Friday, September 30, 2011

Queen Crowned the Champion!


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Have you ever wondered what makes a hit song? Some scientists have tried to figure this out and think they have discovered the world's catchiest tunes! The number one song is, "We are the Champions!" Click here to find out the rest of the list!



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Thursday, September 29, 2011

Witches in the Closet: It is 1692 for Gibson Guitar Co


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 I continue to be shocked that the government is still going after Gibson Guitar on legal technicalities over who put the final touches on a piece of wood! You would think that with so many people unemployed that they would not be trying to put yet another company out of business. Nothing against Canada, but are we going to be left buying all of our guitars from Seagull after all of the American companies are put out of business by the Federal wood police? I think musicians might want to start paying attention to this story, regardless of your politics. If it can happen to one company, then it can happen to others. In the meantime, I will try to keep an eye on any new developments.


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Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Can I See Your License Please?


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This is a very nice article about the University of North Dakota and their role in gaining state licensure for music therapy. The article also contains an informative conversation with Dr. Andrew Knight. It is wonderful that the music therapy program at UND is thriving!



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Tuesday, September 27, 2011

The Gutting of Gibson Guitar Company


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I play a Fender guitar, but who is to say this couldn't happen to them?  More scary details come to light about the government take-down of Gibson guitars... 



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Monday, September 26, 2011

Mind Over Music


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UC Berekely researchers have been using MRI technology to record brain imagery of people watching videos and then recreating what the people watched just by looking at the MRIs! If they can start matching what we see to what our brain looks like, then they will be able to start linking the outside world to our brains. The best part about this research is mentioned in the last line of the article. They are already talking about being able to compose music just by thinking about it!


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Sunday, September 25, 2011

Hi-ho Silver!


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"An intellectual snob is someone who can listen to the William Tell Overture and not think of the Lone Ranger."
~ Dan Rather



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Saturday, September 24, 2011

Dreams of Somatron


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A few months ago I was able to try out a Somatron chair, very similar to the one in the picture. I remembered the experience today as I thought about some stiffness and soreness in my back and shoulders! The chair was amazing! I had been in one before at a conference, but it was for a short time, and the environment was very distracting. Sitting in one for twenty minutes or longer in a quiet space can be a completely different experience. I have always loved the feeling of sitting at a live orchestra concert or being very close to the fireworks going off at the fourth of July, so I was not surprised that I enjoyed the Somatron chair. It was definitely therapeutic and relaxing for me, although I think it would be the same as with anything else, subject to personal preference. Somatron has some encouraging research on their website about the clinical use of the Somatron technology, but I think there is much research yet to be done to verify the true effects of this type of intervention. Personally, I loved it, and wish that I had a chair in my living room! 


-- Just thought I would share my Somatron chair wish with you today. If you ever get the chance, try one out and let me know what you think!

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Friday, September 23, 2011

University of Windsor to End Music Therapy Program


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SAD... 



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Thursday, September 22, 2011

Music Therapy Going High Tech!


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Ronna Kaplan's newest article regarding using technology in music therapy interventions is now on-line at the Huffington Post. Thank you to the Huffington Post for sponsoring this series on music therapy!


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Wednesday, September 21, 2011

The Real Mozart Effect!


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Does anyone need a dissertation idea?...

  Mozart Motivates Sewage Microbes


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Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Rachelle Garniez on Bells


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You can become famous for almost anything! I never knew those little bells we have all seen in schools could be so expressive! I totally didn't expect her to start singing either! Enjoy:





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Monday, September 19, 2011

Don't Have a Cow! Pastural Music!


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I've heard of "cow tipping" before, but "cow serenading??" The silly cows actually look like they are paying rapt attention! I have no idea what kind of transfer we can make to music therapy, but it would be fun if we try! Let me know your ideas! You will also want to check out the whale listening to a mariachi band here!




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Sunday, September 18, 2011

Edgar Watson Howe: Good Music

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"When people hear good music, it makes them homesick for something they never had, and never will have."

~ Edgar Watson Howe







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Saturday, September 17, 2011

People with Mental Illness Sing Their Way to Healthier Life in England


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The research was recently presented at a conference from work done at the Sidney De Haan Research Centre for Arts and Health. This research center is also looking at the effects of singing on people with lung disease. It will be exciting to see all of this research when it it published! You can listen to the full BBC broadcast here.

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Friday, September 16, 2011

Zero Tolerance Gone Wild!


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      This news story is another indictment against the controversial policy of "Zero Tolerance" for weapons in schools. I also think the teachers at this school missed an opportunity for some teachable moments and have instead turned the situation into a fiasco.

      I am the first one to admit that you sometimes need some quick "duck and cover" reflexes in the special education classroom, but if a small flag on a wooden pole is now considered a weapon, then we are going to have to close down the schools! When I go to schools for music therapy, I have to imagine that almost everything in my bag is potentially a flying projectile (i.e., shaker eggs, tambourines) or useful as a poker or club (i.e., maracas, drum mallets), but it simply comes with the territory. It is my job as a therapist to know what instruments are appropriate for each client and to teach them the proper use of new instruments as they are introduced. This does not mean, however, that something might go awry! I remember quite vividly being the target of a flying paddle drum mallet that landed right between my eyes! Ouch! 


