Are Music Therapists Authors?

Creativity is a big part of a music therapist’s life at work. We all have a stack of songs, worksheets, and visual aides that we’ve created for sessions. Through the years of using these resources, we edit and modify them so that they are at their most efficient. But for some reason, whenever Rachel and I ask people why they don’t package those resources together in the form of an ebook, a common answer that comes back is “But I don’t know how to write a book!”.

Listen, you are doing a lot of writing just by doing your job. Many different forms of writing, in fact. You are already a writer. Let me show you…

  • Goal setting – Using your assessment, you determine and write goals for every single person you work with. We do this so often that it’s second nature for us, but believe me… this is a skill that people are not born with. When you write a goal, you are able to clearly communicate a very specific and complicated concept. In one sentence, you are laying out the who, what, when, and how many that guides the course of treatment for your client. Don’t take for granted how much skill you have because you are able to write this one sentence… it is a really powerful sentence.
  • Charting – No matter what population you work with or workplace you are employed, you are writing about the behavior of your clients. You are taking note of unbiased, observable actions that happened during a session. Then, at the end, you write down your professional opinion and plan for future sessions. Your writing needs to be articulate so that everyone who reads this chart can understand what is going on.
  • Songwriting – This is putting words and music together so that they flow aesthetically while communicating a concept or giving a direction. And some of you are doing this on the spot whenever you’re doing in session improvisation.
  • Marketing – You are making informational materials that communicate what music therapy is, how people can get it from you, and why they should want to do that. This is something that all music therapists make regardless of if they’re the owner of a private practice or a worker within a department. You always need to market your service to your audience.

So why does writing an ebook seem like such a big stretch whey you’re writing so much anyway? My guess is because “book” implies that it’s something big and permanent… a monumental achievement. But the reality is that ebooks are made up of many parts and you are already writing little parts of things now. You can totally do this.

 

Meet the Author:

1. Your name:

Emily Sutin, MT-BC 

2. Education/Background:

Bachelor of Music in Music Therapy, Associate of Science in Graphic Design

3. Favorite band/artist in 7th grade:

Trying to think back that far, possibly Savage Garden as they were probably out around then.

4. Why did you want to write an e-book?

Spice Up Your Repertoire


I didn’t start out intending to with writing songs, but as I had collected quite a few songs that I wrote, I wanted to preserve them in a professional way. I thought that MT Ebooks was a great idea because there wasn’t any upfront cost, nor worrying about printing with just starting out.

5. What was your process for developing your e-book?

I took all of the songs that I wrote that I had chords, melody, and lyrics for, and fully notated them in MuseScore. What I found most challenging was dictating the rhythm to be as close as possible to how I sing them. I also realized in the process that I think more in 6/8 than I realized! I designed my cover in Adobe Illustrator, and put it together with Adobe InDesign and Acrobat Pro. 

6. Favorite book (e-book or print) related to Music Therapy

Roses In December (a printed book for themes relating to older adults that includes song lists and related discussion/activities). I also found the membership of Listen Learn Plus very helpful for children’s songs; though all of the songs are not in an ebook, there are various compilations or the subscription to the whole thing.
 

7. How would you describe your e-book in three words or less?

Original, useful, goal-directed

8.  Who can benefit from purchasing your e-book and why?

Music therapists or other music educators or parents using music with kids to help with various goals such as vocabulary, frustration tolerance, and speech.
 

9.  What kinds of music therapy e-books would you like to see more of on MusicTherapyEbooks.com?

I really enjoy the kind that can be immediately put to practical use. I also like the fully notated kind as I wrote, as if I haven’t sung the song in awhile but the client wants to sing it, I have the notes write in front of me to play the melody. 

10.  Anything else you would like to add?

I think MT E-books is a great way to contribute to the music therapy community; it allows for open creativity in whatever way someone wants to share their knowledge that they feel will benefit other music therapists.

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  • Podcasts
  • Iggy Pop
  • how to be amazing renee fleming
  • Edge of Fame

Rachel’s Favorite Music-Related Podcasts: First Edition

 

I (Rachel) obviously (given the nature of this website) love all-things music and all-things technology.

Maybe that’s a bit hyperbolic.

How about MOST things music (I’ve come to terms with the fact there are just some ear worms and jingles that will be a part of my brain forever) and MOST things technology (I’m still upset about the time my Tamagotchi went on the fritz and I had to learn about the fragility of technology-based pets).

