All Things Deep Are Song

The Adventures of a New Board-Certified Music Therapist

  • 11th June
  • 11


Ok so I only have like 20 minutes to fill everyone in on how things are going in VA.  I am extremely exhausted but I am soooo having a blast!  Which is why I am still awake, I am running on pure adrenaline and happiness :D

I had a great time on Thursday with Beth.  I actually got to see some of my old patients and helped facilitate one of the groups on the Alzheimer’s/dementia floor.  One of my patients, Mrs. C, was so happy to see me and she went right into telling me how she has improved over the past several months.  She has MS and her primary goals while I worked with her were improving here breathing, diction, and tone as well as getting some of the dexterity back in her fingers and maintaining full use of her vocal chords.  She made sure to tell me that she was getting better at singing in her upper register (or head voice) and that she will be learning harmonica soon as well.  My favorite though was the fact that she has been socializing with the other patients much more than the last time I saw her.  She just looked so happy, it was a great feeling to see her in such a way!

I have been able to see many of my VA friends as well.  I believe Thursday night a group of us went to Thelma’s Chickens and Waffles and saw a friend play in a Reggae Band (The Lazy man Dub Band if you are curious) and then Yesterday I got to go to St. Mary’s Waterfalls with my friend Alex M. (I got to swim in the river!), after my course I got to go to Floyd for their Friday night Jamboree (I got to flat foot and add some salsa moves to awesome bluegrass music- how is that for crossing genre’s????).  I think tonight I will be going to a place called martins….  Things are busy yet super awesome!

So far my CMTE course has been wonderful!  I am not gonna lie I was a little nervous about not really knowing anyone, but there were people who were there that I had met the last time I checked out Radford.  I am learning lots and lots!  I would write more but I am crunched for time before I go back…  So one quick story.

Remember that drum video I posted a few days ago of a man named Kalani playing the drum?  Well this man is pretty awesome and I found out when I got to the course that he was co-teaching!  So at the beginning of the course yesterday we all had to introduce ourselves- when it was my turn I said:  Hi my name is Nicole and I am a brand new Music Therapist!”  and everyone clapped (everyone else was either a student of practicing professional).  So right after me, Kalani had to introduce himself.  After he stated his name he turns to me and says: “I have to give you the pound sign, because I to am a brand new music therapist and I took my CBMT exam in March as well!” .  I got a pound sign from Kalani!!!!  Soooooooooo cool…  Maybe we can become Bff’s…  :D

Ok I have to eat, so more updates to come!!!!!!!!

I apologize for any terrible grammar, mispelled words, or run on sentences!

  • 8th June
  • 08
  • 7th June
  • 07

MTD Level One Intensive

Hey all!  I sincerely apologize for not posting anything in the last several weeks.  As usual I have been super busy.  In the last 3 weeks or so I not only finished my stage manager job for the Jewish Repertory Theatre’s production of Lebensraum, but I also went through three job interviews for the store Anthropologie (which I did get offered the job of receiver last week!  Huzzah!), have been helping out with lighting calls for ICTC’s production of The Playboy of the Western World, babysitting, and bartending.  I know I could have made time to post on my blog, however it has just been exhausting trying to make ends meet, finding a job, and also trying to make some new friends.

 I am currently finding it amusing that those in the music therapy profession forgot to tell some of us new MT’s that there sometimes is a long period of waiting for a job and that there is still all of this other “adult stuff” to worry about along with the waiting.  I am not naive about life after college and internship, I believe I am only amused because I am stating this fact out loud.  It’s not a bad fact, in reality this subject is not really talked about in college.  In school, I was told that more and more jobs are being created for music therapists (which is extremely true), however depending on what population you may want to work with, whether you want to move or not, or what type of unsupervised experience  you have had, the process can take longer than others.  This is not to scare anyone at all it’s just how it can be sometimes- which is one of the reasons why I am writing this blog- to share my own insight as a new MT out in the world.

As for exciting news, I am heading to my first ever CMTE (Continuing Music Therapy Education) Course!!!  For those who don’t know, CMTE’s are courses that help keep music therapists up to date on new research, musical techniques, and helpful/measurable interventions.  CMTE’s are also kind of like college credits, except you get credit towards your certification.  Every 5 years a music therapist has to get their MT-BC credential renewed, either by re-taking the certification exam or sending in proof of 100 CMTE credits to the American Music Therapy Association (AMTA).

