Out the Window

Published by KidLinks on: Jun 15, 2017 — Music Therapy

I am fortunate to have a job that has a high yield “feel-good” rate. At the end of my sessions, my clients and I feel good and rarely is there a time when a client hesitates to come into the music therapy room. The tool I use - music - is usually well-loved. Once I get to know a client fairly well, sessions tend to run pretty smoothly. There are always minor hitches, redirections and interruptions to the well planned session, but for the most part, I know what I can expect from a client, how hard I can push for new responses, and ways I can help them stretch to grow. But occasionally, my well-thought-out session plan just has to be thrown out the window and I have to very quickly come up with a completely new, off-the-cuff plan that still has therapeutic value for that child.

That happened not too long ago when one of my two year old clients came into the music therapy room clinging to her mom, looking a little teary eyed, and very unsure. This is a child who usually walks right in by herself, sits in her chair with a big smile on her face and bubbles with eagerness to start. I gave her mom a quizzical look and she explained that they had just moved to a new house. Ohhhhh…

I quickly realized this child did not need her usual session plan - we typically worked on communication skills, specifically articulation and vocal quality. She needed emotional support. What an amazing thing music is - as a therapeutic tool it is so flexible. It was easy to use some of her favorite, well-loved songs to calm her, give her a sense of well-being and safety, and even a little fun during an emotionally rough time. She and her mom also bonded and shared some giggles and got some good snuggle time in.

Sometimes the plan, the agenda, the intervention goes right out the window but fortunately, the shift in a new direction is hardly a hiccup thanks to the wonders of music.

By Cora Lansdowne, MME, MT-BC


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