Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Being A Music Therapist With a Headache

Music Therapy time with Miss Caylyn!
Sorry for the creepiness of the kids' heads being blurred.

Physical pain messes with my emotional energy which makes it twice as hard to do my job as a music therapist. Sometimes I feel like I can't focus on planning and working on new songs and interventions because I'm so drained from the headache, which is out of my control. Then there's the obvious trying to sing, play the guitar, and listen to kids banging on instruments with a headache. *deep sigh*

But it's not always about the physical pain. God gives me moments of encouragement right when I need it.

Yesterday a student was sad after music therapy group was over and he was crying. This student uses an ipad as an augmentative communication device to speak. The teacher asked him why he was sad. He typed, "music gone." She said that Miss Caylyn would be back again. Then he initiated the statement, "awards to Caylyn". The teacher said, "oh, you think Caylyn should get an award? What would Caylyn's award be for?" And he typed singing.

This morning I was meeting with my supervisor to talk about how the year was going and what my goals were for the year. We were talking about an ED high school program that I go to for students who cannot function in the general education high schools. My supervisor said about that teacher, "well she already thinks that you set the world on fire."

This morning at an elementary classroom for students with autism, I was packing up after music therapy group. A student was listening to music as her break for work (ironic because her 'work' was music therapy and her break was music). She asked me if she could sit on my lap. She was smiling and laughing. She hugged me and asked me to do silly noises with my lips (a stimulation she really likes).

Today I had a private guitar lesson with a student that I also see at school in one of the classrooms I go to. He is always so excited for his guitar lesson (and he is a great musician too!). I was telling him how today we had guitar lesson and tomorrow I will be at his school for music therapy. He finished the sentence, "and have fun!"

It's moments like these I'm so grateful I have. They are greater than the headache. They provide validation that, even though I don't always feel like it, the headache is not winning and is not interfering with my job.

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