Smile, Laugh, and Sing the Music!

Here’s an upbeat, catchy, easy-to-learn song for spelling, identifying emotions, and learning about coping skills. Inspired by Wee Sing, “Smile, Laugh, and Sing the Music” is piggybacked to “Battle Hymn of the Republic.” Children practice their letters, or practice spelling smile, laugh, and music. Smiling and laughter are signs of happiness, but the MT-BC might use this song to discuss a wide range of emotions; behavioral signs of sad or difficult emotions might be taught to inspire coping skills. Labelling and gaining insights into what you’re feeling is an important first lesson, then followed by learning positive ways of handling such situations. Discuss and practice talking with an adult and other coping skills, but also including smiling, laughing, and singing!

Below are the lyrics, which you can sing in any key, and available for free download is a bright PDF if you would like a visual aid to help clients spell each of the words.

Smile, Laugh, And Sing the Music!

1) Oh, it isn’t any trouble just to S-M-I-L-E! No, it isn’t any trouble just to S-M-I-L-E! So smile when you’re in trouble it will vanish like a bubble, If you’ll only take the trouble just to S-M-I-L-E!

Chorus) Smile, laugh, and sing the music! Smile, laugh, and sing the music! Smile, laugh, and sing the music, the music makes you strong!

2) It isn’t any trouble just to L-A-U-G-H…   Repeat Chorus

3) It isn’t any trouble to sing M-U-S-I-C…   Repeat Chorus

Download the colorful visual aide below to help with spelling. Suggested page transitions are indicated by the number in the version of the lyrics beneath the FREE download.


Smile, Laugh, And Sing the Music! (With PDF Page Numbers)

(1) Oh, it isn’t any trouble just to S-M-I-L-E! No, it isn’t any trouble just to S-M-I-L-E! So (2) smile when you’re in trouble it will vanish like a bubble, If you’ll only take the trouble just to (3) S-M-I-L-E!

(Chorus, put PDF down out of sight) Smile, laugh, and sing the music! Smile, laugh, and sing the music! Smile, laugh, and sing the music, the music makes you strong!

(4) Oh, it isn’t any trouble just to L-A-U-G-H! No, it isn’t any trouble just to L-A-U-G-H! So (5) laugh when you’re in trouble it will vanish like a bubble, If you’ll only take the trouble just to (6) L-A-U-G-H!  Repeat Chorus with PDF down

(7) Oh, it isn’t any trouble to sing M-U-S-I-C! No, it isn’t any trouble to sing M-U-S-I-C! So (8) sing when you’re in trouble it will vanish like a bubble, If you’ll only take the trouble to sing (9) M-U-S-I-C!  Repeat Chorus with PDF down

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

SOP 11: Education and Clinical Training Requirements

“A qualified music therapist must have graduated with a bachelor’s degree (or its equivalent) or higher from a music therapy degree program approved by the American Music Therapy Association (AMTA), and must have successfully completed a minimum of 1,200 hours of supervised clinical work through pre-internship training at the AMTA-approved degree program, and internship training through AMTA–approved National Roster or University Affiliated internship programs, or an equivalent. Upon successful completion of the AMTA academic and clinical training requirements or its international equivalent, an individual is eligible to sit for the national board certification exam administered by the Certification Board for Music Therapists (CBMT).”

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

Power

Power, by whatever name, is one of the most problematic of all behavioral interactions. We often euphemize power as we talk about responsibility, duty, or rights, or we just pretend that power does not actually exist. We will even ‘manipulate’ students into doing something that they do not think about: “Would you like to put your materials away before lunch?” It would appear that most of what we just assume to be the correct thing to do represents the imposition of our own values on the student (Madsen & Madsen, 1998, p. 26).

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.

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

May 2016

May is the third and final month of spring. This month we celebrate two of the populations music therapists serve; May is Older Americans and National Mental Health Awareness Month. May also seems to be a month of good health: Physical Fitness and Sports, Better Hearing and Speech, Better Sleep, Correct Posture, and Healthy Vision. Days and months are dedicated to so many causes, sometimes bizarre and humorous, but one more that I’d like to share is that May is Personal History Awareness Month. The first week of May is National Small Business Week and Public Service Recognition Week. Among our themed holidays that can inspire original songs and creative session plans, May offers us the opportunity to value our teachers, nurses, mothers, brothers, and armed forces. For a much longer list of observations, click here. We are familiar with Cinco de Mayo and Memorial Day, but here are a few other holidays and events to get excited about:

05/01/16 “May Day” is also Mother Goose Day

05/03/16 National Teacher Day (And Teacher Appreciation Week)

05/05/16 Cinco de Mayo

05/06/16 National Nurses Day; Space Day

05/07/16 Kentucky Derby

05/08/16 Mother’s Day

05/11/16 National School Nurse Day

05/12/16 International Nurses Day

05/18/16 International Museum Day; Visit Your Relatives Day

05/19/16 Circus Day

05/21/16 Armed Forces Day; American Red Cross was founded this day in 1881

05/22/16 Buy A Musical Instrument Day

05/22/16 National Brother Day

05/30/16 Memorial Day

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

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!


Continue reading

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

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.

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

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.

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

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.

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

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.

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail