Transpose

As a musician, the first thing I think of when I see the word “transpose” is my clarinet. Why? Because when I played in a symphony orchestra in college, I often was given several different clarinet parts (Bb, Eb, A) and each clarinet was a different size and therefore, tuned to a different key, if that makes any sense. Sometimes I would bring my Bb clarinet and forget my A clarinet, but had to play music that was written for the A clarinet, so I’d have to transpose the music in the moment. For musicians, to transpose means to perform something in a key other than the one which is written out or given. In other words, to play A clarinet music on the Bb clarinet, I would have to play each note a half-step lower on the spot. At first, it was very difficult, but after years of practice, I’ve become semi-decent at transposing on the spot!

To apply this to music therapy, I think of all the times I’ve had to adapt in the moment during a session. I’ve had to rearrange the order of the session plan on the spot, or come up with new ideas in the moment. For example, some of my clients have a hard time transitioning or initiating due to sensory needs. If a boy comes into a session sprawled out on the floor and flopping around, It can be very difficult to engage him in a music intervention. Instead of forcing my set session plan on him, I have to adapt my plan to where he is at that very moment. If he is laying on the floor, he may need sensory input to get his body regulated and ready to pay attention and engage. I believe that one of the most valuable things I’ve learned during this internship is how to adapt in the moment according to each client’s specific need. Just as I’ve had to TRANSPOSE while playing the clarinet, I’ve had to TRANSPOSE a session plan many times. And I will admit, it can be very difficult at times to think in the moment, but it will only get better with time and practice!

-Marjie

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Support

There are many different forms of support. Support can come from people, pets, or things.

As for me the area I receive the most support from is my parents. Throughout my life they have supported me in all my endeavors. When I first decided to play the viola my parents didn’t hesitate to buy one for me and to start me in lessons. And then in high school, when I decided to pursue music therapy I was not talked out of it or swayed from that degree choice. My parents said, “Ok what can we do for you?” Looking back I’m realizing how loving and caring my parents truly are. When so many other young adults are steered away from a music degree my parents accepted this and did not question if I would be able to make any money, be able to support myself, or if I could even find a job in my degree field.

I do not only receive support from my parents, but also my internship supervisors and all the staff at the Music Therapy Center of California. They are all helping to mold me into a future music therapist one intervention at a time. I have already learned so much from working with them.

Here is just a taste

What is the goal?…Is it functional?…Flexion/inflexion…driving down beat…a compliment…popcorn…wh questions…metronome…TIMP…PSE…memorize…who has the instrument bag?…printing…copying…community helpers…singing…singing…singing

To end this blog I wanted give some of the best support you can get out there. Here’s a shout out to the over the shoulder boulder holder! Have a great day!

Thanks everyone for all your support and care, I may not show it, but you are appreciated and loved!

Beth

Self-care

As a music therapy intern, I see about 70 different clients and staff a week. Now, think of all the germs floating in the air- runny noses, uncovered sneezes and coughs. Being a music therapist is a real test for your immune system! During my first 3 months here, I caught 2 colds and lost my voice twice. Emergen-C and Echinacea have become my best friend- I try to drink a cup of Echinacea tea about 4 nights a week, and take Emegen-C any time I’m feeling extra tired or feel the first sign of sickness. I also keep a small dropper bottle of Echinacea to drop in any drinks or to add to my Emergen-C mix. I try to take Elderberry capsules daily and I also sometimes get a shot of wheat grass from Jamba Juice when I’m feeling icky.

After losing my voice the second time around, I talked to one of my college roommates, who is going to grad school for vocal health. She told me that it helps to speak in a higher voice when you feel the beginning of a hoarse voice- it takes the strain off of the vocal cords by utilizing a more resonant tone. I took her advice the next time I thought I was going to lose it- and by golly it works!

Being in the fifth month of internship is beginning to take its toll on my stress levels- I have many more responsibilities and projects to work on than two months ago, and I’m starting to feel overwhelmed. Pulling this word of the week was a nice reminder that if we don’t take care of ourselves, we most likely won’t do our best. When I’m working on something for a long period of time and start to feel stressed out, I try to take a 10-20 minute break- a short walk outside, or just veg out watching YouTube or TV for a little bit.

These are just a couple tricks that I’ve learned are helpful for my well-being. Self-care is a very important part of life for anyone, and music therapists are no exception!

-Marjie

Family

I consider my family a very important part of my life, without them I would not be who I am today. To give a little background information, my parents met on a blind date in Nebraska, got married and had three lovely children, but the loveliest was their youngest. (That would be me) My siblings and I are all two years apart. I have one brother and sister, my brother is the oldest. We had a normal childhood with all the practical jokes, temper tantrums, and bickering. I have so many amazing memories of my childhood; it is hard to pick the best ones to share with you.

Here are some quick facts about my family, we were never able to finish a game of monopoly (fighting always ensued first), Phase 10 is a cut throat game that could bring one to tears, we grew up without cable, my brother, sister, and I use to dance like Jack and Rose when they are at the party where Rose stands up on her toes, my dad use to pull my sister and I out of the tub by saying he was going fishing, he also told us awesome bed times stores about Hank and Carla a cat and dog who went on some wacky adventures, my mom is the best cuddler if you are having a crappy day and need to snuggle, she is also one of the best cooks/bakers I know (SERIOSULY it’s amazing food), I still hold my mom’s hand in public, my dad can bring me to tears just by saying he is disappointed in me, and I wouldn’t change any part of my childhood.

Basically I would not be the person I am without the influence of my parents and siblings. Which is true for everyone in the world… so the question is, how to make this personal, how can I express how awesome my family really is??

I guess the answer I am searching for is to say that my family is pretty normal, we have our fights and our quarrels, but at the end of the day they are my family and I love them more than anything, would do anything for them, and will always be there for them. Isn’t there a saying that goes something like, I can say as much crap about my family as I want, but the second someone else has something bad to say I will become like the mob and end you. (Figuratively speaking of course) Family is important. They come in all different ways, just remember to hold on to the ones you love and let them know every once in a while that you care.

Beth