Piedmont Music Therapy, LLC is grateful to celebrate its ninth anniversary of making music with individuals of all ages and abilities in greater Charlotte.
Staff's work days are spent all around town, from York County in SC (learning and growing with preschoolers in a special needs classroom at St. John's United Methodist Church Preschool (Fun Fact: this was PMT's first community partner) up Interstate -77 to sites in Mecklenburg County of NC.
We could not do our work without accessible and welcoming clinic spaces provided through Rogers Memorial Church of Rock Hill, SC and rented from Stuart Partners, Inc. in Charlotte, NC.
Your support on social media, offering musical instruments and advocating for creative & expressive arts offerings are greatly appreciated.
Here are some special ways that we are recognizing our 9th anniversary as a woman owned, small business this month:
It has been another year of amazing songs and stories. Thank you for supporting our work in the community.
Image Description (ID) 1: A half blue half green background with a laptop screen displaying PMT’s eighth note logo. Writing above and below the laptop reads Piedmont Music Therapy 2021 Wrapped.
ID 2: Blue background with white piano keys, music notes, and a hand holding a heart. In the middle are three circles. Above the circles reads "Total served." Circle one states "Individual MT Sessions: 920", Circle two states "Group MT Sessions: 455", and Circle three reads "Music Lessons: 1,136."
ID 3: Blue background with a picture of a laptop, green music notes, and two circles. Circle one states "Virtual MT Sessions: 164", Circle two states "In-Person MT Sessions: 1,211."
ID 4: Blue background with green lettering lists "Communities Served: NAMI Piedmont Tri-County, St. John’s United Methodist Church, Charlotte Rescue Mission Dove’s Nest, Magnolia Minds Matter Memory Care, Phillips Academy, InReach, Manus Academy, Camp Blue Skies, Autism After 18, Camp Trusted Parents, Epiphany School of Charlotte." Green Circle at the bottom of the picture states: "35 individual children and 7 individual adults at our clinic."
We are so excited to offer 5 different camps at our new location in 2022!
They vary based upon focus through a music therapy framework or music education emphasis.
Pending weather, we'll spend some of the time having fun outside together - please bring a water bottle!
The cost ranges based upon length of camp (4 or 5 days in length, 1 - 2 hours) and number of staff needed to facilitate.
Here's a flier detailing the choices with children and teens in mind. Let us know if you have any questions about this summer's camp options!
Written by Matrisha Stafford, MT Intern
WOW! SIX. WHOLE. MONTHS. I am so grateful for this moment. To finally say I am only a couple weeks away from finishing my internship is one of the greatest blessings and moments for me to date in life. I am so humbled and grateful to the team at Piedmont for helping me grow and thrive as a new music therapy candidate. As things come to a close here, I have been able to reflect on how much music has been such a big part of the last six months for me. I have used it daily, have gotten stronger as a singer and instrumentalist, acquired new skills on new instruments, and grown so much personally and professionally. Having the music as the focus in both areas really strengthened me and allowed me to push myself to new levels. For my final contribution to the blog, I would like to share a playlist of songs that have pushed me through this time as an intern. There are songs that evoke emotions, songs to dance to, songs I used in sessions and songs that reflect on how thankful I was through all this and still remain. I look forward to all the things that 2022 has to offer, and I appreciate the community around PMT for allowing me to make my mark on this place and your families. Please enjoy my playlist, and comment below a few song selections that pump you up, or get you in the spirit of achieving and overcoming!
As I near the end of my internship, I decided to take some time to consider the most significant songs and create a fun medley. Whether these songs are simply songs I sang all the time, songs that helped create beautiful moments, or songs that were about connection between myself and clients or staff members, they all had some impact on my internship journey. They are listed below:
And, because I am a musician, who very much enjoys singing and playing, here is a compilation of them all:
If you are a music therapist or music therapist to be, take a moment to reflect on the most impactful songs used in your day-to-day sessions. If you are not a music therapist, reflect on impactful songs in your life!
Written by: Matrisha Stafford, MT Intern
As the holiday season is officially upon us, what better way to celebrate than with a playlist of some very classic, and possibly new, songs to jam to and really ramp up the holiday Spirit! Not to worry if traditional holiday music isn’t your thing, please enjoy a smooth jazz and relaxation playlist. As the Holiday playlist gets you into the spirit, let the jazz playlist remind you that during this season where we are busy visiting family and friends, staying up late to wrap gifts for loved ones, or even cooking our last minute dishes for holiday meals, we must always remember to take time to slow down, check in with ourselves, breathe, and relax. We hope this time is full of laughter, rest and rejuvenation, and a lot of yummy meals!