And, when you combine the two, it’s one big swoon-filled nerd-fest over here.

Enter: music-related podcasts. New facts and ideas and episodes that almost seem like mini master classes, all automatically downloaded on my phone each week. Magic. 

When I’m on the road all day, driving between schools (fellow traveling music therapists can relate!), there are times when I’ll turn on the radio or play a favorite album, for sure.  But, more often than not, I’ll 1) prefer silence in-between my sessions and use that time as a sensory break, or, 2) play the latest podcast episode from my ever-growing “I should listen to that episode someday” list.

I’ve decided to share a few of my favorite episodes as-of-late, as well as my general go-to podcasts, in case you’re like me and in need of some listening material that’s related to music, but not “exactly” music, on your next commute. 

  1. Song Exploder: “Song Exploder is a podcast where musicians take apart their songs, and piece by piece, tell the story of how they were made.”  Yep. Instantly in-love. I find it endlessly fascinating to hear how an artist created a song, track by track. The history behind it, why they chose THAT melody, THOSE lyrics, etc. Sometimes, it’s surprisingly formulaic and surgically put together (check out the Weezer episode). Sometimes, it all happens in an instant. And, sometimes, there are fun surprises you never would have known…like the artist who ends up using a toy instrument (the same one that I had as a kid!) to create a unique sound (check out the Sylvan Esso episode).  He interviews a variety of artists from a wide-range of genres – including songs featured in TV (Bob’s Burgers) and movies (Black Panther).   
  2. How to Be Amazing with Michael Ian Black: Episode 82 Renee Fleming.  This one just popped up on my phone the other day and it made my heart happy to see my my favorite interviewer (the ever-thoughtful and delightful MIB) talking with music therapy advocate and opera all-star, Renee Fleming.  It was a thoroughly enjoyable and inspirational exchange with shout-outs to music and science … and peeks into what inspires Renee. Check it out! 
  3. Edge of Fame: Weird Al is a Walking Party episode.  This episode was a fun, behind-the-scenes look into a musician who continues to be on the radar (and continues to create some stellar puns).  Listening to the Washington Post production made me look at Weird Al in a new light.  He’s humble, ambitious, and overall endearing.  I always had a hunch that he was a good dude, and this episode provides a solid case for my theory.

Now I want to hear YOUR favorite music-related podcasts and/or episodes! Add a comment below or shoot me an e-mail. I’d love to add your recommendations to my list!

 

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Meet the Author:

1. Your name:

Amanda Ellis 

2. Education/Background:

Bachelors degree in Music Therapy (MT-BC since 2000), minored in violin performance, most MT experience is with school age children but also have experience with preschool ages and adapted music lessons.

3. Favorite band/artist in 7th grade:

The Bangles, “Walk like an Egyptian”

4. Why did you want to write an e-book?

The Back to School Batch


To provide other professionals with resources that I didn’t readily find available when I needed them.

5. What was your process for developing your e-book?

 I recorded the songs first, then created all the sheet music and visuals.

6. Favorite book (e-book or print) related to Music Therapy

Anything by Rachel Rambach 🙂
 

7. How would you describe your e-book in three words or less?

School settings, academics, IEP goals

8.  Who can benefit from purchasing your e-book and why?

Anyone wanting additional songs to include in their school settings or academic repertoire.  I currently see groups in their classrooms so you can trust that all of my songs have been tried and tested many times.
 

9.  What kinds of music therapy e-books would you like to see more of on MusicTherapyEbooks.com?

More ebooks regarding social skills for students with autism and specifically for the higher functioning students with autism who need a lot of assistance with social skills and social-emotional skills.

10.  Anything else you would like to add?

I love Music Therapy E-books and can’t wait to submit more ebooks!  

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JoAnn Jordan talks about her e-book

What an honor it was to interview the wonderful JoAnn Albin Jordan​, author of the e-book, “Sparking Lives with Themes and Music: Intergenerational Edition”! Take a listen to find out:

:29 JoAnn’s background (Rock Chalk Jayhawk!)

:58 WHY she wrote her e-book

1:17 How her e-book is organized (themes, props, movements, songs and MORE!)

