I haven’t written a “Friday Fave” post in over nine months, but I’m bringing it back today for good reason. Please do your ears a favor and check out my friend Erin Ebnet’s gorgeous debut full-length album, May You Find.
I met Erin, a fellow music therapist, at the 2012 AMTA national conference in St. Charles. She was familiar with my website and knew that I was a gigging singer/songwriter, so we bonded over that and continued to talk via email following the conference. Erin filled me in on her album’s progress, and when it was finished, I had the opportunity to hear it.
Erin’s voice is what will pull you in initially — it’s stunning — but then her songwriting will keep you listening. The first song on the album is catchy and upbeat, and if you’re like me you’ll find yourself humming along almost immediately. What I love about the album is that it spans a wide range of emotions; by the end of it, Erin will feel like a friend who just shared her stories with you.
You can listen, read more, and order the album on Erin’s website. Be sure also to check out her Facebook page, too. And last but not least, YAY for music therapists pursuing their performing/songwriting/recording aspirations. I’m inspired!
I was on the elliptical machine at the gym listening to Pandora a couple of weeks ago when this song popped up (on the Rihanna channel of all places!). The title was “What Can I Do? (But Love You)” and I was shocked to realize that the singer was Joy Williams from The Civil Wars, one of my very favorite groups.
I immediately downloaded the song from iTunes and listened to the entire EP nonstop for a couple of weeks, and then decided that I wanted to learn to play that first song that had caught my ear at the gym. Unfortunately, the sheet music was nowhere to be found…I couldn’t even find the chords. So I learned it by ear instead.
It’s been a long while since I sat down and played music for myself. By that, I mean music that isn’t new repertoire for my students or for a gig, but purely for my enjoyment. So it felt really good to learn and practice this song, under no pressure or time constraints whatsoever. After a couple days of playing, I decided to record it.
My recording is definitely far from perfect, but the best part is that it doesn’t have to be, since it’s just for me :) Spending the time learning and playing this song was an excellent reminder that I need to do more of this. It’s good for my inner musician and good for the soul!
Tim Ringgold is a music therapist in California with an amazing story to tell. But if you watched the video above, you know that already.
I met Tim a few years back at an AMTA national conference, and we’ve kept in touch ever since via social media, email, and seeing each other once a year at conferences. I’ve been reading his blog, Bella’s Blessings, which has chronicled his family’s journey since his daughter was born with a rare skin disease called Epidermolysis Bullosa, or EB. Though currently there is no cure for EB, Bella took place in a clinical trial at the University of Minnesota where through Bone Marrow Transplantation, she grew her sister’s skin on her body over time. Unfortunately, she died from complications of transplant on October 11, 2010.
Tim has been raising money to find a cure for EB, and he’s also been busy spreading the word about the power of music therapy. His video has been watched almost 5,000 times, and now it has the chance to be featured on the official TED.com website. If that happens, it would be the FIRST ever TED talk about music therapy.
Please watch the video if you haven’t already, and then share it with your friends and family. This is a story that should be heard by everyone!
Okay, so this post is a little more personal than usual, but this is my most frequently asked question both personally AND professionally as of late. Everywhere I go, people — my students, their parents, fellow therapists, perfect strangers — want to know: are you having a boy or a girl?
The answer is inside of that envelope, and even I don’t know what it says yet! The only people who know are the sonographer who did my ultrasound this morning and the person who is decorating the cake for our big reveal tonight. In just a few short hours, we’ll know whether to buy pink or blue!
The most IMPORTANT news is that the baby looked perfectly healthy and is developing beautifully, according to my doctor. My husband and I were so thankful to hear that and to get another look at our little Junebug, who is now at the halfway point to being born. Only 20 weeks to go!
If you want to keep up with my pregnancy (and growing baby bump pics!) on a regular basis, check out our family blog, www.TheRambachs.com.
Three times a year, I spend the good part of a week preparing for my early childhood music class, Church Mice. The winter session begins on Sunday, so I’ve been busy this week writing and recording several new songs, burning CDs, and sending out reminders.
I’ve been leading this class for the last 6 years, and it is one of my very favorite parts of my job. Working with little kids (ages 0-4) is so much fun…there is never a dull moment in these 45-minute classes. We play instruments, read stories, and of course, do lots of singing and dancing.
It’s always interesting to watch the interaction between the little ones and the older students — many of those older students started attending when they were just babies and toddlers themselves! This will be the first session since finding out I’m pregnant, so I’m sure I’ll be imagining my own child and husband sitting in the circle with the other kids and their parents :)
There are lots of early childhood music classes in my town, and while I’m a fan of the more structured curricula like Kindermusik and Music Together, I love having the freedom of planning my own classes and using my own songs and activities for Church Mice. I will probably still be teaching this class when I am old and gray…ha!
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.