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

Quick & Dirty Thanksgiving Music Activities

Thanksgiving is a week away. Are you tired of your usual Thanksgiving related activities?

Here is a quick and dirty list of music related Thanksgiving activities that you can use in sessions right away. We hope you gobble them up!

  • Turkey Hokey Pokey – Yup. A feathered version of the song we all know so well. The link actually takes to you a whole free Thanksgiving songbook but the Turkey Hokey Pokey is our favorite in the list.
  • Turkey Trot – Another dance that will exercise gross motor and listening skills. Pair it with a rhythm track and you’ll be flapping in no time!
  • Autumn-Time is Coming – This simple yet effective piggy backed song will help you incorporate colors in your session while bringing awareness of the outside world. Grab some leaves as props and you’ve got a party, baby!
  • Theme Based Interventions for the Music Therapist: Holiday Edition – Twenty Thanksgiving & music themed movement, relaxation, games, instrument play and songs from music therapist, Jaycie Voorhees. That’s just the Thanksgiving section!
  • The Gratitude Game – Use this color coordinated activity as inspiration for clients of any age. Create a simple chant or fill-in-the blank song where clients can insert things they are grateful for.
  • Thank You For The Music – Do YOU want to thank your clients? Sing Abba’s Thank You For The Music and modify the words to apply to your group.
  • Thank You For Being A Friend – Yes! The theme from Golden Girls! Did you know this is actually an entire song? Find it here. Share the first verse (that’s what we’re all used to anyway from the show) or play the whole thing. Start a discussion on friendship and see where it takes you!
  • Thanksgiving Playlist – Lots of great songs here.

Follow along with #AMTA16

Music Therapists from all around are traveling to Ohio for the annual National Conference hosted by the American Music Therapy Association. We are all very excited for you!

Unfortunately, Rachel and I won’t be able to attend conference this year. While we are bummed, we’re also thankful for social media! We will be following along with conference happenings by looking out for these hashtags & accounts:

#AMTA16 hashtags

If YOU are attending conference and you see something worth sharing, please do so! We would appreciate your help in feeling connected as we look forward to coming to #AMTA17.


Check in from Rachel and Michelle

Summer is over and Fall is here! We thought it would be fun to share what we’ve been up to during our summer break.

What about you? Did you do anything special? Leave a comment and let us know!

News from Rachel

Rachel SeeSummer was one glorious break (one of the perks of working in the schools). I was able to shut-off social media for a bit (something I always find a bit hard at first, but ultimately, rejuvenating), and enjoyed some “me” time. This personal time included traveling to a few places – Florida, Nashville, Iowa, and NYC, and experiencing something new in each location, whether it was visiting an art museum, listening to a crazy-amazing bluegrass/folk band, hopping on one of America’s oldest roller coasters at Coney Island, or taking in a Broadway musical with tunes by the incredibly-talented Sara Bareilles… each location and experience recharged my batteries in a sense, and now I’m fully prepared and ready to start in on a new music therapy school year in the special education classrooms. I’m also looking forward to working more on the website to share with the world what our authors have to offer (which are some pretty amazing e-books, materials, and resources). I hope YOU had a lovely summer, as well, and I can’t wait to hear about it!

News from Michelle

Michelle ErfurtMy summer was filled with wonderful adventures! My son, husband and I continued to explore our new area in West Virginia (we moved here last Fall) by visiting local farms with creameries. We ate a lot of ice cream and saw a lot of cows! We were very busy at the end of summer from moving into our permanent home. The end of October, we will be welcoming our second son! I’m very excited to see his face and become reacquainted with the exhaustion caused by having a new baby. I’m also looking forward to another year of watching the Music Therapy Ebooks website grow!

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