      I can certainly imagine that allowing a child with an autism spectrum disorder to carry around a flag on a wooden stick all day might cause some problems. But rather than take it away as a "weapon," how much better would it have been to treat the flag as a special item due some respect. The teachers could have involved the student as a leader in the pledge of allegiance at the beginning of the class, for example and then put the flag up high in a prominent place in the room for the day. A substitute transitional object could have been found for the student to hold onto and then redirect him to other tasks. The teachers could have taken the program even further by incorporating patriotic pictures and stories into the learning for that day. I don't think this would have been out of the ordinary since we just memorialized the tenth anniversary of September 11th. Of course, every situation is unique, but it does seem like some kind of strange political agenda got in the way of handling this situation more appropriately. That is too bad.

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Thursday, September 15, 2011

Head out on the Highway...for Music Therapy!


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This is just too cool! How can we get one of these rides set up in the States??! And the "bandwagons" they are talking about funding also seem to be a very neat idea! Way to go Canada!

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Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Come on Ellen! Don't Keep Noah Waiting!


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Noah O'Neal one step closer to getting on the Ellen show! Check it out here!





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Tuesday, September 13, 2011

A Lesson From Kat!


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Kat Fulton, founder of Rhythm for Good, has been doing some great work with drumming and corporate team building! I love her description and task analysis of a typical corporate drum circle event! You can view this incredibly useful blog-post here. Kat is rapidly becoming one of the foremost experts on drumming and music therapy so please take the time to sign up for her newsletter and other resources! You can also get her Drumify dvd by clicking on the link in the right sidebar of Music Makes Sense.  Great stuff!



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Monday, September 12, 2011

iPad: Hey, Where's the Joystick!?


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I have previously posted on the ongoing controversy of using iPads and other more affordable touch screen devices in the special education setting. Now Apple is upping the ante by moving towards technology that will make its touch screen devices compatible with joysticks and other input devices for those people who have difficulty with touchscreens. I don't think it will be long before the school systems will have to start accepting popular demand in using these devices.




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Sunday, September 11, 2011

Thoughts for 9/11.

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"Music is the art which is most nigh to tears and memory."
~ Oscar Wilde


Music makes us better able to share the sadness and commemorate the courage.





Saturday, September 10, 2011

Art Materials for Combined Music and Art Therapy: Using Clay

Art Materials for In-Patient Psychiatric Consumers During Combined Art and Music Therapy Activities


#4 Clay

       Art and music therapy have been practiced for many years in the treatment of individuals with psychiatric illness.  This series of posts will focus on patients in an in-patient psychiatric hospital, where consumers stay an average of 13 days.  The male and female consumers range in age from young adult to senior citizens.  The consumers are housed in separate units by gender, severity of illness or forensic status.  One unit for more stable patients is co-ed.  The patients are seen for therapy both on the unit and sometimes off the unit in an “art room.”
  
Music and art therapists often work at the same facility, but are likely to work independently when conducting therapy groups.  Some art therapy directives may be effectively combined with music to provide a different experience or outcome.  This series will explore the materials needed for five combined art and music interventions: drawing, using clay, creating mandalas and collages, and painting.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Gibson Guitar Update: Aftermath


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It doesn't sound like Mr. Juszkiewicz was too impressed by Pres. Obama's speech!


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Thursday, September 8, 2011

Next to Normal With a Music Therapist!


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This is a great story out of Vancouver where a music therapist will star in the musical, Next to Normal. Caitriona Murphy is the music therapist who portrays a character with a mental illness. She has been able to draw on her experiences as a music therapist and personal battle with bi-polar disorder to help interpret and dramatize her character. The musical itself has won a Pulitzer prize for drama and can be compared to popular musicals like Rent. I am interested to know if someone has seen it? I hope you will let us know what you thought about it.



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Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Update on Gibson Guitar Flap


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This could get fun! Maybe worth some popcorn!


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Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Happy Birthday Freddie!


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Don't miss the tribute today to Freddie Mercury! Go to the Google.com homepage and click on the play button above the search box for a short cartoon video. Enjoy the birthday anniversary!



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Monday, September 5, 2011

Gibson Guitar and the Department of Justice Out of Tune!


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 The story about the take-down of Gibson guitar is a little troublesome to me. I am not a conspiracy theorist, but it is odd that Gibson guitar is being singled out and attacked by the Justice Department using poorly written laws. As a musician, I am all for protecting our natural resources, but I also understand that certain woods and materials are important in the process of making instruments. There must be a way to do this and still be sensitive to the environment. If Gibson guitar is at fault, then other guitar makers should also be examined. If, however, this is just a political game, then it only brings shame to our our country and certainly can't help an already struggling music industry in a bad economy. What are your thoughts on this story?


