1. "Therapists should be able to meet their clients where they are, and help you find your truest self, BE your truest self. If you can better communicate through color or movement or rhythm, seize that!"
  2. When Meds Fail: A Case for Music Therapy

    Tim Ringgold, MT-BC, at TedxYouth


  3. When I called around Sacramento hospitals 10 years ago as a high schooler looking to shadow a music therapist, no one knew what the heck I was talking about. Wonderful to hear my hometown is being granted this wonderful music therapy resource!

  4. Moore, K.S. (2013) A systematic review on the neural effects of music on emotion regulation: Implications for music therapy practice. Journal of Music Therapy, 50(3). 198-242.


  5. Excellent resource to get you out of a guitar finger-picking rut. Clear diagrams and video tutorials for each!


  6. Film Scores and Older Adults

    I’ve had a love for film music since high school and hearing the opening suite from The Holiday. The movie wasn’t outstanding, but the music captured me emotionally. Film music works on this non-verbal, often subconscious level to express emotionally narratives of a movie. Most movie goers don’t even notice the music and that’s exactly what the composer wants. Film scores are meant to support the onscreen emotions seamlessly.

    As a music therapist, scores also carry many pros when compared to other options of non-verbal music. Classical art music may have multiple, long movements and is often dictated by form (ex. Rondo form is ABACA), rather than a narrative message. Film music, on the other hand, is often shorter in length and is dictated more by the happenings between characters. It retains the orchestrated, often lush textures of symphonic music, but in a more accessible package.

    Lately, I’ve been looking to utilize film scores in my work with older adults. My clients have memory loss and dementia and may not have the attention to listen to a 20 minute concerto. Another issue is the cultural ties often precedes one’s opinion of a classical piece. Many of my clients have spent their lives attending the Chicago Symphony orchestra. What pieces can I present that are un-tethered from previous associations?

    Below, I’ve shared some starting pieces for exploring film music that can be used for music meditation, movement and music, or discussing emotions expressed within a shorter play time (think  less than 3 minutes). While some film scores err on the side of abstraction, I’ve found that scores with a predictable rhythm and repeating motifs are most accessible for the older adults with whom I work. Here are a few suggestions to get you started:

    Score Title (Movie Title)

    • Ice Dance (Edward Scissorhands): Delicate, light and harmonious. Innocent-sounding piece that is very lush.
    • Heimr Arnadalr (Frozen): A Capella choir with drawn out harmonies may encourage deeper, longer breaths.
    • Theme (Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind): This song has a slow waltz rhythm that will be recognizable to anyone with dance experience, but with a more melancholy feel.
    • Briony (Atonement): With an opening typewriter that drives the rhythm, this piece has a rushed, tense feeling but may start a discussion about negative emotions such as stress, anger, etc. and how to best deal with them.
    • Georgiana (Pride and Prejudice): A more rhythmic piece from this soundtrack, but I must say the entire score is one of my favorites because if its gentle beauty.
    • Married Life (Up): The longest piece on this list at just over 4 minutes, but nice transitions between a continuum of emotional sounds with a common waltz motif.
    • Sunrise on Lake Pontchartrain (The Curious Case of Benjamin Button): An underlying motif on harp lends a constant rhythm that is interspersed with moments of slow, lush orchestration. Great for slow stretching movements and deep breathing.

  7. As I’ve touched upon before, being a new professional in music therapy requires me to have a second job for the sake of my savings. Recently, I’ve left one of my extra jobs due to unprofessionalism on the employers’ part. This process has taken quite a bit of my mental resources over the past few weeks.

    No matter what situation you’re in, please keep your well-being in mind. I had been employed at this place for three years and had largely accepted my working conditions as status quo. We all deserve to be treated with respect, honesty, and integrity no matter if the relationship is personal or professional. And thank you for reading my short confession. Back to music therapy tomorrow.

  8. theotsiproject:

    Great post from the folks at occupationaltherapy.com. 

    Just like music, being a music therapist is also a whole brain activity. Shout out to other CATs, OTs, PTs, and SLPs!

    (via myotjourney)


  9. simplesongbird:

    "As Uncle Ben counseled Peter Parker, ‘With great power comes great responsibility.’ The same can said for music. It wields an incredible power over our minds, bodies, and emotions. At the same time, though, we need to be aware that this power does not alway work in our favor." Kimberly Sena Moore

    So important to keep in mind.


  10. musictherapytoday:

    Rachel Rambach, MT-BC, shares input in a blog post, answering what many music therapy students have asked her: “If you could be a music therapy student all over again, what would you do differently?”

    Love the seventh one, need to work on the sixth one.