I know I’m not alone in the fact that I am constantly forgetting this, and then being reminded of it every so often. Those of us in the music therapy or education field, particularly those who work with children, are so focused on how music can help our students and clients that we often lose sight of music’s role in our own lives. Most of us probably went into our profession because we were positively affected by the presence of music in our lives, and wanted to share that with others. At least, I know this was the case for me. Yet very rarely do I take the time now to listen to or write music for myself.

Very recently, I experienced one of those aforementioned “reminders”. I’ve really liked Ingrid Michaelson, an indie singer-songwriter, ever since her song “The Way I Am” was made famous in an Old Navy commercial (if you are chilly, here, take my sweater…). I checked out some of her other songs, but sort of forgot about her until recently, when her album Everybody was released. I purchased it on iTunes, and burned it to a CD so that I could listen to it in the car.

Well that was two weeks ago, and I haven’t stopped listening. I really identify with several songs on the CD, particularly the title track. It’s usually the last song I listen to before I get to school, and today I realized how refreshed I felt, how inspired, just by hearing that song. It was a familiar feeling; I’m easily moved by music when I actually take the time to listen. But that is the key – taking the time to really listen, and discover which music is a positive influence on our lives, our work, our sanity.

It’s hard to take off my music therapy hat. In fact, I think it’s glued to my head! After I finish my last session or lesson of the night, I think to myself, “What song could I write to help Susie with (insert goal here)?”. A blessing that I love my job so much, but at the same time, a curse that I have a difficult time walking away from it, separating the “music” from “music therapy” every once in a while.

What music do you listen to for yourself? I’m very interested in hearing about the musical outlets that you seek outside the realm of therapy, education, and parenting, so please share.