Written by Gretchen Benner
While listening to 'I Will Survive' Saves Marginalized People A Spot On The Dance Floor and sipping a decaf Americano.
This post continues on the theme of Music Therapy Moments written from the view of continuing education and service as a music therapist. As the American Music Therapy Association Conference winds down, it helps to reflect upon the past few days of meetings.
Minneapolis, MN was a welcoming city with many transportation options - it was reminiscent of getting around the city while living in Pittsburgh, PA!
Within the annual conference, there was a theme of integrity, education and awareness.
The virtual panel offering that the American Music Therapy Association Board of Directors charged the Workforce Development and Retention Committee to organize went really well, with tremendous team work from the Local Planning Committee. In case you missed the streaming, here’s a link to the 35 minute video Insight Into The Music Therapy Profession including questions and answers on studying to become a music therapist.
Hearing colleagues provide feedback about professional codes of conduct, ethics and working hierarchy of the membership body was important. Being able to connect with fellow MTBCs in private practice and business ownership continues to be valuable. Learning about colleagues developments with regards to research based initiatives and practice models were awesome. Regrouping from clinical work and making time to get caught up on managing clinic and studio needs was helpful.
The national conference also marks an opportunity to expand our inventory of supplies as services grow in the community of Greater Charlotte. Thankfully we purchased more large drums from West Music, a reliable company that employs music therapists and music educators offering quality instruments at affordable prices.
I am thankful for the space to gather in service of our profession and eager to hear continued strides towards integrity within the work force. Thanks for reading the latest blog post and comments below are welcome. Wishing folks a peaceful, holiday week.
Self-Care: Make It Tangible
When I first reflected on writing this post about self-care, I thought that I would preach the importance of it. However, if you are reading this, I’m betting you are in someway related to the helping profession (as an administrator, teacher, clinician, facilitator, etc.) and already know that it’s important. I’m guessing you have gotten to a point in your life and/or career at some point and felt overwhelmed by your work because caring for people is hard and it requires much from you.
The work we do in the helping profession is often intangible. We don’t always see results right away. Sometimes we may never see the impact we have made on a person’s life. This can wear on you.
To combat this emotional toll of the intangible, I have a tiny little porch garden. It’s not much, just a tomato plant, a pepper plant, a few herbs and a few flowers. But for me, this is an act of self-care. This is planting something tangible, that I can see grow in real life. This is taking the time every morning and every night to connect with something that I can (literally) reap the benefits from. I can’t make the plants grow, but I can water them. Then I get to see them bloom! I’m not a pro at this gardening thing. In fact, I was halfway through the season before I realized you should cut basil and not pull it (who knew?!?). But it’s OK to be a beginner in this self-care practice. I’m going to keep trying and failing and learning and watching it grow.
I hope that wherever you are in your life and career, that you have made a practice of tangible things - whether that’s an exercise goal you have created, a garden you have planted, or art that you create. May your self-care be finite, touchable, tangible. Because while the work you do daily may be intangible in many ways, the effect you have on your clients, your staff, your co-workers, it’s real. It matters. And so do you. So plant a seed, beat your average mile/minute pace, or paint your picture. Do it for yourself because tangible things are worth seeing and you are worthy of seeing tangible change.
What’s your favorite way to take care of yourself? Comment below and share about it in a tangible way!
Compiled by Gretchen Benner and Miriam Tart:
Continuing with posts this year on the theme Musical Moments... were you aware that today is National Grouch Day?
It is important for music to express, what some may call, “negative” emotions. Feeling tuned into one’s emotions takes presence. Life often elicits a range of emotions and grouchiness may naturally surface. Much of our clinical work supports clients learning more about one’s own thoughts, feelings, actions and intersections of those.
“Many therapists with demonstrated expertise in addictions are of the opinion that effective treatment must involve . . . the uncovering, experiencing, and expression of many feelings – including distressing feelings of fear, anxiety, shame, guilt, sadness, anger, loneliness, regret, grief. etc.”
Reference: Gardstrom, S. C., Carlini, M., Josefczyk, J., & Love, A. (2013). Women with addictions: Music therapy clinical postures and interventions. Music Therapy Perspectives, 31(2), 95–104.
Music therapy can help you express your grouchiness…. and may actually turn into something fun through songwriting, instrument play, inspired artwork and more.
Perhaps this tune particularly comes to mind, today?
Removing the label as a “negative” emotion could be helpful in thinking about the feeling of being grouchy. Transferring such an emotion into healthy activities can be beneficial as well as learning what factors contributed towards that feeling... any patterns or trends?
Thanks for reading today’s post recognizing National Grouch Day. Remember that our team will represent at two community events this weekend on October 19. We hope you’ll join us at the Down Syndrome Association of Greater Charlotte (DSAGC) Buddy Walk or National Alliance of Mental Illness (NAMI) Piedmont Tri-County 1 in 4 Walk to make music with our community bright and early on Saturday morning!!
Piedmont Music Therapy, LLC has operated out of a location in South Charlotte for two years. Prior to August 2017, all of the music therapy treatment services and music lessons were provided at schools, residences and agencies.
Today, our main location in Charlotte is used for appointments and lessons roughly 40% of the work week with some services like lessons and Singing For All: Community Choir occurring at our secondary site in Rock Hill, SC. The remaining parts of the week include mobile work in Mecklenburg and York Counties.
