N is for New Ideas

Music therapists can sometimes get in a rut and need some new ideas for session plans, or they will work with a population that’s new to them and look for ideas. Sometimes crowd-sourcing can work (posting on Facebook “What songs can I sing with ______?”), but in this A-Z Blogging Challenge post, I’ll share how I keep my creativity juices flowing.

  1. Remember your roots! The music therapy process is the same regardless of population or setting: Assessment, Goals/objectives, Treatment plan, Documentation, Reporting progress, Evaluation of treatment, Discharge from services. So if I feel like I’m getting stuck or my client isn’t making progress, then I go back to my roots and do an assessment, re-evaluate or re-write the goals and objectives, design a new treatment plan targeting those goals and objectives and keeping the focus on addressing functional skills (because for most of my clients, that’s what I’m hired to address), and refreshing my documentation system.
  2. Do your research! I’ll read books on the population I’m working with, or read blogs written by self- or parent-advocates for that population, or read journal articles on best practices with a certain population to refresh my ideas. I’m always trying to apply what I read to my current work, and even if it’s not directly applicable, if I think creatively enough, I can find some take-away from what I read.
  3. Refresh your repertoire! Sometimes, my goals, objectives and treatment plan are sound, I’m applying some new research into my clinical practice, and I’m still feeling bored with the session. I’ll spend some time researching new songs and work on adding them to my repertoire. Google is my friend. 🙂
  4. Seek professional supervision or coaching! If I’m feeling bored in a session, it’s probably a good idea to get some supervision so I can explore those feelings, get some feedback, and ensure I’m giving my best, ethical work to my clients. Or maybe I just need a new way of doing things, so I can hire a coach to help me set some professional goals and attain them. Sometimes, I just need to talk to other music therapists and get re-energized by being around people who “get it.” Then I can invite some music therapists out to lunch or happy hour, or I can attend a conference or meeting of local music therapists.

If you’re feeling stuck and would like some help taking your practice to the next level, and you’re interested in some professional supervision or coaching, contact me! I have an affordable program that I can design just for you to help you reach your goals!