To Memorize or NOT to Memorize Repertoire?

To Memorize or NOT to Memorize Repertoire? | Listen & Learn Music
I always keep my music next to me in my Listen & Learn classes.

Memorizing repertoire can be a daunting task. For some people, it is incredibly difficult to do. It is time consuming. You may not even be sure if those around you care or benefit from the music being memorized or not. It can be an internal battle when deciding whether to memorize a song or not.

When teaching classes and providing music therapy sessions, memorization of pieces can be crucial to the success of an experience, or it could really not matter in the grand scheme of things. Throughout my week, I utilize three different methods: memorization, having my music off to the side, and putting the music on a stand in front of me. 

Here is what I consider when deciding which setup to use.


A Music Therapist’s New Year’s Resolution {2020 Edition}

A new decade is here, and with that, new exciting challenges and opportunities are upon us. Last year, I resolved to learn or write a new song every week. I’m not sure I quite accomplished my goal, but I learned so many songs and wrote quite a handful too!

In 2019, I finished my master’s degree, started a new job, began working with older adults, and began teaching at the collegiate level. Who knows what will happen in 2020, but my professional goal is clear: I want to remain focused on my students’ and clients’ goals. 


My Word for 2020

2020 Word of the Year | Rachel Rambach | Listen & Learn Music

I have mixed emotions about leaving 2019 behind. It was a great year on so many levels both personally and professionally, but it was also a year filled with more “hustle” and less “self-care” than I’d like to admit.

My word for 2019 was CREATE, and that I did. My big goal for the year was to write a book, and I accomplished that goal with over a month to spare. Writing Innovative Income for Music Therapists was anything but easy, though, and when I reflect on the past year, the difficulty of that process is at the forefront.


The Miracle Morning

Miracle Morning

For most of my adult life, I’ve been a morning person. Up until my son was born, I started every weekday with a workout, followed by coffee and a couple solid hours of productive work. I loved my morning routine, and I really did try to get back into it post-baby. But the lack of sleep that first year (thanks to said baby!) made it nearly impossible, and I fell into the habit of sleeping until he woke up.

However, recently I’ve been setting my alarm and taking advantage of those early morning hours while the house is still quiet. My son is a wonderful sleeper now, and since baby #2 will be here in just a couple of months, I figured I better take advantage of this short window of time.

I listened to the audio version of Hal Elrod’s book, The Miracle Morning: The Not-So-Obvious Secret Guaranteed to Transform Your Life (Before 8 am), which further motivated me to make the most of my mornings. And while I don’t employ all of the components of his miracle morning routine, I’ve adopted many of the tips in the book.

I’m definitely noticing a positive difference in my mood and overall well-being on the days I wake up early, not to mention a huge increase in my productivity levels. My biggest complaint in life is that there just aren’t enough hours in the day, but creating my own “miracle morning” is at least a start to solving that problem.

Someday — maybe in a year or so when I have (fingers crossed!) two good little sleepers — I would love to craft my mornings as outlined in the book, which would include exercise, journaling, meditation, and reading. But for now, having some extra time to tackle my to-do list while my brain is still fresh seems to be just what I need.

Are you a morning person, and if so, how do you spend those early hours? And if you’re not, maybe reading The Miracle Morning will inspire you the way it re-inspired me.

Sidenote: this isn’t a sponsored post. I just really enjoyed the book and wanted to share the positive impact it has had on my life.

My Favorite (Non-MT) Podcasts

My Favorite Podcasts

You’d think that I would have gotten into podcasts a lot time ago, considering I’ve been co-hosting one for over 5 years now. But aside from checking out the other great music therapy-related shows* out there, I never really took the time to explore the wide world of podcasts.

Until I had a baby. And expanded my business shortly thereafter. It was then I realized if I wanted to consume any media outside of scrolling quickly through my Facebook feed, I would need to figure out how to do it while multitasking. Podcasts were the perfect solution, because I could listen while I exercise, get ready in the morning, drive, clean up the house, and so on.

Here are some of the podcasts I never miss. I would love for you to add your favorites in the comments!

  • Being Boss – a podcast for creative entrepreneurs. This is a relatively new podcast hosted by two women who own their own businesses, and are also moms. They cover lots of relatable topics like work-life balance, daily routines, marketing, gaining new clients, online presence, etc.
  • Elise Gets Crafty – a podcast covering such topics as blogging, business, creativity, inspiration and motivation. Elise Blaha Cripe is the host and a creative “maker” who interviews a different guest each week. I have learned a lot about small business and just being a creative professional in general.
  • Creative Start – I’m always so interested in learning how people came to be in their creative careers, which is why I am enjoying this podcast so much. It’s inspiring to hear others’ journeys, and how they overcome various obstacles to pursue their passions.
  • The Lively Show – I’ve been following Jess Lively for YEARS, and was so excited when she launched her podcast, which is all about living life with intention. She interviews guests about how they live their lives with intention, and I always feel so motivated at the end of each episode.
  • The Sarah R. Bagley Podcast – I’m a self-admitted perfectionist, so this podcast, all about “recovering” from perfectionism, is right up my alley. Sarah interviews a different guest each week about their struggles with perfectionism and how they have managed to overcome it.
  • Online Marketing Made Easy – As a small business owner, marketing is something I have no choice but to do. I actually really enjoy it, especially learning lots of different techniques and keeping up with all the changes as social media evolves. Amy Porterfield is the host and I really enjoy her friendly, conversational manner.

I have a few other non-music therapy podcast favorites, including Smart Passive Income with Pat Flynn, The Tim Ferriss Show, Serial, and Pregnancy Perfect (this one might only appeal to those of you sharing in my current condition!).

*Even though this post is about non-MT podcasts, I can’t not share at least a few MT-centered shows with you. Be sure to check out The Music Therapy Show with Janice Lindstrom, Urban Therapists: Music Therapy, Culture & More, Music Therapy Research Blog, The Music Therapy Round Table, and my new podcast, Guitars & Granola Bars.