A recent poll completed by our staff this week showed that these are the most popularly packed items work on the go:
Beyond tangible items, we have to prepare our presence for mobile music services. Music therapy appointments may necessitate a broader perspective gleaned from the relationship built with a client or information shared from their support system and/or treatment team. Being intentional and considerate of our presence also requires for us to be aware of our tone of voice, posture and gesturing, non-verbal communications and ultimately patience for growth in a client's health and wellness. Music lessons that build upon a student's preferred method of learning and encourage their curiosities and expression are ideal.
Our staff provide a range of services from traditional or adapted lessons, community lectures about our training and referral process to support groups that include music therapy interventions and therapeutic summer camp experiences. Though unplanned traffic congestion or unusual weather may add stress to frequent commutes around town... we appreciate being able to support community members of all ages improve their health and wellness through music therapy services and music instruction. We are honored to be the largest private practice of employed music therapists in Charlotte, NC and thank you for supporting our growth.
In conclusion, we hope today's blog post was informative. Any items that should have been included on our Doodle Poll? What have you seen your music therapist or music instructor rely upon for their treasured back of packed supplies & materials? Comment below & happy autumn!
Thanks for attending our workshop at the Alzheimer's Association Dementia Education Conference hosted at Friendship Missionary Baptist Church of Charlotte, NC. Here is the digital handout created by Rose O'Toole, MT-BC, Neurologic Music Therapist. Ms. O'Toole co-presented with Eileen Schwartz of HealingArt4Caregivers: "Discover the Power of Art and Music."
Continuing on the Music Therapy Moment Blog series...
What is so unique about Piedmont Music Therapy? We are a staff of five MTBCs. Each of us sign our professional names with an acronym that is administered by The Certification Board for Music Therapists after earning a college bachelor’s degree in music therapy and completing an internship of 1200< hours. The credentials stand for Music Therapist-Board Certified. We are focused on serving an individual with creative and expressive art therapy.
As we continue to learn of community members who either identify themselves as music therapists or list music therapy on their agency programming... our team shares information to further clarify speciality offerings. If you are seeking a music therapists, ensure they are trained and qualified through CBMT.
We appreciate collaborating with individuals and offering lectures in the community to further network. Please help us to promote increasing access to trained and qualified professionals. PMT is one of many options for certified music therapists in the Carolinas. We encourage clients to make an informed decision with local clinicians validated through CBMT.org. Until licensure is passed in either state, we rely upon neighbors for support in advocacy.
Our staff of board certified music therapists are skilled and comfortable working with children or adults with communication disorders, mental health diagnoses, and memory care diseases. School coursework, internship and continuing education credits allow us to further our modality and clinical approach.
Thanks for reading our blog series on Music Therapy Moments. Hopefully this will further our mission of providing high quality services to our community. Cheers to #musicMonday ... what’s on your playlist today??
Can you help share this opportunity with educators who may not be familiar with this program in its eighth year?
Piedmont Music Therapy, LLC is honored to be an approved Education Provider through the Arts & Science Council's Cultural Arts Education Directory.
Several of our team members will be present at the Cultural Education Expo on Saturday, 8/24/19. We will be present to answer questions about the four approved programs we will offer during the academic school year 2019-20. Those offerings are: Express Yourself Club, Ukulele Club, Staff Development: Musical Me and Therapeutic Summer Camps.
Are you a part of a public, private or charter school in Charlotte that could benefit from these grant funded opportunities? Learn about eligibility and how to participate through ASC Website: HERE. We also have a separate web page to help welcome and inform ASCARs. Thanks to Erin Elliott and the staff at ASC for their support, plus Erin Morris @EpiphanySchoolCLT who initially introduced PMT to this educational opportunity.
#cultureforall #asceducation #creative #expressive #art #math #music #science #languageart #visualart #performingart #student #teacher #health #wellness #curriculum #standard #access
On the eve of PMT’s Clinic third year of being located in Charlotte, NC... thanks for helping the practice to grow. We continue to provide the majority of our clinical work in the communities of Mecklenburg and York Counties fNorth Carolina and South Carolina). The clinic has afforded clients and private students a welcoming space to further their growth. We strive to promote health and wellness and advocate for increased access to specialized services such as music therapy.
Subtle benefits of having a clinic in South Charlotte:
Cheers to the third year of our location in South Charlotte. If you are interested in learning more about our service offerings, we invite you to the upcoming open houses in August 2019. We thank you for welcoming our clinic and studio space without any issues of sound volume. Please help us promote increased awareness and access to creative and expressive arts therapy for all ages.
Thanks for reading our blog celebrating our clinic and studio space. Comment below with other notes on our third year of an address recognized by Google Maps:
We continue the theme of ongoing community partners by sharing the hope inspired at Charlotte Rescue Mission Dove's Nest.
Here is a video from the organization that shares more about the residential treatment program for mothers in recovery:
Piedmont Music Therapy, LLC has been providing weekly treatment for the children (ages 3-11) since January 2016 because of grant funding.
Our team is humbled to work with the families at Dove's Nest. We are passionate about offering creative and expressive arts therapy to the children as they grow. To learn more about the local organization, follow Charlotte Rescue Mission on Facebook. Please share this blog post and comment below!
After a parent received a quarterly report about their child’s progress in treatment, we received the following response (shared with permission):
Thank you for the report. It makes me so happy to read everything in your report! My child has been sitting and attending at home and at library story times much longer and is engaged with the readers and other kids. And has been trying to communicate with other kids at the park and pool. Music therapy is such a great fit for them!!! We can't wait for camp.
Our clinical team is honored to provide music therapy treatment and support clients’ growth in various areas of their life. Thanks to the parent for helping share the “why” behind music therapy treatment!
Providing music therapy services for early childhood to older adults, music instruction and enrichment plus continuing music therapy education in Greater Charlotte Area of the Carolinas.