Posted: September 29, 2010 in Related Issues

I’m not posting very regularly lately…life has been busy, what with the job and a house hunt.  When moved into our current place two months ago, my wife noticed a mildewy smell that was affecting her asthma.  Our landlord has not been able to find the source, so we’re moving out.  We finally found a place, and we’ll be moving AGAIN in the next few weeks.

I feel like life is in transition right now.  I’m moving from school into a career, and with no desire to go back to school for a doctorate, things are feeling more adult.  Looking at the rest of my life from this side of the educational process is kind of scary.  But I’m happy to have a wonderful wife, a great family, and really good friends who are all their to support us going forward.

Consequently, I’ve been thinking about transitions a lot in relation to music therapy sessions.  It seems like most of the problems I have in sessions, if I have problems, come either at the beginning or end of a session.  I’ve been trying to work on my transitions at those big times, but also between experiences.  A schedule helps so the client knows exactly what’s happening next.  Sometimes it’s difficult to time things exactly, so I’ve been including “Choice” right before the goodbye song as a catch-all – the client gets to choose an instrument they want to play, or a song they want to sing, or something else they want to do in music.  If we’re running short on time, I can still get them to play an instrument of their choice while we sing the goodbye song.

One thing I’ve noticed about the way I transition is that I say “Alright” or “OK” a lot when moving from activity to activity.  I’ve kind of discovered this in listening to my audio recordings of sessions, and it’s starting to annoy me almost as much as “Good job.”  I’m trying to figure out a way to break the habit…I’m thinking about having people say “OK” when I say “alright”, and “alright” when I say OK.  This will make me aware in the moment when I’m doing it, and hopefully it will have the effect of getting me to stop.  In addition, it kind of has a Pee Wee’s Playhouse Secret Word feel, and I hope it becomes a game that encourages consumers to focus.

That’s it for today.  Thanks for reading!


  1. JoelK says:

    Jesse –
    I know exactly what you mean with the ‘alright’ and ‘OK’. After not having videotaped any sessions of my work for a couple years, I was fairly horrified at how repetitive my “fill in the gap” comments had become. I think the key is probably to not think of them as gaps, but as a space for meaningful input. Or something.
    Good luck with the move.

  2. themtguy says:

    Thanks Joel. Being conscious of the problem is the first step to recovery.

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