I love writing lists of all kinds! Shopping, to-do, music practice, dreams, and reading lists are just a few of the many lists that I make. They help me to keep my goals in mind and to stay on track. As an intern, I started 3 main lists that I kept easily accessible….
- “Music Therapy Song Bank” As music therapists— especially as student and new therapists, we are always looking for new and appropriate songs to meet various goals. Near the beginning of my internship, I organized a list of songs that I observed in sessions and found through research. I added any and every song that I heard my supervisors and classmates use, that I would find in songbooks and online, and that I myself wrote. I chose to organize my list, first by population, then by goals and themes. For example, under “Population: Children,” I have academic concepts, movement, relaxation, and social skills listed as a few goals, and animals, beach/ocean, and camping listed as a few themes. (Pro Tip: Microsoft Word will alphabetize your list for you!) Because I reference this list so frequently, I keep it easily accessible.
- “Instrument & Book Wish List” As an intern, I was seeing and learning so many new things all at once— including items to use in music therapy sessions! For example, who knew a “collapsable sphere” could be so much fun to use in sessions!? Although I call it my “instrument list,” I have added items such as the collapsable sphere, bean bags, a parachute, etc. here as well. Speaking of non-musical items, books are extremely helpful and versatile tools to use in sessions! My current favorite collection is “There Was an Old Lady!” Within this collection, there are several books of various themes containing many sight words. The melody line and chords are generally the same across all books, so once you have learned how to sing and play one book, you just have to focus on learning the lyrics of the other books. Keeping this list can help me to be mindful of what I would like to purchase and to financially prioritize accordingly.
- “Business Advice” As a classroom student, lesson objectives were naturally focused on music and the therapeutic aspect of music. As a practicum student, I solely worked under music therapists in settings outside of private practice. Of course, the primary goal was to focus on working with clients. Therefore, I did not comprehend the incredible amount of time, thought and care that must go into the business side of a music therapy private practice. Needless to say, during my internship, I had a running list of business advice that I would learn about through conversations with and observations of my supervisors at my internship. A couple examples of topics include implemented music lesson curriculum, and websites utilized. Although at the time, I was unsure of what setting I would be working in as a professional music therapist, I believed that it was never a bad idea to keep such advice on hand.
- BONUS: Trello Surprise! I have one extra idea to share. As part of my first day to-do list as an intern, I was required to join Trello— an online platform for creating and organizing lists. My internship site had a “Board” on which each employee had one “List.” Within each list, we could add “Cards” (subtitled lists). We were able to view, edit, comment on and tag each other within our personal lists and team members’ lists. For example, my supervisor created a “Schedule” Card for me to reference on my list. However, any one of my team members could technically view, edit, comment on and tag each other within this card. Cards that I had chosen to add to my list featured projects that I was currently working on. When we completed our lists, we could “Archive” them to be hidden from view but easily accessed if necessary. Be sure to check it out HERE! There is a FREE plan including several features!
As a very busy intern, keeping these specific lists helped me to plan my sessions faster and to store information in an organized manner for future reference.