change up my repertoire while still remaining goal-oriented.
Self-care is a term that you hear a LOT, especially if you work in a helping profession. Before I started taking my overall well-being really seriously, I laughed off self-care and the stereotypical activities associated with it — taking a bubble bath, getting a massage, etc.
However, not prioritizing self-care has led to some really unfortunate and even scary situations, including going into early labor during my second pregnancy. I’ve experienced several bouts of professional burnout as well, each of which I’ve attributed to a lack of self-care.
During this month of September, taking care of my mental, emotional and physical health is even higher on my priority list than usual. My family is adjusting to the new school year, my husband and I are buying a building (more on that soon!), my private practice is in a season of expansion, and I’m in the middle of writing a book.
So…yeah, self-care is essential right now.
We all have our own definitions, ideas, and maybe even misconceptions of what self-care looks like, so I’m going to share what it is for me at this moment in time and how it’s having a positive effect on my life.
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.
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!
Let’s Be Friends
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