Day in the Life of a Music Therapist

Almost four years ago, I wrote about a day in my life as a music therapist, and it has since become one of my most-read posts. But a LOT has changed since then: at the time, I was employed full-time at The Hope Institute and working with private clients on a part-time basis. I thought it would be interesting to compare a day in the life back then to my current role as owner of a full-time private practice and mom to a young child.

I will preface this by telling you that no two days are exactly the same for me; every day of the week looks different from the others. Some days are spent primarily with my son Parker until I head to my office/studio to see students and clients, while others are packed with various work-related activities from start to finish.

Day in the Life of a Music Therapist

Tuesdays are more action-packed than most other days of the week, which I designed intentionally at the start of the fall when creating my schedule. On Mondays I ease into the week and gear up for the following day; Wednesdays and Thursdays are work-heavy but not as demanding as Tuesdays, and Fridays are my lightest. So without further ado, here is a “typical” Tuesday in my life.

5:30 am: My husband’s alarm goes off. He heads to the gym, while I hit the shower. This is my chance to get ready for the day before Parker wakes up and needs my full attention until I leave for work. While I’m doing my hair and makeup, I usually listen to a podcast episode or audiobook on my iPhone.

7:00 am: Give or take 30 minutes, Parker wakes up around this time every day. He is usually content to jabber in his crib for a little while before he gets antsy, at which point I go get him. After diaper duty and a quick morning reading session (the kid loves books), we head into the kitchen for breakfast. Many days, my husband will come home between the gym and work to feed Parker and play with him for a bit so I can finished getting ready and get my work stuff together.

8:00 am: Playtime with Parker. Sometimes we go downstairs to his playroom, while other days we bum around the living room or watch an episode of Sesame Street. This is the most quality time I’ll have with Parker all day, so I usually just follow his lead and let him choose our activities.

Playtime with Parker

9:00 am: Parker’s sitter arrives. I give him kisses and hugs and then head out the door.

9:10 am: I arrive at work (love my 5 minute commute!) and start setting up for my early childhood music class. I love this time, because it’s super quiet since I’m the only one there and I can get my head in the game before families start to arrive.

9:30 am: For the next 45 minutes, I sing and play with a room full of babies and toddlers and their caregivers. This is definitely one of the highlights of my work week.

Early Childhood Music Class

10:30 am: If I don’t have any pressing projects happening, I head home and relieve the sitter for lunch while Parker takes his morning nap. During this time, I usually do my practicing/planning for the afternoon, eat lunch, and work on administrative tasks.

12:00 pm: Parker wakes up from his nap, so I spend a few minutes with him until his sitter returns. At that point, I head back to my home office and dive into my daily to-do list, which usually includes bigger projects like songwriting, recording, podcast editing, etc.

2:15 pm: Off to work. My first student doesn’t arrive until 3, but I like to run through songs, set up for other students/clients, and return emails if I have a few spare minutes.

3:00 pm: From now until 7 pm, I see students and clients back to back. It’s an intense 4 hours, but it always flies by because my work is so varied. In any given day, I teach voice, guitar, piano, and provide music therapy.

7:15 pm: I meet my husband and son at home. He relieves our sitter at 6 and has dinner with Parker, and then we do bath and bedtime together. Eventually I hope to wrap up work earlier so that I can have dinner with my family, but for now, this arrangement works.

8:00 pm: Finally time to relax, but my work is not done yet! My husband and I usually watch an episode or two of a show on Netflix while I complete and send out my lesson and session notes for that day. If Zach has a late soccer game and I’m feeling particularly productive (which in all honestly doesn’t happen often at this hour) I’ll write a blog post, work on a song, or other creative project.

Working after hours

10:00 pm: I try to be in bed around this time every night, though realistically it’s closer to 11.

My day-to-day schedule has most definitely changed over the years — notice that I no longer hit the gym every morning at 5 am? (I’m lucky to make it there 3 times a week nowadays.) I’m sure if I were to write an updated post in another 4 years, it would not resemble this one. But that’s what life is all about, right? Always growing, constantly evolving.

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