Want to write an e-book but can’t nail down a topic?

Want to write an e-book but can’t nail down a topic? Here are just some ideas to jumpstart your creativity and harness your skills:

What will be your theme/content/subject?   Will it focus on sharing songs? Interventions? How-Tos? It can be informative or business-related. You can share activities and visuals!   Self-help is another great topic!

What type of book will it be? Professional help/ideas, activity sheets, Q&A, Songs, session ideas, lessons learned, thoughts/experiences, music skills education?

What is something that you have created for work? 

What does our field NEED?

What do you wish people knew?

What is your ultimate goal for writing an e-book?      

First words that come to mind when you think of your e-book topic: _________________

List any fears, questions, concerns, and/or doubts about this project

What are some of the solutions for the fears you just listed?

What has been a problem for you that you have overcome?

What have you done that you are most proud of? 

When people come up to you for advice, what are they asking? (They see you as an expert in this topic.)

What hole can you fill in the music therapy ebooks e-shelves?

What is a topic that is FUN and EXCITING to you?

What are your favorite instruments to use in sessions? 

Now, think of one specific instrument you can focus on for an ebook!

We’re Counting Our Blessings

It’s November! And we wanted to take a minute or two ( or more… do you know us? We’re kind of talkers…) to share our thankful thoughts. We’re curious to know what is on your mind this time of year as well!

Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday. Hands-down.  It’s a holiday that’s not about spending money on gifts, but about spending quality time with friends and family.  I get to eat my favorite foods (give me the entire bowl of mashed potatoes, please) while I reflect on all of the things for which I am grateful.  And one of the those things I am thankful for is to be a part of MusicTherapyEbooks.com.

Every time I go to the site and scroll through the e-books, I am reminded of how lucky I am – to be surrounded by music therapists who exude excitement and ooze creativity, who want to share their ideas with other music therapists, who have the drive to find the time in their extremely busy schedules to write down their tried-and-true music therapy materials.

I am also incredibly grateful to have a business partner like Michelle Erfurt.  She is someone who has a knack for copy editing, an eye for detail, and a great sense of humor.  We compliment each other well, keep each other accountable, and have fun together every time we talk (almost TOO much fun, as you can see in this video).

Lastly, but not-in-the-least-bit leastly, I am also so thankful for YOU – our readers and subscribers.  Thank you for supporting us and supporting our authors. Thank you for sharing your ideas and sharing in our enthusiasm for our e-book community. I truly wish everyone a wonderful Thanksgiving.  I hope it’s spent with people you love, eating ALL the mashed potatoes your heart desires.

– Rachel See

It always works out that when this time of year comes around I really need the Thanksgiving holiday in order to force myself to have some gratitude. In my life, November is when my family is knee-deep in school busyness, our schedule is confusing with holiday events, things feel more expensive with colder weather and the increase in heating bills, boots, winter coats, and all those other things we don’t have that I suddenly need to buy, and gloomy days don’t make my seasonal depression any easier. It’s hard to feel thankful for anything.

But then, the Thanksgiving holiday arrives. And it creates that space for all of us to stop and look at the big picture of our lives. I’m thankful that we’re going to have 3 days off of work and school. We are really lazy people when we can be home and it’s pretty wonderful. I’m thankful that technology has advanced enough to support projects like this website. It takes a lot of work to run, but it’s really amazing to think that 20 years ago (when I graduated from *cough* high school *cough*) something like this didn’t exist. We didn’t really buy things online back then. Ebooks weren’t a mainstream thing. Hell, we were still listening to music on CDs!

I’m really thankful to be surrounded by so many creative opportunities and be able to connect people to resources that they need to further their music therapy services. When I stopped practicing as a music therapy clinician 6 years ago, I wrestled with a lot of conflicting emotions. I felt like I was letting down the profession because I wasn’t working in it anymore. Clinical work sort of ran it’s course for me and I just didn’t want to do it. I had a baby and wanted to be a full time mom.

But connecting with the perfect partner (Rachel See) and creating a music therapy online bookstore allows me to keep in the profession. It gives me the honor to be surrounded by a group of hard working music therapists with really valuable information who just need a little help getting the word out. And I’m so thankful that we are all able to pool our individual talents to help each other… and all of that helps the greater music therapy community… and all of that helps all the music therapy clients. It’s an incredible feeling to know that you’re a cog in that machine and while it’s easy for me to get lost in the hustle of the day to day, it’s amazing to realize the magnitude of the big picture. Thank you everyone, for allowing me to be a part of it.

– Michelle Erfurt

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.


  • 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!





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!  


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/