I’m not sure if you’ve noticed, but I haven’t been fully present on this platform over the last two years. As one Instagram follower lovingly put it a number of months ago, “Wow…it’s been awhile.” I’ve gone back and forth trying to pinpoint what exactly has been challenging about this particular space for me. Depending on the day, it’s a different answer. I’ve jokingly referred to this platform as a “dinosaur,” meaning that blogs were pretty extinct even back when I started this website over 7 years ago. I haven’t really strayed from the fact this blog serves more of a purpose for myself than it does for others – but I recognize that the occasional person finds some value in something that I’ve shared. For those reasons alone, I can’t quite give up on it but want to instead strive to revamp it.
I often have more ideas than time to execute and that is likely my biggest challenge over the last two years. I won’t deny that pandemic fatigue has also played a significant role. There are a number of things I think would be great to feature about music therapy, to help educate others, to provide resources for students and new professionals, and to simply help us share and connect. I want to spend some time actually flushing those ideas out and creating and see where that ends up landing.
So please know that I am working; I’m creating; and I fully expect to return in a more present state in the near future. In the meantime, while musictherapytime is a bit “under construction” I wanted to share with you some resources I’ve found to be immensely insightful, helpful, thought-provoking, and inspiring over the past year. May you find what you need to from these resources as well.
*Disclaimer: All information below is my own synthesis of sources that have been recommended to me or found independently. If you feel I have misrepresented or mis-credited content that is yours, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org so that I can rightly update my recommendation.*
For Tech Help: The Tech Nook: I learned about this website while attending the SERAMTA conference this past spring. Not only do I think this resource is helpful, it is essential for the modern music therapist and is filling an enormous gap in our clinical training. If we’ve learned nothing else since 2019, we’ve learned that embracing technology is of the essence for our work in music therapy. This resource is not only helpful as it stands but it goes on to offer more in-depth help if you want private tutoring. The site is collaboratively-based and is jam-packed with incredibly knowledgeable and experienced music therapists who offer their specialized skills through free videos and guides. Even if you visit the site to learn about a specific skill (e.g. audio engineering) you are bound to walk away with additional knowledge about another technology avenue (e.g. podcasting or video production).
For Therapeutic Interventions: (and other relevant information to early childhood musicking): The imagine magazine: editor-in-chief: Petra Kern. If you are looking for evidenced-based resources for techniques and interventions to use with any of your kiddos who fall into the early childhood age, this is the place for you. While a subscription will you provide you access to all issues, there are a number of issues available via open access. Many issues feature various themes and the content can range from short idea-sharing to more in-depth clinical techniques and research. This is often a great resource to help jump start your own brainstorming or to find additional ways to adapt your clinical ideas. It can also teach you about experts in the field to whom you can likely reach out if you have a specific clinical question or to find additional resources to help continue to learn about specific topics.
For Improved Musicianship: Music Therapy Guitar Boot Camp by: Make More Music, LLC & University of Louisville Music Therapy Clinic (aka: Chris Millet). I cannot recommend this course highly enough. Having been playing the guitar for the last decade there are still so many skills I want to develop. I did not need to think twice before signing up! This course has historically been 6-weeks in length and looks to challenge your thinking and perception of guitar playing within music therapy as well as for you own personal use. This course is helpful for students, interns, new professionals, and seasoned professionals and is likely all the inspiration and motivation needed to work on those guitar skills you’ve always wanted to improve.
For Medical Knowledge: Pediatric Music Therapy: created by Amy Love: Geared towards those who are, or want to be, working in pediatrics, this resource is full of medical knowledge applicable for music therapy. Having learned a number of things independently about the medical world, Amy created a place for music therapists to come and expand their skills for the medical setting. Not only are there many resources on the website, but Pediatric Music Therapy has a very active Instagram and Facebook page, where other medical music therapists are often featured. This is a wonderful source to follow to help feel connected and stay current. Additionally, many of Amy’s resources also count towards CMTEs!
For Expanding Repertoire: Clinical Bopulations: Created by Gabby Banzon & Allyson Rogers: Need a place to learn about new music you can use clinically? These podcast hosts (who now include more than just the original creators) look to find new music/artists and discuss the potential of that music in your therapeutic work. This is a great listen for wanting to learn more and expand your rep knowledge but the hosts also help you feel more connected to the world of music therapy, especially if you work independently. These hosts have done an amazing job of hosting guests on their show (including Ben Folds!) in addition to discussing new music with one another. Full disclosure: I learned about the above recommended Tech Nook while listening to a conference session hosted by this same group in regards to podcasting.
For Laughs & Validation: Music Therapy Memes: created by: Kaylin Parsons: Do you ever feel like there are aspects of your work as a music therapist that no one understands? Look no further than the Instagram account of MusicTherapyMemes. Each Monday you can expect to feel validated towards big, small, and silly aspects of your job and often accompanied with a good laugh. I admire the creativity and wit of any meme account, but certainly memes specific to music therapy are going to go straight to my heart (and funny bone).
For Weekly Inspiration: Matt Logan’s Friday Five: It’s so nice to have something come to your email inbox weekly to help provide you with inspiration, information, and other helpful tidbits. I’ve been following Matt Logan’s newsletter for a few years now and each week provides something totally different. While not always exclusive to music therapy, Matt Logan shares a number of interesting things that can help you in your music therapy work, or simply give you a respite from your every day routine. Sign up to the newsletter at the link above!
For Connection: The Music Therapy in Pediatrics Facebook group and the AMTA Peds Workgroup: I have said over the last couple of years that the only reasons I keep my Facebook active is for marketplace and for music therapy Facebook groups. One of the groups I find to be most relevant to my daily clinical work is the Music Therapy in Pediatrics group. This is a group where you can seek ideas and experiences of other pediatric music therapists. What also comes out of this group is the AMTA Peds Workgroup – a group of pediatric music therapists who meet and gather resources, evidenced-based information, and pediatric music therapy ideas. This information is collected and published in the What’s Poppin’ in Peds publication. Follow their Facebook page or join the group to receive notice of their quarterly publications.
For Growth: Liberated Learning: created by Kerry Devlin. While there are a number of pertinent topics we all can continue to learn about and grow from, I recently learned of Kerry Devlin’s Instagram account where she strives to educate others on how to dismantle systems of oppression – particularly ableism. Not only can you easily learn from her digestible posts, Kerry also offers continuing education to music therapists and educators on inclusivity in the classroom and therapy space. A post that particularly stood out to me was unlearning professionalism, which I found to be very thought-provoking and an excellent lesson for me personally. I am looking forward to learning more from Kerry.
To Watch: Music Therapy Ed Now: created by: Danielle Remek: I am thoroughly enjoying watching how students and other professionals are using social media platforms to educate others about music therapy. [They are ultimately what make me feel like this blog is a dinosaur!] If you are currently a student, I recommend following this account as they often feature other students or interns in their takeovers and also offer a lot of great information about internships. This particular account was recommended to me by a current intern and I am really here to say that I’m looking forward to watching where this account (and subsequently these new professionals) go!
If you have additional recommendations of great music therapy resources out there, please let me (and others) know by leaving a comment!
May you continue to learn and grow and challenge yourself.