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

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!  


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!):

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:

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:

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:…/diving-deeper-30-guide…/

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:…/growing-grounded-moveme…

Interview with Lorinda Jones

We are so excited to share this video of a recent chat we had with one of our wonderful e-book authors, Lorinda Jones Watch the interview to learn: Lorinda’s process for writing the e-books, how YOU can use her e-books in your sessions, and why the dulcimer can be a valuable instrument in music therapy. Thanks, Lorinda, for taking the time to share your story, knowledge, and inspiration!

In this video we discuss:

0:26 Lorinda’s background (and getting to meet Jean Ritchie!)

2:27 Why she decided to turn her books into e-books (and how technology can play a role in music therapy)

3:38 “Mountain Dulcimer: A Design for Success”…/the-mountain-dulcimer/

4:11 How your sessions and clients can benefit from Lorinda’s e-books

4:53 “Timeless Treasures for Older Adults”…/timeless-treasures-for…/

5:57 Why use a dulcimer?

6:37 How Rachel See uses the dulcimer in her sessions

7:33 Using the dulcimer with children

Also mentioned: “Mountain Dulcimer: A Survival Guide for Beginners”…/mountain-dulcimer-a-su…/

Workplace Holiday Traditions

Just like every family has their own holiday traditions… so do our work environments. Here are a few holiday traditions in which music therapists participate.

Music Therapy Department Video

Michelle Kennemer, music therapist in Texas at a school district explains…

15179230_10154639377215692_8732209487998062984_nThis was the first time we made a video, but we had a blast and we hope to do another video before the break.  It all started when a friend of mine sent me a link to a video of some people doing a Christmas song on classroom instruments (in the fashion of Jimmy Fallon). I told my colleagues that we needed to do this and they thought that it sounded like a fun idea. Things really picked up when Mary got a new set of desk bells over the Thanksgiving break.  I went out to see a group one day and when I came back to the office Mary, Heather, and the interns (Jenna and Haide) were putting together the arrangement of Jolly Old St Nick. The rest is history! We sent it to our supervisors and special ed director here at work and shared it on social media. The response has been great! We were a little sad that it was over because we had fun practicing together.

Door Decorating

Rachel Nowels, music therapist at The Children’s Center Rehabilitation Hospital in Bethany, Oklahoma explains…


Every year our hospital celebrates Employee Appreciation Week in December. There are several activities for employees including the annual door decorating contest. My MT team and I always try to participate in all of the activities with music related choices. It’s a great opportunity to promote music therapy and remind staff of our services. This year we decorated our door with a choir of singing puppets. Staff can walk by and press a voice output switch to hear a different Christmas tune each day.


We also had a day where staff could dress up as a duo or group, and we dressed up as a mariachi band. We went around the hospital and performed for staff and patients. (I learned that it was very distracting to play and sing with a big paper mustache taped to your lip.). 😄. But it did open up some conversations with staff as well as visitors commenting, “So you’re with music therapy…”.

Having worked at the hospital for 13 years, I love the workplace traditions we have. I grab any opportunity I can to promote MT and the services we can offer. It’s a great way to get to know and educate new staff as well as people from the community who happen to be visiting. Over the years, I’ve learned that it’s just part of being an MT.


Jackson Mistletones

Stephanie Epstein, music therapist at the Holtz Children’s Hospital at Jackson Memorial Hospital in Miami, Florida, explains…

stephanieepsteinFor the second year in a row, the Jackson Mistletones have been popping up to spread holiday cheer around the main medical campus of Jackson Health System in Miami, FL. The Jackson Mistletones is a holiday caroling group comprised of medical staff from across the campus, including personnel from Human Resources, procurement, real estate, nursing, physicians, recruitment, security, compliance, and music therapists from behavioral health and the Miami VA across the street, just to name a few. We have also been joined by the medical student a cappella group on a few occasions.

When I started the music therapy program at Holtz Children’s Hospital in 2014, I immediately started getting requests to organize a holiday caroling group from staff members. I recruited carolers through campus-wide emails, signs, posts in the daily e-newsletter distributed to the entire health system, as well as a scrolling banner on the system-wide Net Portal.

Prior to our first rehearsal, I send out lyric sheets to everyone once I get a list of names and emails going. We then we hold a couple of rehearsals, just to go over songs and get everyone comfortable singing together. Finally, it’s time to sing! We carol around the medical campus (typically in blocks of about 45 minutes to an hour) in inpatient units (clearing it with the nurse manager first, of course), common lobby areas, and at special hospital events, such as the annual employee holiday party and annual NICU reunion party.

We get more singers every time we carol and continue to receive extremely positive feedback, not only from the people we sing to but from the carolers themselves. Here are some quotes from members:

“Being part of the Jackson Mistletones is about giving those who will hear us a chance to disconnect from all the noise and sadness that can come from the holiday season and our daily routines through the sound of music.”

“I immensely enjoy singing. This is an opportunity to share my gift of singing with someone who may be going through challenging times. I do it with the hope that it will bring joy to the listener.”

“I joined the Mistletones to help bring a little holiday cheer to others. We get to see the smiles and enjoyment from those that we encounter. It’s heartwarming to see the happy responses from guests, patients and staff that hear us. We get to spread a little JOY!”

“It is beyond challenging when a hospital becomes your temporary home during the holiday season. The Mistletones spread joy and holiday cheer to all those in need through the magic of music!”

Here they are in action:

What holiday traditions happen at your workplace?





It’s time to start thinking about holiday songs to use in your sessions… and we’re here to help!
Check out our selection of holiday ebooks