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.
The last time I posted here, COVID-19 was barely a blip on my radar. My family boarded a plane on March 5, and we spent the next 5 days in Marco Island, Florida. While we were there, we made sure to be very careful about washing our hands often, not touching our face, and wiping down surfaces with Clorox wipes…but otherwise, everything seemed normal.
It was when we arrived at the airport to go home on March 10 that we realized things were changing. We saw lots of people wearing masks in the airport, and there was a general feeling of caution all around us. That only grew once we got back into our regular routine, and by the end of the week, my children’s school was closed indefinitely and we were told to stay home.
When I first started writing my own songs, I was working with children and young adults ages 0-22 in both the school and private practice settings. Not only did I want my songs to be effective tools for my students and clients, but I wanted them to appeal to the caregivers who were present in sessions, as well.
From the very beginning, my goal has been for my songs to transcend age ranges and developmental levels, but little did I know that many of them would also work well with older adults, too. It wasn’t until I started leading sessions in a senior living facility a couple years ago that I realized this was the case.
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!