Friday, December 30, 2011

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Winter Wonderland Music Therapy Warm Fuzzies Nerd Alert

Hey who's that cool cat pictured above? This retro almost latin looking man. Who is he? Oh that's Johnny Mathis. Not latin, not that I know of. i could be wrong. I mean, who knows much about this guy anyway? Not me. In fact he's the sort of singer I might categorize in that do-good pure boy genre that makes up the Lawrence Welk sound. A sound my older clients ADORE. So forgive my ignorance but I don't know a darn thing about Johnny....except....I just decided today that well, he might do the song "Winter Wonderland" the best. like maybe the real deal best. and here's why. Please press play below while you read the rest of the post.



Today while in a session, I happened to be having a great time. It was one of those nights where everything was going great and I got all Christmasy and perhaps more enthusiastic. We were telling stories and counting the incredible numbers of snowmen figurines in the living room of the house where I was treating (23!!!). Then I played Johnny Mathis singing "Winter Wonderland". We were throwing a beach ball around when the music got all quiet and dare i say....magical...eeeeeek! it did! (INSERT NERD ALERT) check it out at about 1:05 in the vidi. All my clients stopped, listened, smiled and when the quiet part was over, we all laughed and kept going. The great mood lasted the rest of the session and as I left, one of the staff at the house peeked around the bend, admitted that she was listening to us and told me that I was a blessing..and that, my friends is some good warm fuzzy stuff.  I got in my car and played Johnny again and thought of that woman telling me I was a blessing and I felt AWESOME! Like super awesome. and after having a terrible day yesterday it felt awesome to feel awesome. and Christmasing with my clients helped me as well as them. I am so thankful for that.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

ONE OF THE BEST THINGS I'VE DONE THIS HOLIDAY SEASON

In the past few days I've been handing out Christmas Cards to my clients.  Nothing else inside, no gifts or anything like that....(always keeping it ethical/professional *wink*).  Just a small token, a meager gesture to spread some cheer and that sort of thing.  WELL...let me tell you how much joy this has brought my clients. INSANE joy. Like they open their cards and almost cry.  My ladies in the nursing home would not put them down for the entire hour I was there and when I did try to make them put the cards down for a minute, they yelled at me. Note to self and anyone reading, Give the cards at the END of the session.  Anyway after one or two people getting excited about cards, I figured that was it. NO...Every single client has opened the card and treated it like I just wrote them a 100 dollar check.  I'm so thrilled. I don't think I have ever gotten such satisfaction in giving cards in my whole life and it's so worth it to deliver them in person rather than in the mail like I've done in the past.  And just to reiterate the feeling I'm getting here, let me just say that giving these cards feels like Christmas morning for one short minute per session. It's Awesome. So, if you haven't already, go give your clients a Christmas Card. The awesome-ness goes both ways. 
Cheers.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

MUSIC THERAPY IDEA -3, CHRISTMAS HANDBELLS!

Hey! Sooooooo, do you have a set of these? If not, you should. They are great and all my clients love them. I'm serious. They really do.  The one thing I think is pretty sweet about them is that they can be used with the chords of almost any song in a major key.  SO, you can use them to sound the chords of a song while you are singing acapella....OR have the clients sound them as you play the guitar and have a KICK-A performance. Hooray for you!

The general goal areas for this activity could be: 
1. ENDLESS! jk.
2. hand eye coordination ( and even more so if you are using a color chart)
3. Motor functioning
4. Peer interaction
5. Sensory 
6. Cognitive

The What and How (What do I do and how do I do it?)
I have been using the song "We Wish You A Merry Christmas" for this activity and it works like a CHARM! seriously. If you have a group of four people this works perfectly as there are four lines per verse and for the most part, each person gets two bells.  However, I have also used it with just one person and it worked ok too. Depends on the level of client ability. 
Adaptations could including just playing the C bell. or sounding the C and G together as they sound pretty and basically work for most of the song.  
And the Chords are as Follows.

C(red)               F(green)
We wish you a merry Christmas 
D (orange)           G (blue)
We wish you a merry Christmas 
E (yellow)           F(green)
We wish you a merry Christmas 
G (blue)       C(red)
And a Happy New Year


Tuesday, December 6, 2011

ALMOST FREE CHRISTMAS MUSIC!!!!

HEY!!!!! This is only FIVE DOLLARS!? Wh-WHAAAT? Am i too excited about this? 
All Classic artists that sing it like you wanna hear it. Go to amazon and get it!

WIN A FREE AMTA MEMBERSHIP!

Go HERE and find out how!!!!!