Music for CPR

When heart attacks or other emergencies occur, it is important to respond quickly.  Cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) can support the flow of oxygenated blood across the body until medical care arrives.  CPR emphasizes chest compressions at a rate of 100-120 compressions per minute (Mayo Clinic Staff, 2012).  Healthcare providers are encouraged to use conventional CPR according to their updated training, received about once every two years (AHA & ASA, 2014). You can find an online course or local training center here.

Anecdotal experience has suggested that the use of music as a mental metronome can improve CPR compression rates.  Researchers selected “Stayin’ Alive” by the Bee Gees which has an appropriate 103 bpm (and a perfect name), measured compression rates while medical providers listened to the song, then measured rates again at least five weeks later when participants were encouraged to use the song only as a musical memory aid.  All participants in both the first (x̅ = 109.1 bpm) and second (x̅ = 113.2 bpm) assessments maintained compression rates safely over 100 bpm.  Participants also reported that the music increased their confidence and technical ability to perform CPR (Hafner, Sturgell, Matlock, Bockewitz, & Barker, 2012; Matlock, Hafner, Bockewitz, Barker, & Dewar, 2008).  Disco music in general has a strong, steady tempo.  My most recent training featured Queen’s “Another One Bites The Dust,” which is thematically ironic but rhythmically effective (e.g., Aleccia, 2008). Enjoy some lifesaving songs below!


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Songwriting in Music Therapy Practice

Jones, J.D. (2006). Songs composed for use in music therapy: A survey of original songwriting practices of music therapists. Journal of Music Therapy, 43(2), 94-110.

Songwriting is a powerful yet flexible technique. Among many purposes and applications, music therapists write original material to personalize sessions, teach non-musical material or behaviors, and engage in the therapeutic process. MT-BCs help clients write songs to express personal feelings or perspectives, participate in a healthy way and to be part of a group project, or reminisce and contribute to their lasting legacy.

Extant literature has researched the extra-musical benefits of singing songs, listening to music, and discussing lyrics, as well the clinical efficacy of songwriting. “Songwriting has been documented as effective in achieving a number of clinical goals, including increasing verbal communication (Edwards, 1998), increasing socialization and interaction among group members (Hilliard, 2001), identifying and improving self-concept and self-esteem (Edgerton, 1990; Freed, 1987) increasing the expression of feelings (Cordobes, 1997; Kennelly, 2001; O’Callaghan, 1996), increasing a sense of cohesion among group members (Cordobes, 1997; Freed, 1987), and increasing coping skills, such as problem solving (Edgerton, 1990). Process songwriting is an effective technique for both individual and group therapy, and is a preferred intervention by certain clients (Gallagher & Steele, 2002)” (Jones, 2006, p. 96).

Writing a song can be done using many different methods. Original lyrics “piggybacked” to a familiar melody, or perhaps melodies can be built from client improvisations and verbal contributions. Songs can be prepared by the therapist in advance in order to target specific client goals. Instructional songs can be used to teach appropriate behaviors or to teach task analysis of daily living skills. Social stories can be sung in song and/or set to musical accompaniment. In addition to using these songwriting strategies supported by research, therapists will innovate new methods and applications. Songwriting is an exciting technique teeming with creative opportunities.

Jennifer Jones (2006) wanted to learn more about songwriting in music therapy practice. This post has summarized some of her literature review, and the following information is presented based on her survey: Seventy-three percent of 302 respondents acknowledged inclusion of original music in their work. Music therapists tended to report that songwriting was generally easy or almost always easy, and though participants learned through school and internship programs, songwriting skills were most frequently reported to be developed on their own, on the job. The most highly rated compositional choice was musical similarity to client preferences.

MT-BCs serving early childhood, schools, and individuals with developmental disabilities were much more likely to write songs than therapists working in older adult and mental health settings. Goals areas addressed through songwriting included emotional-expression (42 respondents), cognitive-academic-learning (37), behavioral-attentional-task-directed (25), social-communication goals (25), multiple goal categories marked (25), speech-communication (23), social-interaction (19), physical-movement (15), creativity goals (4), no response (4), and spirituality goals (2). No respondents reported using songwriting for musical goals. In descending order of rated frequency, music therapists decided to write songs because original material can be individualized, is novel and stimulating, renews creativity, strengthens the therapeutic relationship, offers a break from routine, and sometimes just because identifying an applicable composed song is time-consuming.

Cordobes, T.K. (1997). Group songwriting as a method for developing group cohesion for HIV-seropositive adult patients with depression. Journal of Music Therapy, 34, 46-67.

Edgerton, C.D. (1990). Creative group songwriting. Music Therapy Perspectives, 8,15-19.

Edwards, J. (1998). Music therapy for children with severe burns. Music Therapy Perspectives, 16, 21-26.

Freed, B.S. (1987). Songwriting with the chemically dependent. Music Therapy Perspectives, 4, 13-18.

Gallagher, L.M., & Steele, A.L. (2002). Music therapy with offenders in a substance abuse/mental illness treatment program. Music Therapy Perspectives, 20, 117-122.

