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Five Stress Busting Tips For Music Therapists

The school year is coming to an end. Music therapists may be finding themselves busy grading papers, completing IEP reports, leading end-of-the-year recitals, and scheduling sessions for the summer… all while continuing their current session caseload. Let’s not forget that if you have a family, you may also be urging your children to finish that last report, attending school functions, and figuring out summer plans.

Calling this a busy time is an understatement. The potential for overwhelming stress is, well, OVERWHELMING.

Here are 5 stress busting tips for Music Therapists:

  1. Write it down. Put all of your activities and tasks down on paper (it can be digital “paper”). This gives you the chance to really see what is happening and give you perspective. You may even discover that the list isn’t as bad as you thought!
  2. Say “NO” and/or delegate. Make your activity list smaller by cutting down some of your tasks. You can either decline a task (It’s ok, someone else can make cupcakes for after the recital) or outsource a task (Buy the cupcakes or have your partner take care of them). Reducing your list will reduce your stress.
  3. Get physical. Use 15 minutes to walk, stretch, sing, improvise and/or meditate. It will focus your mind and body so you can think clearly. Not to mention all the benefits that come with making music!
  4. Eat. Never work through lunch in order to catch up on paperwork. It will just make you twice as hungry later in the day. Stopping for a proper lunch break not only gives your body food, it gives your brain a much needed mental break.
  5. Connect with the self-care community for music therapists on facebook. Ami Kunimura, MT-BC, created this group for music therapy students, interns, and professionals so that they have a place for encouragement and support. Find it here.

Is there anything else you would add to this list? Please leave a comment below. We hope that these stress busting tips help you deal with the overwhelming feelings that come with this time of the year.

New! Robin Spielberg Album Released

Our favorite pianist and music therapy advocate, Robin Spielberg, has released her next album! The 11 song CD, Another Time, Another Place, is the first album she has originally written and recorded the music. In an interview with Ambient Visions, Robin says:

I am fascinated by how we as human beings perceive time. We are on the only beings on the planet that know our time on earth is finite and yet we live as though it is not. I also love films and books about time travel, and so this is the theme of the album: TIME. Time and all its mysteries—how it is perceived, how it moves, bends, and our fantasy that it will go faster, slower or reverse”.

The music is beautiful and takes you to that special place where your imagination can let go. It is great for the music therapist for personal use or for sessions in relaxation playlists or drawing exercises. Find the album at her website here. Sheet music is also available through her website.

Listen for yourself! Here is the title track of her album, Another Time, Another Place:.


 Robin shares her evolving relationship with music throughout her life as a professional pianist in her book Naked on the Bench. Take our book study with audio interview with Robin in our online CMTE class. *All net profits from this course will be donated to the American Music Therapy Association.*

3 Great Posts From Elizabeth Schwartz

Schartz Stress BadgeDealing with stress, achieving success, and clinical reflection are topics often on the mind of every music therapist. Thank goodness we are able to connect with others to gain some perspective!

Music therapist and author, Elizabeth Schwartz, shares her thoughts on these topics at her blog: Raising Harmony.

Here are our top 3 favorite posts that she has written:


Elizabeth also shares insights, interventions, strategies and research in our self study course: Music, Therapy, and Early Childhood: A Developmental Approach. Child development, music development and early musical behavior research are explored and translated into an easy to understand format for clinical application that all music therapists can immediately incorporate into their practice. Author, Elizabeth Schwartz, facilitates this standardized, self study, 5 credit course. Find it here.

7 Little Known Ways To Invest In Your Continued Education

SM Advocacy Badge 2012_250x250For this year’s #MTadvocacy project, AMTA and CBMT have asked us to envision our profession’s identity. This is a topic that we get very excited about.  We believe that Music Therapists are vibrant, proactive, intelligent, and talented-filled professionals and all of those qualities make the FIELD of music therapy also vibrant, proactive, intelligent, and talent-filled.

We see the field of music therapy becoming stronger through the increased communication between music therapy authors/researchers/educators and music therapy clinicians. This is one of the primary reasons Music Therapy Book Club aims to bring authors and clinicians together through virtual meetings, book study, and audio seminars. This is what continued education is all about- connection, learning, and growth with the intention of helping us to better serve our our clients.

While it may seem that the only way to further develop yourself is to take a class that offers CMTE credits it is important to remember that continued education can happen in many different forms. You may be surprised by how easy it can be to learn something new!

Here are 7 alternative ways to invest in your continued education:

  1. Get free guitar lessons from James Taylor
  2. Learn new tricks for piano improvisation
  3. Participate in a group think tank. Meet up with music therapists (online or in person) and swap ideas.
  4. Beef up your presentation skills by joining ToastMasters or other public speaking organization.
  5. Take a course offered by online teaching websites like SkillShare and EdX.
  6. Pick up some free songwriting tips from the Berklee College of Music.
  7. Share YOUR ideas and thoughts… submit to Music Therapy Perspectives, Voices, or write a guest post for your favorite music therapy blog to publish.


As the profession of music therapy has been moving forward with recognition at the state level it has been identified that a document was needed to reflect a similar format to other health care professional organizations Scopes of Practice. CBMT and AMTA worked together to create a Scope of Music Therapy Practice (2015) for the profession based on published documents from both organizations.  This new document entitled Scope of Music Therapy Practice (2015) is available as an educational tool and legislative support document that broadly defines the range of responsibilities of a fully qualified music therapy professional with requisite education, clinical training, and board certification. Click here to read the Scope of Music Therapy Practice (2015).

#AMTA14 Conference Update

Screen Shot 2014-12-07 at 5.38.49 PMLast month Music Therapy Book Club was at the annual conference of the American Music Therapy Association in Louisville, Kentucky. We were in the exhibit hall sharing our classes with conference attendees. With over 1500 people registered, we were very busy! In addition to connecting people to our newsletter, we were able to get feedback from conference attendees regarding which books are most interesting to them for future courses! We had a wonderful time of connecting with colleagues, sharing information, and learning new things.

We are feeling renewed and are excited to bring everything we learned to you!

What did you think about conference?

Welcome to the -NEW-
Music Therapy Book Club!

BookClub NEWWe have a fresh look… did you notice?!

We LOVE it and we hope that you love it as well. The entire website has gone through a total transformation. It’s all the same great courses and information that you are used to seeing… just in a prettier package.

Please take some time to explore the website and tell us what you think!