Quick Hits

Posted: April 6, 2011 in Music Therapy

I have several different things I want to get out there, so rather than do six different blog posts, I’m collecting them all here:

  • You may remember my story about N2 when she started attending the day services program where I work.  She’s been doing a lot better, only screaming maybe once or twice per session (though she frequently stands and requests the bathroom).  She actually went so far as to request Yellow Submarine in last Friday’s group.  Her behavior therapist was present for that one, and was talking to N2 about it in their individual session.  N2 said she really liked music, but likes it more when I am there to lead it (on Fridays).  I just had to share that as a reminder to everyone (especially myself) that, no matter how bad it seems in the beginning, it WILL get better.
  • Another person who has been doing better in music is B, who is in my Bears group (older kids that are part of the ABA program).  Last week was only the third time ever that he made it through an entire music session without throwing something or hitting someone or generally causing mayhem.  This week, I learned “Fly Me To The Moon” for him, as I keep getting told that it’s one of his favorite songs.  I was going to use it at the end of the session as a reinforcer if he made it again.  And he did make it all the way through, the first time he’s ever made it two consecutive sessions without a behavior.  So I asked his staff if he could stay for a couple of minutes while I sang it for B.  Unfortunately, I hadn’t even finished the first line when he ran screaming from the room, kicking his shoes off and generally causing mayhem.  Sigh.  Back to the drawing board.
  • You know how a lot of towns number their streets?  They start at main street, then number them outward.  You can then tell how far you are from the center of town.  I’ve been noticing in one of the neighborhoods where I have several clients that the streets are named after presidents.  Not only that, but they’re in chronological order from east to west.  So you have to know your history to know how far you are from the center of town.  It only goes up to Taft.  I know, it’s not music therapy related, just something that was on my mind this morning.
  • I’ve talked about J before, but it’s been a while.  He’s my stutterer that I’ve been working with.  We usually begin our sessions with a conversation to build rapport and give him practice with that social interaction.  On Monday, I started doing some drum speak with him during our conversation – beating the drum with each word or syllable.  I haven’t figured out a way to collect data on this yet, but the results have been phenomenal.  The stuttering virtually disappears while he’s beating the drum.  He still has some problems, but those are usually when he stops beating the drum consistently.  I have no idea where I’m going to go with this right now, but I’m excited.  It’s not really practical for him to carry a drum everywhere, but maybe I could get him tapping his foot or something.  Eventually.  Down the road.  We’ll see.
  • Speaking of J, we’re also working on singing.  He’s got a songbook of lyrics he’s working on at home.  He tends to rush while singing, so I looked for and found some karaoke videos on YouTube that he can use to help him with getting the words in the right places.  What did we do without good ole’ YT?
  • I hope you enjoyed my April Fools joke on Friday.  I’m always trying to walk that line of playing pranks on April 1, but hopefully nothing that will be too humiliating for anyone.  I wore a fake nose and glasses to work on Friday, and played Peanut Butter Jelly Time when we were about to do our progressive muscle relaxation in the adult groups.  It was fun.

Thanks for reading!

-Jesse

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