Friday Fave: Music Pasta

Music Pasta

I consider myself quite lucky to provide music therapy and lessons to such an amazing bunch of students. The sweet, thoughtful gifts that many of them (along with their families) give me during the holidays are completely unnecessary, but always very much appreciated. And some are just too cool not to share with you!

Take, for example, music pasta. I am so giving this to my musician friends and family as a stocking stuffer next year. What a fun gift from one of my lovely voice students, Nicolette O. I told her that it was too neat to actually cook and eat, so maybe I’ll put it on display in my kitchen for visitors to ooh-and-aah over :)

I am so digging the music-themed presents — others have included ornaments, jewelry dishes, and gift cards to my favorite local music store — but like I said earlier, I don’t need or expect anything from my students and their families, especially anything lavish. In fact, one of my favorite gifts so far this year is a fabulous drawing by Henry H. Not only are my students generous, but they are multi-talented as well!

A Music Therapist’s Christmas Mix

Music Therapist's Christmas Mix

Yesterday in the comments of this post, music therapist extraordinaire Wade Richards shared that this year, he gave all of his students a CD of holiday tunes — including originals, classic favorites, and even some that his students had recorded.

I’ve given holiday CDs as gifts to my students in the past, though I’ve never thought to include the sweet sounds of my students or any of my original songs. I already have this year’s gift ready (more on that soon!) but if I were giving out a CD, here’s what my playlist would look like:

  1. “Go Tell It On the Mountain” (As sung by James Taylor)
  2. “The 12 Days of Christmas” (As sung by Grace T.)
  3. “Little Saint Nick” (As sung by She & Him)
  4. “The Other Eight Reindeer” (Listen & Learn Original)
  5. “Someday at Christmas” (As sung by Justin Bieber)
    Don’t judge before you listen…his Christmas album is actually very good!
  6. “Silent Night” (As sung by Matthew B.)
  7. “We Need a Little Christmas” (As sung by the cast of Glee)
  8. “Holiday Break” (Listen & Learn Original)
  9. “Sing” (As sung by Kristin Chenoweth)
  10. “Where Are You, Christmas?” (As sung by Chauntea M.)

Phew, that was tough! I could probably put together 10 more mixes that I like just as much as the one above, but I’ll spare you for now ;) However, if you are on Spotify and want to check out my “Happy Christmas!” playlist, you can do so here. I’ve been listening to it nonstop!

Which songs would you include on a mix for your students and clients, or even just your family, friends, or yourself?

To Gift, or Not to Gift…

Christmas Gifts for Students

Last year as a little holiday gift, I gave all my students music-themed ornaments. This year I’m going a different route, but I can’t reveal the details just yet since many of my students and their parents read my blog :) But I will say that I am hard at work on them this week.

Giving and receiving gifts is one of the topics Kimberly, Michelle and I will touch on this month over at Music Therapy Pro. We each have different viewpoints and issues to consider in our own practice — I think it’s obvious where I stand! But there are a few parameters I set for doing so:

  • Keep it inexpensive. This is a must, not only because I have almost 50 students, but also because I don’t want my students and their families to feel obligated to give me elaborate gifts (or anything at all!).
  • Keep it simple. Back when I had fewer students, I had the luxury of making crafty gifts for each student — and one year, even all of their siblings! That’s not the case anymore, so I try to stick to less work-intensive gifts.
  • Be consistent. For the most part, I choose a gift that I can give all of my students no matter their age or instrument. My music therapy client gifts do sometimes differ from the gifts I give students to whom I teach lessons.
  • Make it personal. Although the gifts may not be unique from student to student, I like to add a little note and gift tag to set each apart.

What is your stance on giving gifts to clients and students? And if you do go the gift-giving route, feel free to share the considerations you make for doing so, or better yet, gifts you have given. It’s never too early to start thinking about next year!

My Fave Holiday Music Memory (What’s Yours?)

Musical Holidays

This picture basically sums up my childhood (well, minus the ridiculous sweater and growing-out-the-bangs hairstyle) — me getting ready for yet another holiday performance, which my poor, tortured brother is forced to sit through. His face really says it all, don’t you think?

As much as he disliked them, those holiday performances were something I looked forward to every year. Christmas concerts, special church choir programs, elementary school tours with my high school show choir, Madrigal dinners while in grad school — I loved it all! And now that my students are telling me all about their own holiday musical performances, I’m getting a bit nostalgic.

I would have to say that my very favorite holiday music memory actually took place while wearing the outfit pictured above, as it was my “uniform” for 6th grade show choir performances that season. I had my very first solo ever — a few lines from the song “Let It Snow” — and boy, did I take them seriously! I’ve had much bigger and better solos since then, but will always remember my first fondly.

I’d love to hear about your own holiday music memories, whether it is one from your childhood or adulthood. Please share in the comments!

Sunday Singalong: Six White Boomers

I am pleased to welcome another special guest to the “Sunday Singalong” series: Michelle Erfurt! Michelle contacted me early Saturday morning, asking if she could share one of her favorite Christmas tunes here at Listen & Learn. And since I’m battling a particularly nasty cold and laryngitis, I was more than happy to oblige.

And what a fun song! I’d never heard it before, so now thanks to Michelle, I have another one to add to my ever-growing list. I’m looking forward to sharing some holiday songs myself in the coming weeks. Now if only my voice would return…then I’ll be all set to crank out a few videos before Christmas day (which, FYI, is exactly 3 weeks from now).

Pin It on Pinterest