Lessons Learned at 10,000 Feet

Lessons Learned at10,000 Feet



Joyful MelodiesI recently traveled with my husband and some friends of ours to Great Basin National Park, where we attended a friend’s wedding on a mountain.  It was the most unique wedding I’ve ever experienced, complete with mountain hiking, a cave tour, s’mores around the campfire, and no cellular service.  There was an excess of nice cameras, so I was invited to play amateur photographer, too, which was a lot of fun!

After two nights in the park, we drove a few hours and spent a couple of days visiting Salt Lake City.  We explored the city, did even more mountain hiking, and just enjoyed spending grown-up time together without kids. Continue reading

3 Ways I Use Songwriting in Music Therapy

Joyful Melodies Songwriting
Tweet: 3 Ways I Use Songwriting in Music Therapy http://ctt.ec/KEUa0+

I love songwriting!  Each music therapist receives special songwriting training in college, because it is such a powerful intervention to use in a variety of situations.  My favorite ways to use songwriting in music therapy are:

Songwriting to promote bonding between parents and their critically ill babies and give the parents a creative way to express their feelings

Part of my job in the pediatric hospital is to support the families of hospitalized children.  It can be so stressful to have a sick child, especially when the child is an infant who has never been home.  The process of writing a special song for their baby gives parents another way to express Continue reading

Fetal/Maternal Heart Beat Recordings + Personalized Lullaby Creation



Because of your response to this post, Joyful Melodies is offering a special deal on fetal/maternal heart beat recordings and personalized lullaby creation for pregnant women and new mothers.  For a limited time, this offer is available for only $200, and includes:

  •  The creation of a personalized lullaby for your baby
  • One in-person meeting with a music therapist, with additional communication about the song through email or by phone
  • A digital recording of the baby’s heart beat (must be at least 24 weeks pregnant)
  • A digital recording of the mother’s heart beat with soothing guitar or piano music
  • A digital recording of your lullaby performed by you or your music therapist, with piano or guitar accompaniment, mixed with the sound of the baby’s heart beat

Continue reading

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

Musical Routines

If you live or work with young children, you probably already know how helpful routines can be.  PBS explains the importance of predictable routines for children in childcare settings in this article.   Routines help kids feel a sense of security, support their development, and can help manage problem behaviors.  Even when kids are familiar with their routine, though, they may have trouble following directions during transitions (moving from one activity to the next) and potentially difficult activities (brushing teeth, washing hands).

Music can help make transitions easier and difficult activities more fun.

Transitioning from one activity to the next can be hard for young children – especially if it’s time to put the toys away and take a nap.  Have you ever sung a “clean up” song?   Continue reading

Mother’s Day Music Tips

Happy Mother’s Day!

In honor of this special day, I’d like to share some useful tips for using music with young children.

Repetition helps babies and young children learn.

Repeating songs over and over helps children not only learn the songs, but find comfort in knowing what to expect and practice early communication skills. Even though they can’t sing with us, singing repeated melodies to infants and toddlers helps them develop their social, cognitive, and communication skills.

Music therapyHave you ever had a staring contest with an infant? Infants love to stare at faces and hear adults talk and sing to them.  Singing or chanting repetitive songs helps infants learn to trust us and their environment. Continue reading

Make Joyful Melodies

Welcome to the Joyful Melodies blog!

IMG_9314 (1)I was taking a walk with my daughter and my dog yesterday and found myself struggling to decide what to write in this post. What do I want this blog to become? Who do I want to read it? What do I want to share, and what do people want to read?

I have been a music therapist since 2008.  Since then I have worked with well children and families in the community, on a pediatric cancer unit, in a pediatric emergency department, in various other inpatient and outpatient hospital areas, and in pediatric intensive care units. I have helped parents bond with their medically fragile children, played Taylor Swift songs on my guitar with children recovering from serious injuries, written lullabies with parents whose babies are critic Continue reading