This week’s topic was songwriting: something that everyone can do, but that each music therapist, intern, and student has a varied amount of experience with. Songwriting is something that we as music therapists should utilize and view as something special that no other therapists specialize in! Writing songs to help clients with their specialized goal areas makes for an effective use of our creativity and musical training. Here are some tips for writing your own songs:
- Write your idea in the middle of the page. Then, draw arrows with reactions, related ideas, and ways to develop. Use your imagination and see where brainstorming takes you!
- Don’t change your chord until you change your attitude or thought – make the music match your message!
- Write the melody without an instrument, to ensure that it is memorable and easy to sing!
- As is true in most things, keep it simple! This will make the song easier to write and easier for the listener to remember!
“Who Moved My Cheese” by Spencer Johnson is a quick and easy read that puts perspective on change, from small, day-to-day changes to major changes in our lives. To summarize the book, Sniff and Scurry, two mice, along with Hem and Haw, too little people with advanced minds, come across a large amount of cheese in Cheese Station C. When the cheese is suddenly gone, the characters have to figure out how to cope with the change. Sniff and Scurry venture back out into the maze, and eventually find new cheese. Hem and Haw remain frustrated and upset that the cheese is gone, thinking of themselves as the victims of this terrible situation. Eventually, Haw realizes that feeling sorry for yourself and refusing to take action will not lead to anything positive. He ventures into the maze, writing his thoughts on the wall. Eventually, he is able to find new cheese, and has a new outlook on life. In summary of Haw’s handwriting on the wall, one must be aware that change happens, and you must anticipate change. By monitoring change, you can adapt to change quickly. When the change happens, go along for the ride and enjoy the change! In conclusion, be ready to change quickly and enjoy it again and again.
Everyone’s cheese and maze is constantly changing. Sometimes, the maze is more complex than others. Sometimes, the cheese gets old and smelly. But we can always take the best advice of going with the flow, learning from our mistakes, and making the most of change as a sign of something positive to come!