Click here for some Holiday Classics!
Click here to relax with some classic Jazz and Blues!
By: Gabby Jones, Music Therapy Intern
As I’m nearing the end of my internship, I’ve reflected a lot on how far I have come. It wasn’t a straight or smooth path, nor was it all downhill. I’ve learned a lot about myself as a therapist and a musician, but also as an individual navigating the end of my time as a student, and the beginning of my journey as a professional. In the last several months, I’ve come to realize the ways in which I work best, and also the ways in which I recharge best. As someone who is passionate about preventative self-care and mental well-being, I want to acknowledge the importance of rest in the midst of hard work. Here are the ways in which I have learned to take care of myself, despite working the hardest I’ve ever worked:
2. Eat healthy.
Although quick and easy junk-food meals often sound the most desirable, I recognize how important it is to fuel my body with good food for my brain. I eat meals with enough protein to keep me going, as well as carbs that immediately kick in and help me refuel faster. Although I often treat myself with a piece of candy or a starbucks, I make sure to balance it out with food that won’t let me crash when the extra sugar wears off. It’s about balance! Here is more info on the effect that various healthy foods have on your memory and overall brain functioning.
3. Similarly, drink water!
Water is known to increase energy levels and help with concentration. Therefore, the more water you drink, the more productive you can likely be. We are supposed to drink 6-8 glasses of water a day. However, water intake also depends on how much you’re using your body AND brain. I’ve realized that I thrive on about 3 refills of my hydroflask - that’s 94 ounces of water per day. The more water, the better! Here is more info on the benefits of drinking water.
4. Set personal work boundaries.
In the professional world, there is pretty much ALWAYS something that needs to be done. I’ve learned that my to-do list in my planner is never empty, and probably never will be. However, I work hard to make sure that I am allowing myself to rest at the end of the day and on weekends. I set deadlines for myself, of course, but I also make sure that if I’m feeling drained at the end of a long day, I step away from my emails and revisit them in the morning. Overworking leads to burnout.
5. Do things you like to do.
After a long week of hard work, I often treat myself on the weekend. I read a new book, watch a few episodes of a show I’ve been wanting to watch, go hiking with my family, or go out with friends. I remind myself that although work is important and a huge part of my life, it is not my entire life. I am rightfully entitled to spend time doing things that help me feel like myself during the time I have off on the weekends. Similarly to the previous point about setting boundaries, I make sure that even if I have a long week ahead of me, I take the time to nurture my mental well-being by having fun and relaxing, at least for a few hours on Saturdays and Sundays so that I can go to work on Monday in the healthiest headspace possible.
In conclusion, I’ve learned how important it is to take preventative measures to ensure a healthy mind and body while balancing a busy work life. Similarly to the points listed above, I also like to journal, exercise, and spend time meditating or praying.
What are some measures you take to properly balance work and personal life? If you feel that you don’t take care of your mental health related to your work life as much as you’d like to, what are some things you’d like to try?
By: Matrisha Stafford, Music Therapy Intern
As an Intern, or maybe as a Therapist in general, our typical aim of treatment is to move closer to our clients goals. In my continued learning and practice towards becoming a professional music therapist I have encountered a lot of various things as I have planned and executed treatment for clients over the years, however I have never encountered such consistently challenging sessions with clients during that time. My internship has presented me with several opportunities to be apart of treatment plans that have challenged me in many new ways. Allow me to tell you a story about what it means to me to closely look for changes in my clients.
I always try to look for ways to connect musically and verbally with clients. In this case though, it seemed like the more I tried to engage them the less interested, distracted, and negative attention seeking they became. When I noticed this I began pulling from my MT toolkit and thinking in my head, “whatever it takes to get through to them, that’s what we will do.” Week after week though, it inwardly felt like minimal progress connecting was happening and we instead came away with more and more lessons on what wasn’t working. It was only after being posed with the question, “have you asked what they want?” I realized I had been looking for change without listening to what my client was telling me. No matter verbally or nonverbally through their behavior, I had never taken into account what they may be trying to express to me. Very determined to make progress, I took this realization with me into our next time together, consistently asking them throughout that time, “what do you what?'' offering choices, and listening to and watching for their verbal and non verbal communication. During that time I saw a more engaged and regulated client in front of me who offered me insight into their feelings, and their willingness to participate in various activities. They were able to better communicate their desires for music making, and also communicated when they were finished, making that time together the best moments we have had so far in treatment.
