Shaping a Session for Success

Shaping a Music Therapy Session for Success | Listen & Learn Music

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!

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How to Survive Your First Year as a New Professional

How to Survive Your First Year as a New Professional Music Therapist | Listen & Learn Music

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.

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4 Keys to Communicating with Children

4 Keys to Communicating with Children | Listen & Learn Music

When working with young children, it can sometimes be difficult to understand what they are trying to tell you. Whether that is because their language skills are still developing, their speech isn’t quite intelligible yet, or because other modes of communication are preferred, we need to make sure we are doing all that we can to communicate effectively with our students and clients. 

There are many ways in which we can adapt our methods so that we can communicate with children of any age and a variety of needs. Below, I’ve listed a few strategies that I utilize in my music therapy sessions and music classes. I’ve also included a song from the Listen & Learn Music collection that makes use of each communication strategy.

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Keeping Caregivers Engaged in the Music

Engaging Parents and Caregivers in Music Class or Music Therapy | Listen & Learn Music

Parents and caregivers often attend music classes and music therapy sessions, and although those classes and sessions are not for them, their presence so important to the progress and growth of our clients and students. 

It’s always important to engage everyone in the room through the music, and unfortunately sometimes the adults get forgotten. But parents and caregivers are more likely to engage with their children and return to music class and music therapy sessions if they are also playing instruments, singing along, and dancing.

Over the years, I’ve learned a few things that can help keep everybody engaged during music class or music therapy!

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DIY Cupcake Shakers + A Song for Shaking Along

DIY Cupcake Shakers for Children | Listen & Learn Music

How innovative are you when it comes to instruments for music classes, music therapy, and classroom use? Well, I can tell you I’m not even a fraction as innovative as my colleague at Music Therapy Connections, Becky Waddell.

About a month ago, Becky sent me a Slack message: “I picked up tiny cupcakes that I’m turning into shakers for one of my classes if you get an itch to write a song about cupcakes! Ha!”

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#Goals (and When to Reassess)

Setting and Reassessing Music Therapy Goals | Listen & Learn Music

Summer is usually a pretty laid-back time at my private practice, Music Therapy Connections. However, summer 2019 is a MAJOR exception to this rule, as it has been quite the whirlwind so far.

At the end of May, we welcomed a new music therapy intern, Emma, and then just a couple weeks later, we welcomed a new full-time music therapist, Molly. Then, one week after that, our long-time music therapist, Alisabeth, left us to have her baby.

So as you can imagine, there has been an overload of new client intake, new contracts beginning, and current clients being reassigned to different music therapists. Thankfully, we are at tail end of this shuffle, and now the real work begins.

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