2:35 Who can benefit from purchasing her e-book (it’s not just for music therapists)

3:36 Check out JoAnn’s Session Cafe

Click here to buy your e-book (with enough materials to last you an entire school year!): http://www.musictherapyebooks.com/downloads/sparking-lives-with-themes-and-music-intergenerational-edition/

Interview with Michelle Erfurt, author of “The Networking Workbook”

Michelle Erfurt discusses her e-book, “The Networking Workbook”. Watch the video to learn more about her step-by-step guide (with interactive worksheets!) and how it will prepare you for any networking event.

0:40 Michelle’s Background

2:00 Why Michelle wrote The Networking Workbook

2:11 “Every opportunity I’ve ever had in work, has been through networking.”

2:37. How she found out that there’s more to networking than just, “passing out business cards and shaking hands”

3:38 The Networking Workbook helps you not only learn the skills necessary, but RETAIN them

3:50 Who can benefit from the e-book (spoiler alert: it’s not just music therapists!)

4:23 The networking process

4:40 Types of networking events

5:19 Successful introductions

5:45 Conversation suggestions and follow-up worksheets

6:52 How fellow introverts can benefit from this e-book

7:38 The prepping process (keeping anxiety levels down and excitement levels UP!)

8:16 A special guest appearance by Michelle’s son, Eddie!

 

Are you ready to purchase your copy? The Networking Workbook is only $15 and provides you with tools, tips, and worksheets that can be used over and over again in the future: http://www.musictherapyebooks.com/downloads/the-networking-workbook/

Interview with “My House” author, Lisa Barnett

Have you had a chance to see how the e-book “My House” can be used in your sessions, classroom, program, and/or clinic? If not, CLICK PLAY to learn how you and your clients will love this interactive, personalized e-book by Lisa Barnett!

In our interview we discuss:

0:20 Lisa’s background

1:47 Her inclusive studio, Songs To Grow On

2:15 The story behind WHY Lisa wrote “My House”

2:27 The Starfish Project (children on the autism spectrum, paired with their general education peers)

3:20 The beginning stages of “My House”

4:10 How Lisa turned the unfortunate event of being laid-off into a positive time in which she focused on creating an e-book. Hear the inspiring story of how she made “My House” a reality!

4:55 Get a SNEAK-PEEK inside the e-book

5:30 Using her e-book in a private speech and language clinic, the Kaufman Children’s Center (and why the speech therapist Lisa works with loves to use the e-book with her clients!)

6:20 The versatility of “My House”

6:38 Working with the early childhood program and receiving a mini-grant to create copies of “My House” for the preschoolers

7:15 How “My House” works

8:22 See the e-book IN-ACTION!

8:53 Listen to one of her students sing “My House”

Get your copy of “My House” HERE: http://www.musictherapyebooks.com/downloads/my-house/

Interview with Stephanie Bolton

It was such a pleasure talking with music therapist and GIM Fellow Stephanie Bolton, author of the e-books, “Diving Deeper” and “Changing States”!

Watch the video to discover:

:30 Stephanie’s background

1:16 WHY she decided to write her e-books

2:27 Her process for developing her e-books (and get a sneak peek of all of the categories she covers with her scripts!)

3:33 How YOU and your clients can benefit from purchasing her e-books

4:52 Hitting the “refresh” button as music therapists

5:40 A message to music therapists and related professionals

Learn more about her e-books using the links below!

Diving Deeper: http://www.musictherapyebooks.com/…/diving-deeper-30-guide…/

Changing States:
http://www.musictherapyebooks.com/downloads/changing-states/

Interview with Susan Seale

We had the honor of talking with Susan Seale, author of, “Growing Grounded: Movement & Songs to Organize the Brain” – an e-book with over 100 pages of songs & resources, plus access to a members-only page with downloadable audio files! Be sure to watch this interview to hear the 11 ways “Growing Grounded” can be a useful & beneficial resource for you and your clients!

In this video you’ll hear about:

0:21 Susan’s background

0:32 Sequence of movements (and chart) that Susan uses in, “Growing Grounded”

2:22 Canada vs. St. Louis weather face-off

2:37 Susan explains WHY she wrote this e-book

4:18 Learn more about how this e-book is organized

5:08 Hear when these activities can be used in YOUR sessions

6:18 BONUS!

6:29 11 ways “Growing Grounded” can be a useful & beneficial resource for you and your clients!

Find the e-book, here: http://www.musictherapyebooks.com/…/growing-grounded-moveme…