Saturday, February 26, 2011

My first question of you

I wonder if you could do me a favor. I am trying to build my musical repertoire, and I'd love for you to leave me a list of song titles or artists or bands, or any combination of the three, that comprise the music that you like a lot or heard a lot in your childhood and adulthood. I'd really like to know your music for a couple of reasons; the first being that you are likely a family member and I'd love to know this about you, and the second reason being that I'd like to try to add your music to my repertoire. Post your list as a comment to this post, please. :) Thank you kindly.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Job duties

I am fortunate that I have a job, but even more fortunate that I absolutely love it. I love the residents with whom I work, and oddly (and somewhat unhappily), half of my therapist team members are brand new, just like me. I do a number of things at work, and each day has been very different from the others. Today I had a great session in which I created a band and a choir out of a group. The "band members" seemed excited to play their instruments, and the choir was smiling-- enjoyment, physical activity, and stimulated memory makes me happy as the therapist. I assessed one resident who started to cry when he spoke about losing his vocal range to his Parkinson's. I helped a resident celebrate her birthday. Earlier this week, I began to help someone plan for his funeral. I spoke about death with a resident. And I co-facilitated a small prayer service for nurses and caregivers moments after one of our residents died. 
I was also fortunate to attend the last half of the monthly memorial service at which the families of those residents who died the month before can come and honor their loved one at the place where they lived last. I was touched to see one of my co-therapists spend time with two different families following the service. The families both thanked my co-worker for her work with their loved ones. I am honored to be a part of this work. 

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Lisa Batiashvili

Last night I was brought to tears by a musical performance. I don't think that had ever happened to me before. I suppose singing in the big choir concerts in college was emotional, but actually feeling something I couldn't describe or express other than through tears is new to me. We went to the Minnesota Orchestra's performance of Beethoven's Concerto in D major for Violin and Orchestra, Opus 61; and Sibelius's Symphony No. 6 in D minor, Opus 104. Lisa Batiashvili was the soloist on violin, and I was and remain stunned by her. All things good.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

I don't know nearly enough music

Wednesdays I work half days, at least for the time being. So I decided to come home and teach myself some songs I've been needing, as I'm already becoming bored with my repertoire at work. I am trying to be patient with myself and to let myself have time to become comfortable with details like people's names before I start getting entirely obsessed with planning and designing experiences, but I need to know more music sooner rather than later.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Musicians' music

Most of the time, I wonder why I am a musician. By this I mean, I am curious as to how I've come to be one. I'd rather listen to the news on NPR in the morning than music, I'd rather write or even draw than sing for pleasure, and I don't go out to see live music on a very regular basis. I enjoy making music, but I wonder why I'm not one of those musicians who seeks it out at all times, or even at all. I hope I'm not doomed.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Music therapy and technology

This week will mark the completion of my first full week as a solo music therapist; the music therapist who trained me left on Tuesday of last week. I'm excited about my job. I love the people. And I love that I am the person to bring them music (though I have a lot to learn). 
I have been reading other music therapists' blogs-- all of them professional-- and I have been considering making my own website and buying a domain. I know next to nothing about doing that, but Thomas just so happened to build websites as a job for a time. He gave me the idea, as he gave me the idea to start this blog. Even though I am initially resistant to most things technological, I am somewhat excited about requiring myself to learn about how to use all of the tools there are for me. 
The blogs that are currently inspiring me quite a bit are, and

Friday, February 11, 2011


I have spent the entire morning online, looking up blogs I feel I should read! What? Who does that? Nearly all of them are music therapy-related, and actually that makes me feel pretty decent; January, though it is passed, was advocacy month for music therapy, so the more blog posts I read, the more I found out about other resources to use.
I feel super behind with technology, so probably spending this time wasn't a bad idea-- I found a number of inspiring resources, both having to do with research and instruments. And, with all this reading, I'm more interested in blogging.
(I did all of this while waiting for my landlord to come fix my toilet.)

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Default isn't dislike

 I am usually surprised by how nice people are, for the most part. Or rather, how nice they are to me. I have had exactly two encounters with my landlord, one when I met him for the first time in the parking lot, and the other in the laundry room. Both of those times were months ago, and because essentially nothing has gone wrong in my apartment, I've had no need to contact him. Two things went wrong today, and for whatever reason, I assumed he'd be annoyed that he'd have to come address both of my problems. Essentially, I thought his baseline attitude about me would be disgruntled. 
So, I rehearse a short script in my head before I call him. I always hope the other person won't answer so that I can leave a message. Of course, he answered, and for whatever reason, we had this really bizarre, hilarious conversation about how the caretaker of the apartment complex (not the landlord) has a specific way of conducting his business. Anyway, he was funny and weird and I like that about people. Most importantly, he did not seem in the least bit annoyed by me or my request. 
So I got in the car and rejoiced a little. I do this all the time. Why can't I remember that most people don't default to dislike of other people, i.e., me? Why can't I remember that?
I am not far enough involved in my new job to have any revelations yet, other than I absolutely enjoy elderly people. 
Speaking of elderly people, go to YouTube and search for "Sprint, Staying Awhile."

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Organize me

As much as I'd like it to be true, I cannot have everything aligned and balanced at this very moment. Just because I have a job, which is absolutely great, I am having trouble letting the rest of everything come in time. I have the next couple of days to use to organize. We'll see if I can get it done in that time. :)

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Snow globe

Since the last post, I was offered and have accepted a music therapy position! I am thrilled and I feel fortunate to have found work in my field so quickly. I was banking on having until the 14th to start, but it turns out I start tomorrow... I am excited to get even more excited about my profession, but I'm also somewhat overwhelmed by the mystery of it all. My biggest challenge is to have confidence in myself, even though I am brand new to this. There is a snow globe in my head. Even though the pieces of my life aren't exactly tied together and neatly placed where they belong, they were beginning to settle-- I was finding comfort in the routine of the internship and the weekly schedule, etc. But now everything has been shaken up again. I look forward to stillness, which doesn't mean stagnation (to me). We'll see. I wish I were better at adjusting to change.