Music Moves

Perspectives & Insights from a Local Music Therapist

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One conference. 2 theatrical productions. The creation of a new business that included my participation in 6 bellydance workshops (and countless more performances!) .  Journeys with my family through cancer diagnoses and treatments, mental health scares and issues of race and ethics galore.  It’s been an eventful year to be sure! As one of my HOH (Hard of Hearing) clients put it best: “this doesn’t taste like raspberry!”

You may be looking at that sentence and thinking “say what?”  To explain it, I’ll tell you a story:

When I visit the North Dakota School for the Deaf, I have two primary goals I address with my clients there: to improve their impulse control and strengthen their language skills.  Within those two goals are countless objectives. Following directions, increasing positive social interaction, and using articles like “a” “an,” and “the” in their sentences, the sky is really the limit!  This particular student has been one of the most tentative speakers we’ve ever had. By the time of our Holiday party in December, it was a victory just to hear her say “I want that” at the same time as pointing to a raspberry flavored piece of candy: in past months this student would’ve just pointed.  So imagine our excitement at hearing her exclaim upon tasting the candy “this doesn’t taste like raspberry!”  Not only had our student put together yet another sentence using a demonstrative pronoun, she had demonstrated that she had a concept of what raspberry was supposed to taste like and drawn a conclusion that what she was tasting was different – she had made a verbal comparison.  Her mother, teachers and I could hardly contain our amazed excitement as we exclaimed “it DOESN’T?! Oh my goodness, THANK YOU for telling us, I’ll have to try one too! You’re RIGHT! That doesn’t taste like raspberry at all!”

So when I say that sentence (“this doesn’t taste like raspberry!”) as one that is indicative of my year, I mean it in two ways: first, that it’s been a year full of twists and turns I never saw coming, but also, that it’s been a year full of wonder, I hope as much for those around me as it has been for me personally.

Friends with me on Facebook? You can check out details of my year here

“Like” this blog on Facebook? You may have seen some photos there that I posted recently of a client of mine from the School for the Blind deep in the process of achieving her goals.  It was a series of moments I will be forever grateful to her Grandmother for capturing.  I encourage you to hop on over to the Music Moves Facebook page and check them out!

Coming up soon will be another Music Therapy Advocacy Monthin which I hope to take part for the second year.  Even though I don’t post on this site as regularly as I used to, it is wonderful to reflect on the things that still leave me in awe of the profession I’ve dedicated myself to and all the amazing branches that have sprung from the seeds my education and career have given me.  And don’t even get me started on the people I’ve met (and continue to meet! :-))  As my social circle grows, so is my life enriched. As always, no matter how far away I am from this blog, I am constantly posting on Twitter, where you can “follow” me @MusicMovesND – so whether it’s here, there, or somewhere I haven’t even thought of or heard of yet, I’m sure we’ll see you around soon!

ps: Happy New Year!


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