I had a pet dinosaur and Dino was his name-o. D-I-N-O, D-I-N-O, D-I-N-O and Dino was his name-o. Rewriting lyrics to popular songs is one of my favorite ways to come up with new interventions. In grad school, a classmate and I wrote a new version of Britney Spears’ “Hit Me Baby One More Time” for … More And DINO Was His Name-O!
Kids learn by watching and imitating the people around them. In a preschool setting, they constantly copy what their peers are doing (for better or for worse!). But most of all, they are watching the adults around them for guidance as to what they are supposed to do. Lately I have noticed how the adult presence in … More Not Just For Kids
You might have heard that we had a little bit of snow this weekend here on the East Coast. A blizzard, some might say. As a California girl, I still love getting snow even though I’ve lived on this coast for almost 15 years. We never got snow days growing up in California so the luxury … More A Welcomed Snow Day
Dramatic play is one of my favorite interventions to use in music therapy. As January is outer space month at YCCA, there are ample opportunities for blasting off into space, talking to aliens, and counting shooting stars. This is the perfect month to take advantage of young children’s imaginative capabilities. Plus making up stories and … More Going on an Adventure
2015 is going to be hard to top. One of my Drexel classmates posed a question on Facebook asking people to respond with their proudest accomplishments of 2015. What a great way to reminisce about the last year. So I began to think about it and got a bit overwhelmed – in a good … More New Year = New Goals
I have been a professional performer much longer than I have been a music therapist, and even though I now have a full time job, I simply can’t say no to all of the holiday performance and gig opportunities. In December, whenever I was not at my job at YCCA, I was rehearsing or performing … More ‘Tis the Season to Perform
Therapy is not only about making yourself feel better. It is about discovering your strengths and creating change through a therapeutic relationship. We do not do therapy all by ourselves. We need a therapist to listen to us, to guide us, to encourage us, to challenge us, to make music/art/movement/conversation with us. This relationship is what … More The Therapeutic Relationship
You want me to improvise? Are you crazy? What do you mean I have to just make up notes? What if I sing the wrong one? I remember at my interview at Drexel, the music therapy director asked me if I had ever improvised, and I shook my head, cringing a little in embarrassment at my … More Just Make It Up!
November is a month where we celebrate Day of the Dead, All Souls Day, and Thanksgiving, reminding us of who we have lost and what we are thankful for. Year after year, we continue rituals of gathering together for food and fellowship. At YCCA in November, we focus on Native American music, recognizing the importance … More Ritual, Remembrance, and Ridiculousness
For two year olds, “Please” and “Thank you” are hard to remember but we insist that the kids use the words constantly throughout the day. I knew that one of my first songs I needed to write for my work at YCCA would be a “please and thank you” song. One Sunday evening, I sat … More Using Nice Words