Self Care

These past few months have been very busy.  I continue to work my full-time music therapy job at the children’s hospital while growing Joyful Melodies and raising my daughter, who turned 1 on May first.  I love all of these things dearly.  However, after months of almost nonstop attention to my full-time job, my business, or my family, I realized that I needed to be more mindful about caring for myself.

Nurturing yourself is the key to having a healthy, happy life.

No matter what our life circumstances, we all need and deserve to spend some time taking care of ourselves.  This is especially important if you take care of other people in your personal life or as part of your job.  Here are some things I have done to care for myself: Continue reading

Our Favorite Books

Reading to very young children promotes academic skills, speech and language growth, and helps kids develop secure and loving bonds with their caregivers.

Reading to children can have such a positive impact on their development.  Small infants learn by listening to adults talk and sing.  Toddlers begin to turn pages and identify pictures.  Preschoolers can understand simple story structures and recognize some words.  PBS put together a great list of reading milestones for each age group, with tips on how to help each age group benefit most.

I often read books to children during my music therapy sessions.  Sometimes I read them as written, and other times I make up simple melodies and sing the words.  Occasionally I won’t read the written words at all, but we’ll sing other songs about the pictures.  You can sing “Old MacDonald” along with any book with animal pictures!

Here are some of my favorite books to use with young children: Continue reading

“How did you get into music therapy?”

Hello everyone!  Today I want to tell you the answer to the question I get asked all the time:

“How did you get into music therapy?”

I have always loved music.  I sang in church children’s choir, began taking piano lessons in 2nd grade and started playing the flute in 4th grade band.  I joined marching band and show choir in high school, and picked up the alto saxophone to play in the back up band for the other show choirs.  I also played keyboard in some back up bands and pit orchestras.

That's me on the podium!

That’s me on the podium!  I was the drum major for the Carroll Charger Pride in 2003

Although I loved music, I knew I didn’t want to be a teacher or performer.  I wanted to work with Continue reading