That short reflection has so many key details and learning points for all of us as we continue upholding our responsibilities to our clients to be the best therapist we can be to them. Remember to listen, remembering to allow for opportunities where your clients can express their autonomy, and knowing when to push, and when to yield to what the client may be showing you or telling you. As Music Therapists we should always be looking for how the music can be used to foster change, encourage vulnerability, and create an environment where clients can flourish. Sometimes it can be easy to get caught up in wanting the change that we can forget that what we do is both giving and taking between the client and ourselves. This particular client has taught me so much already, but the lesson of persistence, of patience, and really looking at what clients are trying to tell us is the best way to listen and be in tune with them so that the change we are looking for can occur. For more helpful information on how to communicate with and assist in nurturing thoughtful and autonomous people, check out Dr. Becky over at Good Inside.
BY: Gabby Jones, Music Therapy Intern
October 24th is “National Make A Difference Day”, and I firmly believe in making a difference in not only the larger world around us, but in the lives of the people we love the most. Something that I have always found important is loving my family and friends in the ways that make them feel the most loved. Because of this, I work hard to understand the ways in which each individual likes to feel special, or rather, their love language.
The five love languages were first discussed in Gary Chapman’s 1992 book, The Five Love Languages: How To Express Heartfelt Commitment to Your Mate. Chapman outlines how an individual’s love language describes how they best receive and express love. The first is “Words of Affirmation”, meaning that an individual feels most loved when simply being told they are loved and appreciated, or reassured in their importance in another person’s life. The second is “Acts of Service”, meaning that an individual feels most loved when someone does something for them, such as folding their laundry, making dinner, or assisting in a difficult project. The third love language is, “Receiving gifts”, meaning that an individual feels most loved when given something special. The fourth love language is “Quality Time”, meaning that an individual feels most loved when spending uninterrupted and undisturbed time with people they love. The last love language is “Physical Touch”, meaning that an individual feels most loved when being touched by their loved one, such as being given a hug or a kiss.
Recently, in a group session themed around acts of kindness and love, I discussed love languages with the members of the group. I chose a song to represent each of the five love languages, and I asked each group participant to share which song and love language resonated most with them. Here is the list:
Words of Affirmation: Metta Chant by Barbara Dunn (May You Be Well)
Acts of Service: Lean On Me
Gifts: Magic Penny
Quality Time: Stand By Me
Physical Touch: I Wanna Hold Your Hand
Love languages are powerful in creating connections with others. Understanding how a person feels appreciated and cared for can allow you to better establish and maintain a healthy relationship. Additionally, communicating your own love language can help others understand when and how you need to be reminded of their love for you.
As therapists, understanding love languages in the people you work with can help in noting which ways individuals best receive feedback, encouragement, or reassurance. This can help with rapport within groups, not just between clients and staff, but between participants altogether. Building rapport between clients is just as important as creating connections between client and therapist. Additionally, understanding fellow staff members’ love languages can assist you in best supporting each other!
What is your love language? How does your love language play a role in your personal life? How does your love language play a role in your professional life? Is there a specific song that you feel best represents your love language that varies from the list above?
A day here at Piedmont Music Therapy is always exciting! Below is a list of songs that will take you through a day in the life of a Piedmont Music Therapy Intern, by Mary Kiefriter.
Perfect Day - I like to start my days with a positive mindset, upbeat music and a big cup of coffee. I’ve realized that your mindset for the day can have a bigger impact than you think.
Drivers License - After I get ready I drive to the main clinic to do some work before my first session. This includes finishing up documentation, tuning ukuleles for a group session or making visuals.
Dynamite - Some days I might have a dynamite session where I lead my interventions well and the clients meet their goals. When using the preferred music of clients their engagement increases which motivates them to participate and reach their goals.
Shake it Off - Things can change quickly in the world of private practice. This can be anything from a client becoming sick and needing to cancel their session to a group having different clients than you had expected or planned for. Whenever this happens we shake it off and keep moving through our day.
Paperback Writer - We document each session in order to track the client’s progress during treatment. Documenting and doing paperwork is something I am still learning how to do as an intern. Each supervisor completes documentation differently so I have the opportunity to see multiple different ways of documenting client information.
Shotgun - Because we drive to and from different locations to provide mobile services we often carpool to save gas. Carpooling also builds time in our busy schedules to discuss a session and get feedback from our supervisor.
Bye Bye Bye - Before I leave for the day I pack up what materials I can for my sessions the next day in order to be more efficient with my time. I make notes for each of my sessions to complete my documentation at home. I tell everyone at the clinic goodnight and head home.
If you would like to listen to this playlist just click here! Comment below to let us know if your daily routine relates to any of these songs.
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.