It’s spring break!

I thought I would take a break from trying to be all theological with the Bible or profound with music therapy and just tell you what I’m up to!

Something I realized late in the going-back-to-school craziness last year was that I’ll get a spring break. It was less of a “yay!” and more of a “whoa…” I don’t see it as an excuse to do nothing for a week. Rather, I see it with an “I have so much time to get stuff done!” mentality. Don’t worry, I am taking a bit of a break – later in the week I am traveling to DC to see all of my wonderful friends I miss so much!

The first half of this semester was INSANE. I don’t think I’ve experienced anything like it. It was a perpetual cycle of homework that piled up so quickly, and once I got it down to a couple of assignments, 15 more got assigned, and I’m not exaggerating. Not to mention the stress, preparation, and energy of doing two music therapy sessions a week and all the paperwork that goes with it. What is the phrase? – How do you move a mountain? One chip at a time.

My accompanying gigs came in waves. I would have weeks of practically nothing, and then a week with rehearsals everyday followed by a five hour musical theater workshop on Saturday followed by a recital. But it’s paying the bills!!

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So what’s coming up? Hopefully the second half of the semester will be less frenetic since it will be more of the same. I’m in a groove now and know what to expect week to week. The first weekend after we get back I’m accompanying four recitals, so that means lots of rehearsals the week before and lots of practicing (and I’ll have to make sure everything black that I own is clean).

One thing I am particularly excited about is writing a research paper for my research class. I know, I can’t believe I just said that either. We had the choice of either doing an actual experiment and writing a paper on that, or doing basically a massive literature review and writing a paper on that. I chose the latter with a certain topic in mind, but that topic changed after I started reviewing journals and what kind of literature was out there. So this is what my paper is on:
Two methods that are commonly used in music therapy are lyric analysis and songwriting. These methods can be used with anyone participating in music therapy but they are particularly effective in the mental health field because they provide opportunity for appropriately expressing emotions, cultivating healthy coping skills, providing a sense of accomplishment, and providing a sense of self.  There have been many studies on these two methods.
So, I am taking the literature on these methods, finding the common themes of the best songs used for lyric analysis, coupling those with the most common themes found  in lyrics of songs that clients write; then, I am comparing these themes with common themes, found based on lyric analysis, with the songs of….

The Beatles! The purpose of this comparison is to determine if songs of the Beatles are conducive to these methods and would be appropriate and effective. I chose the Beatles because 1) I LOVE the Beatles, 2) a lot of research has been done on their music (you should see all the articles I found!), 3) there aren’t a lot of people who don’t like the Beatles, and 4) both the mental health and gerontology fields have, or soon will have, the aging population that grew up with the Beatles, so their music will be relevant, and most likely a personal preference of clients.

Thus endeth my personal update. Cheers!

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