At the beginning of the year, I posted a poll asking what you, my readers, wanted to see more of in this blog. I was excited to get responses from 25 of you! That’s a lot of people invested in my tiny little blog, and I firstly want to say thank you! Of the options given the votes were evenly spread, however, client stories managed to pull into the lead by one vote.
In meeting your request for more client stories, I want to begin by talking about how music therapy benefits more than just the people I work with.
Most of the clients that I see in my office are children accompanied either by a mom, a dad, and occasionally a brother or sister. When working with a person, you aren’t just working with that single individual. The changes that I help to create in music therapy impact the entire family unit (and classroom, and after school, and play group, etc) by effecting the behaviors displayed in those settings. Of course, seeing behaviors generalize outside of my office takes time, but eventually these changes happen! I love seeing my work come full circle when I am approached by a parent who is smiling, excited, and bursting to tell me how their child sang at home (for example). Mom was able to feel the impact of music therapy!
If you received my newsletter yesterday, you will have read that one of the comments I loved from the move was that the parents could hear their children singing. I have one parent in particular who, when I reached out to my clients for their support of our Music Therapy Practice Act, wrote me back with a lovely story. In this e-mail, she described to me how waiting outside the music therapy room during group was her own therapy session each week. She benefitted from hearing her child sing and interact so much, that on an evening when they were the only attendees at group, she insisted that music still happen because she “needed [her] therapy”.
I had never really given much thought to how the work I do impacts those around it. It was a real pleasure to get to think about the benefits that were being reaped by simply hearing sounds of the session: their child’s laughter, voices singing, the sound of music being played. Thank you, parents and caregivers, for making me smile.