Hilliard, R. (2001). The use of cognitive-behavioral therapy in the treatment of women with eating disorders. Music Therapy Perspectives, 19, 109–113.

Jones, J.D. (2006). Songs composed for use in music therapy: A survey of original songwriting practices of music therapists. Journal of Music Therapy, 43(2), 94-110.

Kennelly, J. (2001). Music therapy in the bone marrow transplant unit: Providing emotional support during adolescence. Music Therapy Perspectives, 19, 104-108.

O’Callaghan, C.C. (1996). Lyrical themes in songs written by palliative care patients. Journal of Music Therapy, 33, 74-92.

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SOP 10: Music Therapy Governing Bodies

Music therapy in America is governed by two separate organizations: the American Music Therapy Association (AMTA) and the Certification Board for Music Therapists (CBMT).

AMTA is our professional association responsible for establishing education and clinical training standards, supporting music therapy research, upholding ethical standards, educating the public about music therapy, and increasing access to quality music therapy services. Among many other initiatives to advance music therapy and support music therapists, AMTA organizes annual conferences and publishes the Journal of Music Therapy and Music Therapy Perspectives.

CBMT is an “Independent, non-profit, certifying agency fully accredited by the National Commission for Certifying Agencies (NCCA).” “The purpose of board certification in music therapy is to provide an objective national standard that can be used as a measure of professionalism and competence by interested agencies, groups, and individuals. The MT-BC credential may also be required to meet state laws and regulations.” CBMT is responsible for assessing the knowledge required for safe and competent practice, for issuing the music therapist credentials of Music Therapist – Board Certified (MT-BC), and for maintaining high standards of continuing education or recertification.

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Temporal Span

The great teachers are those who are able to elicit a pleasurable response toward the most rigorous pursuits, but the problem for the teacher is not only to make difficult work tasks pleasurable but also to develop a capacity for work. This constitutes a process of teaching for delayed rewards over an ever-increasing temporal span so that the student will strive through some misery to seek long-term goals. Patience, repetition, and arduous industry are still required for long-term achievement and happiness in almost every activity of life. Most adults will testify with pride to those endeavors that represented, for them, hard work and true discipline (Madsen & Madsen, 1998, p. 25).

Madsen, C. K. & Madsen, C. H. (1998). Teaching/Discipline: A Positive Approach For Educational Development. (4th ed.) Raleigh, NC: Contemporary Publishing Company of Raleigh, Inc.

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Repertoire Challenge 04: Songwriting

This fourth challenge concludes our first month of Repertoire Challenges. Today, or this week, or whenever you read this post, remember the many genres and populations you have memorized repertoire for. Think of the musical attributes, the lyrics, the clinical applications. For this final Challenge, have fun piggybacking a familiar song with new lyrics. Experiment with blues songwriting. Cut and paste quotes with song lyrics and compose a new poem to freestyle, improvise, or compose a song. Write an entirely original song. Facilitate a group chant, or go for an a cappela body music drum circle. The Challenge today is to consider the many different approaches to songwriting and the eclectic musical styles that can influence your product in order to plan out some new sessions that will be perfectly tailored to your unique clients.

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Time, Attention, Socialization

“Animals are locked in a perpetual present. They can learn from recent events, but they are easily distracted by what is in front of their eyes. Slowly, over a great period of time, our ancestors overcame this basic animal weakness. By looking long enough at any object and refusing to be distracted – even for a few seconds – they could momentarily detach themselves from their immediate surroundings. In this way they could notice patterns, make generalizations, and think ahead. They had the mental distance to think and reflect, even on the smallest scale.

“Early humans evolved the ability to detach and think as their primary advantage in the struggle to avoid predators and find food. It’s connected them to a reality other animals could not access. Thinking on this level was the single greatest turning point in all of evolution – the emergence of the conscious, reasoning mind.

The second biological advantage is subtler, but equally powerful in its implications. All primates are essentially social creatures, but because of their vulnerability in open areas, our earliest ancestors had a much greater need for group cohesion. They depended on the group for vigilant observation of predators and the gathering of food. In general, early hominids had many more social interactions than other primates. Over the course of hundreds of thousands of years, this social intelligence became increasingly sophisticated, allowing these ancestors to cooperate with one another on a high level. And as with our understanding of the natural environment, this intelligence depended on deep attention and focus. Misreading the social signs in a tight-knit group could prove highly dangerous” (Greene, 2013, p. 7)

Greene, R. (2013). Mastery. Penguin Books: New York, NY.

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Earth Day 2016: Sagan’s Pale Blue Dot

“Look again at that dot. That’s here. That’s home. That’s us. On it everyone you love, everyone you know, everyone you ever heard of, every human being who ever was, lived out their lives. The aggregate of our joy and suffering, thousands of confident religions, ideologies, and economic doctrines, every hunter and forager, every hero and coward, every creator and destroyer of civilization, every king and peasant, every young couple in love, every mother and father, hopeful child, inventor and explorer, every teacher of morals, every corrupt politician, every ‘superstar,’ every ‘supreme leader,’ every saint and sinner in the history of our species lived there–on a mote of dust suspended in a sunbeam.

