Thursday, May 19, 2011

Follow-up to "The Magical 'Moving Guitar'"

Today, for the first time, that same student stood independently from his/her chair in order to get to the tone chimes.  The teacher and I both did instant happy dances! 
Music therapy: using music as the means to accomplish non-musical goals. 

THIS is why I'm a music therapist.  Even though I don't have children of my own, I know the thrill and excitement of achieving 'firsts'.  Those 'firsts' seem even more exciting when they're delayed.  Or when an individual achieves something the "experts" said they never would.  Everyday I get to witness children, adolescents, and young adults exceeding expectations.  I feel so incredibly blessed to be able to use my musical gifts to elicit positive changes for others and to have the priviledge to work with such amazing people - students, staff, parents, administrators - everyday.  Thank you all for allowing me the honor to provide Creative Opportunities to Develop so many extraordinary Abilities!  

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

The Magical "Moving Guitar"

The magic of the "Moving Guitar" revealed itself yet again this week: I had another kiddo start walking during music therapy.

What is the "Moving Guitar?"  The "Moving Guitar" is a trick I discovered a few years back.  At the end of class, students have a turn to strum my guitar using the giant pick during the goodbye song.  I have many students that are very motivated by and look forward to playing the guitar.  I've found that if I hand the student the pick and then slowly back up on my rolling stool so that I am just out of reach, they will take a step or two to reach me and the guitar.  I utilize this technique when students are really close to walking independently, but just need that extra motivation to let go.

After months of coaxing a "step or two", on Tuesday those couple steps became eight.  And then another fourteen.  And then my student spent a good portion of the rest of the afternoon independently walking up and down the school hallway.  And me?  I've been on Cloud 9 ever since!