Tuesday, November 29, 2011


I'll probably post about Street Musicians alot on this blog. i happen to LOVE them. I even did my master's thesis on them. So it's no wonder that little videos like this one catch my eye because of how interactive music can be....even with dogs. check it.

Monday, November 28, 2011

12 Days of Christmas- MUSIC THERAPY IDEA 2

Well Hello. Here is my tree to set the mood. SO, while I was treating one of my clients this afternoon, we decided to sing the "12 Days of Christmas" and I started laughing to myself because it reminded me of a time when I went to a Christmas Party (of a fellow music therapist).  The guitar was brought out and the whole party of friends got together in a circle and we made up our own version of the "12 Days of Christmas".  It was hilarious and of course it was wildly inappropriate but totally fun.  I was thinking that it would be great to try with clients either in group sessions or individually and of course in an appropriate manner.
The goals for this activity could be: 
  • Counting
  •  memory recall
  •  creative expression, etc...
The What and How:

  • Rewrite the lyrics to the song using 12 items of the client's choice.  
  • Clients may draw or write items as a visual aid
  • Clients may practice memory skills by naming items.
  • As you sing each verse, count up to the number you are singing about using a drum.

This song could even be used during non holiday times...or during ALL holiday times by changing the words... For example, On the first day of Valentine's day, my true love gave to me....blah blah blah.
Have fun with this one. Don't worry if nothing rhymes. It's no big deal. 

Here is my version just for fun and also as a wish list (hint hint)On the first day of Christmas my true love gave to me...
  1. One gorgeous polka dot dress.
  2. Two sparkling silver high heels
  3. Three bottles of bitters
  4. Four camera lenses
  6. Six new guitars
  7. Seven sets of dishes
  8. Eight waffle irons
  9. Nine brand new cookbooks (seriously)
  10. Ten expensive perfumes
  11. Eleven yards of fabric
  12. Twelve new kitchen backsplashes

PS- WANT TO DOWNLOAD A COOL CHRISTMAS ALBUM?  Go to Amazon for the latest She & Him album. The very lovely Zooey and of course very hip M. Ward have done it again. oh and it's only 5 bucks.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

CLAUDE- Music Therapy Idea 1

Claude Debussy is one of my favorite composers. Ever. And "Estampes" in 3 movements is maybe my favorite composition. EVER.  especially the first movement.  Here are a few examples of the greatness of the piece and the differences that varying performers bring to the work. I happen to love the first pianist's playing style. He plays it so darn smoothly. It's just like I like it. HOWEVER...
This female performer is a delight to watch.  Her whole body gets into the piece. Her hands are like swans taking flight, perfectly fluid and gentle, even while playing strong.

SO What's this got to do with Music Therapy?????

Answer:  Well...this happens to be a wonderfully expressive piece, so i have TWO ideas.
1. I have used it for free movement activities using scarves.  We mimic the giant waves of sound and the contrasting delicate notes as well with corresponding movements.  It has always been a GO-TO in my ipod for movement.
2. Use this piece for a music and art fusion activity.  Use it as the inspiration for a painting or drawing.  Listen first.  Talk about it. listen again while expressing your interpretation of what you hear through your medium of choice.
Actually i think I might try doing it myself. Maybe even tonight. I'll post later if I do. Until then, leave me YOUR ideas for this piece if you have any to share. I'd love that.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Blog Purpose

Hello. I'm Cheila. I'm a music therapist (MA, MT-BC). I want to make a space for music therapy ideas, activities, thoughts, rants, songs, etc... If you ask me, there aren't enough sites that share ideas for music therapists.  I'd like to change that a tad.  So, I'll be posting some of my ideas and hopefully so will some of my MT friends. I'm very laid back. This isn't going to be hyper-clinical. Hopefully it will be fun.
 Cheers. Let's Share some music therapy ideas.