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Sunday, September 4, 2011

July Headlines from The Daily Muse

(7-31-11) "When the power of love overcomes the love of power, the world will know peace."
~ Jimmy Hendrix




















(7-30-11) This is lengthy, but this lecture contains many great examples of music therapy and emphasizes the importance of music therapists in the medical setting. Great job by Christine Neugebauer in Texas at the "Exploring the Mind Through Music" Conference held at Rice University!  So, sit down and relax for a bit, grab some munchies, and enjoy:



(7-28-11) All Things Healing is an online community for healing mind, body, spirit and planet. The first article to be chosen from MMS is not live on their website yet, but I will let you know when you can find it. I appreciate their interest in music and music therapy! Thank you ATH!



(7-27-11)
Many of us are moving to digital files, but there are still times when you need to burn a CD and can't find a case!  The main problem is that the CDs come in the giant bundle pack and the jewel cases are sold separately!  Here is a nifty solution that uses the actual CD.  No ruler needed!







(7-26-11) Children with William's Syndrome often have a very strong interest in music. The may also have strong musical skills in relation to their other ability levels. There is a special camp that goes on every summer in Nashville for some of these kids and teens that brings them together with songwriters and famous musicians. This year they got to sing with Carrie Underwood, Darius Rucker and Wynonna!



(7-26-11) A music therapist's dream! Parts of 32 songs in a medley using only 4 chords!



(7-25-11) There is a website called, "The Full Wiki," that purports to calculate the latest trending topics on Wikipedia. One of the pages is a list of the most viewed articles in the subject category of music therapy. "Music therapy" was the obvious leader, but I found it odd that the next highest subject was "singing bowls"? Music therapist Beatrice Sparks rounded out third place! I was happy that "drum circle" was next, but not sure how singing bowls was ahead of it. I guess raw numbers don't lie, but I bet the singing bowls are getting a lot of traffic from people not interested in music therapy specifically. Take a look at the list and see what you think! At the very least it is interesting to see what people are reading about.

(7-24-11) "I would say that music is the easiest means in which to express, but since words are my talent, I must try to express clumsily in words what the pure music would have done better." 
~ William Faulkner




(7-23-11) Here is a great story out of the U.K.: "Runcorn Man Gains Back Use of Fingers Through Music Therapy." I like this story because it lists so many of the great benefits of using music therapy to speed up recovery time in rehabilitation. It also looks like music therapy is making some inroads into medical treatment in England!

(7-22-11) Have you ever wondered what a strange line from a song means? Many classic songs from the 1960's had double meanings or at least many people think some lyrics have alternate interpretations. Just in case you are wondering about an older song or something more contemporary, the website Songmeanings has you covered! This site is dedicated to discussing song lyrics and what songs mean. Some songs on the site have hundreds of comments! I think it is very interesting to read what people think about certain songs and we might all find their comments helpful in choosing songs for clients.

The Beauty of Music

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"It is cruel, you know, that music should be so beautiful. It has the beauty of loneliness and of pain; of strength and freedom. The beauty of disappointment and never-satisfied love. The cruel beauty of nature, and everlasting beauty of monotony."
~ Benjamin Britten





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Saturday, September 3, 2011

Music Therapy in Texas Faces Cuts in Funding

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I started out doing music therapy in the Southwestern Region and continue to follow news out of that part of the country. They have been dealing with government budget cuts in Texas just like almost every other state. Unfortunately, this has meant some belt tightening for services to people with disabilities. The music therapists in Texas put up a strong front during the budget battle and music therapy did not get cut out of funding, but it looks like it will be reduced along with other related services. It is not surprising, with Rick Perry running for president, that this type of budget issue has now reached the national stage. The New York Times has the following story: For Disabled, Cuts Could Affect Lifelong Improvement. 


 It is more important than ever that music therapists use evidence-based practice to assess and treat clients. Future funding will depend on research driven proof that music therapy is a necessary and fundamental therapy in treating a wide range of disabilities.  

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Friday, September 2, 2011

Calling Music Therapists! Your Opinion Counts!

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Readers of Music Makes Sense are invited to be a part of an informal survey developed by some music therapists at Florida State University.  Thanks to everyone who helps out with this!


Friends of music therapy: We have a burning question and want to see how many responses we can get via social media. Click the link below to tell us which American lullabies you think are the most popular. 


Thank you! 
 FSU Music Therapists 


http://lullabysurvey.polldaddy.com/s/american-lullabies  

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Thursday, September 1, 2011

Group Drumming An Important Strategy to Improve Mood

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There is more information coming out about the specific music strategies highlighted in the latest Cochrane Library Review. Drumming was one of the strategies they found that significantly reduced symptoms of depression for psychiatric patients. I found it most interesting that drumming alone was not as powerful as drumming paired with teaching about the purpose of the drumming and music therapy! The full story is here.  

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