“The Earth is a very small stage in a vast cosmic arena… It has been said that astronomy is a humbling and character-building experience. There is perhaps no better demonstration of the folly of human conceits than this distant image of our tiny world. To me, it underscores our responsibility to deal more kindly with one another, and to preserve and cherish the pale blue dot, the only home we’ve ever known.”

Carl Sagan, Pale Blue Dot

P.S. – Congratulations to James and Addison Kwasneski!

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Shout-Out! Webinar with Music & Memory’s Dan Cohen

Kat Fulton and Rachelle Norman are hosting a webinar featuring Dan Cohen, founder of Music & Memory℠. The FREE webinar is TONIGHT at 6PM Eastern, 3PM Pacific time (Register here!). Tonight they will help you stay up-to-date as Music & Memory℠ moves into your state, talk about collaboration, guide you towards resources to be an effective consultant, and provide opportunities for you to grow your practice. Registering for the event only requires your first name and an e-mail address. After signing up, you will receive bonus e-mail updates as the partnership between Music Therapy and Music & Memory℠ develops. If you cannot make the live meeting, there will be a recording available.

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Ben Folds

Ben_Folds_iserve_musictherapy

Tonight I am going to see Ben Folds perform! Beyond his great music, many music therapists love his understanding of and advocacy for music therapy. Back in January of 2013, Ben said, “I’m not a Music Therapist but I believe in it strongly enough to bring attention to it… It’s safe, cost-effective, and in some cases even insured. It incorporates some heavy science and research, and, most importantly, it gets results.” You can click here to read the rest of his 653-word Facebook post. Later that month, Ben chose Music Therapy as the community service he wanted to represent when performing in Washington, D.C. for the National Day of Service; the American Music Therapy Association recognized this contribution with a write-up. He has advocated for our profession, visited a Music Therapy Conference, and recently, he has even collaborated with prominent neuroscientist Dr. Daniel Levitin to write an open letter to the President of the University of North Dakota. UND currently intends to close their music therapy program, but Ben has joined the national response protesting to keep the program open; If UND saves the program, he will self-fund a “benefit performance/lecture with the intent of helping raise money to support its budget.” Final note for all music therapist Sinfonians – Ben’s an honorary!

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Non-Profit Organization (NPO)

The Rhythm & Reason Blog has examined various business legal structures common for music therapy private practices: Sole Proprietorship, LLC, Corporation, and will now discuss Non-Profit Organizations (NPOs). These brief introductions are for educational purposes only and do not substitute for rigorous research and expert legal counsel.

NPOs are often associated with service and charity. Whereas the previously discussed business structures ultimately seek to increase profits or dividends, non-profits are dedicated to addressing community needs or advancing a social cause. After covering all costs of running the business, surplus revenues must be used to further advance their mission.

Every business can benefit from a well-crafted mission statement. Perhaps no other legal structure demands a more thoroughly investigated statement of purpose more than an NPO. If you aim to build a non-profit, you must pinpoint a need for your new organization, research whether there are any pre-existing organizations serving similar needs, plan how you will ensure start-up plus sustained operational funding, and whether a non-profit is truly the best legal structure for your situation. A non-profit has the best chances of success when board members are judiciously selected, volunteers are motivated to support, and additional resources and supports are utilized. This team should craft a detailed business plan, including marketing and fundraising strategies. You will need professional guidance, preferably from an attorney or accountant with prior experience helping non-profits, to best navigate all of the required paperwork.

Once your team is ready to move forward, you will need to incorporate at the state level, apply for tax-exempt status first with the IRS, file for tax exempt status next on the state and local level, and then submit all applicable annual reports. The IRS recognizes 29 different types of non-profits, but the most common NPOs are categorized under Section 501(c)(3): those whose purposes are charitable, religious, educational, scientific, literary, testing for public safety, fostering amateur sports competition, or preventing cruelty to children or animals.

There are many decisions an aspiring business owner must make. Research, reflect, and seek counsel when selecting which business structure best fits your unique situation and vision. Whether working as a sole-proprietor, building an LLC, founding a corporation, or inspiring an NPO, remember that legal distinctions are just the beginning. Your business will only grow as big as you’re willing to go. Get out there! Live organized, be smart, work hard, study, meet important people, provide excellent service, keep effective records, develop lasting relationships, expand your network, advocate for music therapy, innovate, research, WORK, and flourish. Realizing your potential takes compassion, a willingness to ask for help, courage, commitment, and your own maturing combination of “intangibles.” Get out there and OWN IT!

Internal Revenue Service. (n.d.) Tax Information for Charities & Other Non-Profits. Retrieved from https://www.irs.gov/Charities-&-Non-Profits.

U.S. Small Business Administration. (n.d.). How to Start a Non-Profit. Retrieved from https://www.sba.gov/blogs/how-start-non-profit.

Wikipedia. (n.d.). 501(c) organization. Retrieved from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/501(c)_organization.

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