Saturday, April 21, 2012

Story Time: Can Be So Much More!

One of the most important things I have learned lately is that be you a teacher or therapist, it is imperative that you "teach for transfer."  

This means that we have to explain why we are doing something, (e.g., a song, instrument activity, etc.) and how it will help outside of the therapeutic setting or class.    

A new study just came out that showed how parents and teachers can significantly improve preschoolers' future reading abilities simply by pointing out features in print as they read the stories!  This might simply be showing the differences between capital and lowercase letters on the page or demonstrating how to read from left to right and top to bottom on a page.  

Saturday, April 14, 2012

GA Music Therapy Licensure Bill Still Awaits Signature

The Governor of Georgia, Nathan Deal, still has not signed the bill into law regarding state licensure for music therapy.  Here are the details as provided by Nelson Mullins:

SB 414 was authored by Sen. Renee Unterman (R-Buford) and deals with licensing individuals who are engaging in the practice of music therapy.  There are currently about 125 individuals in Georgia who are "music therapists."  The legislation creates this new licensure under the Secretary of State in Chapter 25A of Title 43.  

The Bill, as it passed the House, is the negotiated agreement worked out by the various groups who had raised concerns (including speech-language pathologists, occupational therapists, psychologists and others) about the Bill because it lacked a true scope of practice for these folks.  It is still viewed as an unfunded mandate to the Secretary of State which has the responsibility of licensing this new group.  It passed the House by a vote of 116 to 49.  The Senate, upon a motion made by Sen. Unterman, agreed to the House version of SB 414 by a vote of 45 to five and that action now moves the legislation to the Governor's desk.

Governor Deal has 40 days in which to take action on Bills passed this Session; that time expires on May 8, 2012.  The Governor's office keeps an updated webpage for signed bills here.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Ashley Lundquist Doing 30 apps in 30 days for April!

You really need to check out Ashley Lundquist's series on iPad/iPhone apps!  She is doing a review of one app a day all through the month of April!

You can find her at Music Therapy = Love.  I really like the "Box" app that she pointed out offers much more storage than dropbox!  Thanks Ashley! 

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Music Lifting Spirits Among Patients with Cancer

This story is not about a music therapist, but definitely about someone who is using music in a therapeutic and uplifting way.

Charlie Lustman is a cancer survivor who is giving back to others some of the care and spirit that helped him get through his own illness.  I love his colorful guitar and commitment to visiting so many cancer centers around the country to help inspire patients!  He has written an entire album of songs about his fight with cancer and you would never know that he lost half of his jaw due to Osteo Sarcoma.  

You can read the story or watch the video news story here.     

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Text alert! Danger of Impaired Learning

I currently teach a couple of college courses for music therapy students.  I try to keep the students very engaged and active in class by alternating lecture, discussion, role-play and simulations.  

But I have wondered about the proliferation of cell phones and the effect of streaming information in the form of Facebook, Twitter and text messaging on class participation.  Even with an engaging curriculum and motivating topics, there are still cell phones in pockets and purses or sitting on desktops, buzzing away, even on silent.  

I think my fears are starting to be verified by some new research.  It seems that lack of attention in class as a result of in-class texting does seem to have an effect on student performance.

What do you think?  Can you remain totally focused in class or in a meeting while engaged in a text conversation?

What about texting while you are on the phone with someone else?  Texting while performing in a concert??  Are we beginning to see signs of a sort of societal ADD? 


Tuesday, April 3, 2012

More Cool SER-AMTA Stuff!

Natalie Mullis is a music therapist in private practice and author of the blog: Key Changes Music Therapy.  She is definitely a rising star in the music therapy field and has jumped into the profession with lots of excitement!  

I was not able to attend her conference presentation at the Southeastern Regional American Music Therapy Conference 2012 this past weekend, but several of my students and colleagues were able to listen to her speak.  I heard many good comments about the information she shared, so if you would like a copy of her presentation handout, Natalie has posted one on her blog.  Check it out here, and don't miss the opportunity to get her e-book about being successful as a young professional!  

Monday, April 2, 2012

Music Therapy is Not Just a "Frill Service"

According to the Health Sciences Association of British Columbia, a large public union in Canada, there are over 40 music therapists listed as being members of their organization.  Unfortunately, healthcare downsizing is often resulting in the loss of music therapy jobs held by these union members.  

Although there are some expansions of music therapy into the hospitals and healthcare taking place in the U. S., there is still the idea out there that music therapy can be cut since it is not an "essential service."

In response to this lack of understanding regarding music therapy, the Music Therapy Association of British Columbia has released a video called, "The Gift of Music: Stories of Music Therapy."  The creators talk about the documentary: 

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Artur Rubenstein On the Power of Music

"I am tired before the concert, not afterward."

~ Artur Rubinstein

Music therapy makes sense!

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