The Strum Song by Brandon Wright

Hello!  I would like to share an intervention that I, Amy Calderon, and Elizabeth Sharp wrote during our first semester at CSU Northridge!  We were doing our field practicum with children at Lokrantz School for Special Education in Los Angeles, and came up with a tune called “Strum Song”  to increase tolerance to sensory input and fine motor skills such as digit isolation.  Please feel free to view this intervention in the October 2016 edition of “Imagine Magazine.”  You can click on this link and then go to page 132 for viewing:

http://www.imagine.musictherapy.biz/

There you will find the music in standard notation along with an MP3 recording.  I had a lot of fun implementing this intervention with Amy Calderon and Elizabeth Sharp, as the kids responded very well to it!  Thank you so much and happy viewing!

Brandon Wright

MTI Music Therapy Center of California

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Top “Learnings” During Internship

These past 6 months have been a blur of learning experiences! It is so hard to narrow down what my top “learnings” have been because I have learned so incredibly much. I am not remotely close to the therapist I was 6 months ago, and thank goodness for that! I’ll try to synthesize the top 2 areas in which I have noticed the most growth in myself.

  1. Confidence! If you had told me 6 months ago that I would reach the point where I would feel confident in my ability to facilitate therapeutic change for a client within a session, I would have laughed in your face. Now, confidence does not mean I have the impression that I’m done learning and improving. I still have so much to learn! But this confidence means that I am no longer feeling floods of self-doubt when I enter my sessions. I no longer feel like I need to script and plan out every second of my sessions. Confidence means I’m finally to the point where I can trust my instincts. When I’m trusting my instincts, I can be myself. And when I’m myself, the client benefits from a more authentic therapeutic relationship, which leads to faster learning and goal achievement!
  1. As it turns out, I can teach! I had never thought of myself as a very good teacher. These past 6 months, I have been put in many many MANY teaching situations, from adapted piano and guitar lessons with children and teens to teaching the Clavinova (read: electric piano) to older adults. Initially, I was TERRIFIED by the idea of having to teach. And many times I felt I was just stumbling through each lesson. So, of course, I was amazed when my older adult students told me that I explained things very well and that they were able to easily understand my instructions. Now, I am no longer terrified of teaching. What’s more, I may even ENJOY it sometimes! I think this speaks volumes to the amount of practice I’ve had over the last 6 months, trying to relate to each one of my students in their unique learning styles, and breaking information down into small pieces. I’m grateful that I can walk away from this internship knowing that I developed a skill a never thought I had or would have

It’s been a wild learning ride, and the above to learning areas are just the tip of the iceberg. I am SO grateful for this experience and for the tools it has given me to become a more successful therapist.

  • Chiara

Autism Speaks Walk 2016

We had a blast this morning at the Autism Speaks Walk! I cannot imagine a better way to spend my last day of internship. It was an honor to join in with this amazing community, advocating for individuals with autism. Moreover, it was an honor to perform on stage with The Kingsmen, The Yakety Yaks, and members of the Jam Session program. These talented teens and young adults showed me and everyone at the walk what it looks to overcome stage fright, to work hard, to be an amazing team member, to be proud of your accomplishments, and to HAVE FUN!

Check out these awesome musicians!

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  • Chiara