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Our First Call for Submissions

Jillian, Kristen, Noah, and I are seeking guest bloggers to contribute to our ongoing series of posts on a central theme. The four of us will contribute to this theme and over time we hope to have many submissions from guest bloggers as well.  We would like to have representation of music therapists with diverse experiences and perspectives, so please consider participating! Continue reading “Our First Call for Submissions”

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Begin at the Beginning

I was standing in line for the bathroom during a break between concurrent sessions at the Hospice and Palliative Care Association of New York State conference.  Being 6 months pregnant at the time, this situation was quickly becoming emergent.  A woman in front of me noticed my obviously pregnant appearance and commented on how difficult it must be for me to be here (the conference, not the bathroom). When I mentioned that I work exclusively in pediatric palliative care, she looked at me with a face that I labeled as pity.  “You work with dying children?  I could never do that.”  Here, in a place filled with hospice and palliative care workers, I found myself back in the world of the taboo.  I was used to this look and response from family and friends.  I had grown accustomed to not speaking at length about my job during dinner parties and to strangers on airplanes.  Here, in this place where death and dying was the subject at hand, children were somehow still the outsiders. Continue reading “Begin at the Beginning”

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So, What Do You Do for a Living?

When people find out that I work in end of life care, there’s a gamut of typical reactions ranging from “Hats off, hero!” to “You’re weird.”  Rarely do I have the chance to discuss the topic at sufficient length to explain or defend myself, or otherwise fully convince the speaker that I deserve no such label.  Although frustration sometimes wells, I can live with the labels.  People generally speak from a position that has been informed by their own experiences.  If I understood how their lives had been impacted by death, I would probably understand their response.   Continue reading “So, What Do You Do for a Living?”

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The warm-up

I’m in the warm-up right now, right here, behind my computer as I type.  I’m like a new patient who has always wanted to try music therapy, and I’m super excited and ready to go, even though I don’t know much about what I’m about to jump into.  I don’t need a hello song, at least I don’t think I do — but I am standing here at the precipice of something new and I am getting ready to jump into the exciting unknown. Continue reading “The warm-up”

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Blank page

One of my favorite books as a kid, The Man in the Ceiling, told the story about Jimmy, a child with ambitions of being a comic book artist working hard to develop niches in his family, in his art, and in himself. Of the many scenes I still vividly remember, there is one I frequently return to: Jimmy staring at a blank page of white paper, ruminating on what could be/should be drawn, and feeling overwhelmed with the vast potential of the paper’s blankness. It could become his greatest work or his most embarrassing; a moment of inspiration or an artistic bloc; a message to be shared with others or one to be kept private and hidden. Its potential to become anything evokes both interest and fear.

Continue reading “Blank page”