Welcome to the month of February! I am happy to announce that I am still going strong on many of my New Years Resolutions (mainly, this blog)! Many of you will be experiencing the “dead of winter” now with snow and ice and all that fun stuff. Spring is just a distant hope. I, however, am experiencing the seasonal ambiguity that occurs in San Diego, CA. I can hardly tell if it’s February or June with the constant sunshine and warm temperatures. This is my first winter living here and I definitely miss the arctic storms that hit Cleveland, OH.
Regardless of where you live, February is the shortest month, which reminds us to enjoy the little things in life.
Keeping with this sentiment, we will be focusing on Children’s music (little songs for little people).
A few weeks ago, I had the pleasure of interviewing a fellow BWU alumnus who has recently entered the professional world of Music Therapy. Hopefully you will all learn a little bit from what she had to say!
Kimberly Haffey, MT-BC, graduated Baldwin Wallace University in 2014 with a double major in Music Performance and Music Therapy. Kim gained experience with diverse populations throughout her Practicum, including adolescents in Juvenile Detention and Elderly in long term care facilities. She completed her required internship hours with Seasons Hospice and Palliative Care, and became a Board Certified Music Therapist toward the end of the year. She was recently hired by Residential Services Inc. in Indianapolis, Indiana, where she provides music therapy services to Children and Adults with developmental disabilities.
One of her favorite resources is Garage Band, which she uses when composing and recording songs with clients.
The most challenging aspect of repertoire for Kim is keeping up with her new clients’ diverse preferences. “Sometimes you can get away with just singing a verse and chorus of a song with your clients, but when you are using preferred repertoire, you may find you need to know the whole song well”. I asked Kim if she has any strategies when learning all new music for new clients. She replied that it can be beneficial use a clients’ favorite song as a reward during the session, or offer other songs the therapist is more familiar with that are similar to what was requested. In regards to learning new repertoire, “make it something you do habitually. The more time you spend memorizing lyrics, the faster process it becomes.”
Kim’s Top 10
1. You Send Me – Sam Cook
2. My Girl – TheTemptations
3. Twinkle Twinkle Little Star
5. The Lion Sleeps Tonight
6. Home on the Range
7. Green Grass Grows All Around – The Learning Station
8. Opportunity – Sia
9. Let it Go – Frozen
10. Firework – Katy Perry
I love what Kim said about learning music “habitually”. That is EXACTLY what we are trying to accomplish with the Music Therapy Repertoire Challenge. We feel that by learning a new song every week (regardless if it directly relates to our current clients), we are setting ourselves up for professional personal, and clinical success.
I had a lot of fun with our Top 2014 hits last month. I hope our followers did as well. Get ready for getting on the floor with some unbreakable instruments the next couple weeks!
To make things more fun and interesting, we will be adding 2 new features to our Song of the Week posts this month.
1. Resources for working with children – each week we will share a helpful article, book, app, or other resource that can be helpful with this population.
2. Cover Videos – we will be posting a video of ourselves “covering” the Song of the Week (giving full credit to the original artists, of course). We hope all of you will post videos as well so we can learn from each others creativity and musical language.
I hope you all have a wonderful month. Looking forward to learning children’s music!
Appreciating the little things,