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.

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.