The course I am taking is 18 credits and is a Music Therapy Drumming Level One Intensive.  It will be held at Radford University (in Virginia) from June 10th-12th and led by Bill Matney, M.A., MT-BC.  The schedule for this weekend goes as follows:

Friday - 6:00 pm to 9:00 pm (total 3 contact hours)

Before beginning, make sure everyone is filling out their self pre-test.

5:30-6:00 Registration

6:00-6:20 - Music Therapy Drumming – New light on old perspectives.

                 Slide show

6:20-6:40  Experiential: Bass drums and rhythmic grounds, movement


The rhythmic ground

               Slide show

7:00-7:10 Break

7:10-8:00   Auxiliary percussion and coordination

8:00-8:10   Break

8:10-9:00 - Synthesis of Bass drums and shakers, musical and clinical practice

Saturday- 8:30 am to 8:30 pm (total 9 contact hours)

8:30-9:00 - Bass Drums, Body Percussion, Auxiliary percussion, introduction to Samba ensemble rhythms

9:00-9:20 - Research on Percussion in Music Therapy 

 9:20-9:30 - Break 

 9:30-10:00 – Hand Drums: Sounds/Techniques, and Introductory Bass-Tone Rhythms

10:00-10:20 Introduction to Plena: Experiential if plausible.

10:20-10:30 - Break

10:30-11:20 – Middle Eastern Frame Drum Sounds/Techniques and Introductory Rhythms

11:20-12:30- Lunch

12:30-12:45 – Warm up and review: Rhythmic Grounds, samba:

12:45-1:20 - Rhythmic Acuity 

 1:20-1:30 - break 

 1:30-2:20 – Hand Drum Sounds/Techniques, bass/tone/slap rhythms and dunun

 2:20-2:30 break

2:30-3:40 Frame Drum Sounds/Techniques and Middle Eastern ensemble play

3:40-3:50 break

3:50-4:10 - A taxonomy of drumming experiences (slideshow).

4:10-4:30 Small group breakout: Musical knowledge to music experiences: Drum accompaniment and Re-creative leadership skills

4:30-4:50 Small group breakout: Musical knowledge to music experiences: Compositional tasks using frame drums, compositional tasks using various instrumentation (if time allows) using a variety of instruments.

4:50-5:00 break

5:00-5:30 Experiential and synthesis: supporting and being supported in solo musical improvisation

5:30-6:40 dinner

6:40-7:30 – Musical knowledge to music experiences: Grounding, and other foundational clinical improvisation techniques 

 7:30-7:40 - break

 7:40-8:30 – Synthesis and Cool Down, grounds with impromptu singing, and/or improvisation: questions

Sunday - 8:30 am to 2:30 pm (total 5-6 contact hours)

8:30-10:00 Ensemble traditional/cultural experiences with all instrumentation (any related auxiliary instrument instruction)

 10:00-10:20- Break 

 10:20-12:00 – Ensemble traditional/cultural experiences with all instrumentation (any related auxiliary instrument instruction)

12:00-1:10 – Lunch

1:10-1:30 - Musical knowledge to music experiences: Percussion and receptive method experiential (or Conscious Drumming experiential)

1:30-2:30 Using what you’ve learned in practice. Question/Discussion, Closing, Completion of Evaluations

Pretty intense right???  I am not going to lie, when I first got the schedule I was extremely intimidated, however I am very excited for the experience and I cannot wait to learn some new things!  I think taking this course will not only show me some awesome new techniques but I think it will also help me market myself a little better and give me a few more ways to think outside of the box.  Plus, all the cool stuff I learn, I can share with all of you!

I will be heading out to Virginia tomorrow after my Anthropologie job orientation around 2PM.  I am hoping I can get a hike in as well as some awesome hang-out time with my favorite MT supervisor Beth at the Salem VAMC before Friday Evening.  I truly cannot wait to see those beautiful mountains once again and I am so excited to be making lots of music with some (hopefully) cool new people!  I will try and keep you updated day-to-day and maybe even post some pics!  Till then, it’s time to consider getting some rest.

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