New Year, New Adventures

2016 was fairly monumental for me professionally and personally. It was my first entire calendar year of being a board certified music therapist, I led music therapy sessions at both YCCA school locations as well as the public preschool in New Jersey, I presented at the regional music therapy conference, I started doing individual music therapy in addition to my group sessions, I implemented a documentation system for the individual sessions, and I became a supervisor for music therapy students. I have to say –  I’m pretty proud of my 2016 self.

Oh and on top of all of that, I had a baby! Introducing Charlie, born in December of 2016. So 2016 was quite a year!

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Now 2017 is going to be a whole new adventure for me. I’m currently on maternity leave until March but then I dive back in and try to figure out how to balance my career as a full-time music therapist and as a full-time mom. While I have my own personal resolutions for this new year, I wanted to share my professional ones. Looking back at my 2016 New Year’s post, I’m proud of how successful I was at reaching most of my goals so I figure it can’t hurt to continue the tradition.

So here we go:

  • Learn to play the ukulele – for real this time. Honestly. I know I’ve had this as a resolution for a couple of years now, and I kept meaning to learn while I was pregnant; it would have been a lot easier lugging around and playing a ukulele with my large belly instead of a guitar. But oh well. Maybe this year? Maybe?
  • Fall in love again with the piano – Before grad school, I had never played guitar before, so I put most of my energy into learning that instrument and not so much on piano. I am thrilled with how far I’ve come with guitar, because while my skills are still  basic, I at least have a lot more confidence and truly enjoy using the guitar during my sessions. But now it’s time to return my focus to the piano again. I’m hoping to take advantage of maternity leave as a time to start improvising again, expanding my repertoire, and enjoying the piano once again. Baby Charlie surely won’t mind a little piano music during his naps.
  • Become a better supervisor – Becoming a supervisor for undergraduate music therapy students was a wonderful challenge and addition to my professional life this past year. Guiding students through the process of developing skills and interventions as well as introducing them to the world of early childhood music therapy stimulates me intellectually and inspires me to improve my own practice.
  • Write more music – One of the many things I love about being a music therapist is the constant inspiration to write new music for new interventions. Whether it is changing lyrics, adapting pre-existing music, or writing new melodies to use in my sessions. While sometimes it’s easier to use the same old song and the same old interventions, being creative keeps me inspired to do my work and makes for better, more personalized, more authentic music therapy work. I’d like to add at least six original compositions to the My Music page this year. That’s one every two months and that’s definitely doable.
  • And finally – keep blogging! This blog has been a wonderful form of self-care for me, a chance to share my work, ponder questions of ethics and personal growth, and celebrate the music therapy profession.

Here’s to a new year! Happy 2017!

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