What 10 Years as a Pediatric Music Therapist Has Taught Me
Pediatric Music Therapy
by
2M ago
I swear, time is a peculiar thing – you blink, and 10 years pass by, both slowly and all at once. Back in 2014, I embarked on a journey founding a new music therapy program in a children's hospital. Fast forward to 2024, I find myself in familiar scrubs and sneakers, playing similar tunes but with a richer blend of perspective and experience. Over these years, I've been blessed to work with hundreds of patients and families from diverse backgrounds, learning endlessly about this work and myself. As I step into my second decade of music therapy practice, I want to share some valuable takeaways ..read more
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5 Tips for the Undervalued Music Therapist
Pediatric Music Therapy
by Amy Love
7M ago
I decided to be a music therapist when I was 18. I was a pretty idealistic teen and had no trouble fitting my own narrative into into the powerful narratives of inspirational commercials and interviews showcasing medical music therapists. What those commercials and videos don't elaborate on, however, are the poignant moments when our profession feels overshadowed or under-recognized. When I got my first job, I was both advocating/educating a whole new hospital on what I did. I strived to build bridges of understanding and foster relationships while also finding my own footing. Along my way, I ..read more
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Merging Mommy & Music Therapist - 4 Truths from My First Year as a Working Mom
Pediatric Music Therapy
by Amy Love
1y ago
My sweet daughter, Phoebe, recently turned one and we shortly after, celebrated my second Mother's Day. This also means that it has been over a year since I have been attempting to merge my two titles - mommy and music therapist. It has been a complex, painful and beautiful process full of high highs and low lows. I certainly wouldn't trade it for anything. As a student, I remember hearing how things dramatically change when you have children of your own. More frighteningly, I heard of many music therapists choosing to leave the field entirely. It was too difficult to see and easier to unders ..read more
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What Infertility Taught Me About Working in Healthcare
Pediatric Music Therapy
by Amy Love
2y ago
I like to plan my life out far in advance. Like my career as a music therapist, I had a vision for how my life would unfold and hoped for the best. 8 years into my career, two pets, a house and a husband, I found myself excited about the idea of growing our little family. However, infertility laid a different path ahead of us. Months passed with negative test after negative test. The sinking realization came into focus that this process was going to be more difficult than I had imagined. Thus, began monthly visits with my OBGYN, transitioning to a speciality fertility clinic and finally naviga ..read more
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When It’s Not About the Music: Dialogues in Clinical Practice in the Paediatric Hospital Setting
Pediatric Music Therapy
by Maybelle Swaney
2y ago
There was a period in my music therapy practice where I strongly believed that in order to demonstrate the effectiveness of music therapy, I just needed to ‘let the music speak for itself’. People will ‘get’ music therapy, I reasoned, if I could just capture those significant moments through video recordings, therapeutic projects, or live demonstration of music therapy to others. While this belief still somewhat holds true, I also realized that truly effective advocacy does not rely solely on the music. Rather, advocacy in music therapy requires the therapist to promote, protect and defend th ..read more
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Being A Music Therapist During a Pandemic: A Year's Review Through Music
Pediatric Music Therapy
by Amy Love
2y ago
My year started out on a beach in the Dominican Republic with my husband Bryan and two of our best friends. Our most difficult questions that week were “should I nap by the pool or the ocean?” and “how many dinners should we eat tonight?” I started each day with a coconut and finished it off with a cocktail. 2020 was going to be a year to remember. Bryan and I spent my few waking vacation hours (I napped a lot) talking about our plans for the year. It all seemed so exciting and so possible. On the airplane ride home, we read about the coronavirus and joked that we had better be careful in the ..read more
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5 Reminders for Medical Music Therapy Interns
Pediatric Music Therapy
by Amy Love
2y ago
My boss recently asked me what keeps me motivated and excited about coming to work. Without pause, I answered "students" and I sincerely meant that. Becoming an internship director and supervisor has been such a rewarding experience. It affirms my love for the field and makes me excited about what's to come as this profession grows. I'm pretty early in my supervisory journey. I still distinctly remember what it felt like to be an intern and so I draw from that experience whenever I can. As a former intern and now supervisor, here are five things I want you to know from someone who has been the ..read more
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The Productivity Problem: Five Ways to Find Peace & Measure Success Without Checkboxes
Pediatric Music Therapy
by Amy Love
2y ago
If you know me at all, you know I find a lot of pride in getting stuff done. In fact, I’m typing this post out on my phone as I lie on the beach with a husband who reminds me that vacations are supposed to be for relaxing! There’s no feeling like getting to the end of the day and ticking off my checkboxes, one by one — proof that I have accomplished what I had set out to do. At home: laundry’s done, meals are prepped, bills are paid, house is cleaned. These are neat checkboxes with a clear ending point — the laundry is either done or not done. The problem I have always come across is completi ..read more
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Squeamish? 5 Things That Make Medical Procedures Easier
Pediatric Music Therapy
by Amy Love
2y ago
There's something I really love about procedural support. The gratification is immediate and the impact reaches patients, families and staff all at once. Patients may experience less pain, families may feel less stress, and staff can do their job easier, quicker and more safely. Boy, I have had some rough experiences along the way, though. I vividly remember a time when I was an intern, observing my first burn dressing. The room was kept warm, which is typical for burn dressings, as the patient’s skin is less able to regulate temperature. That was not helping me in my gloves, gown and mask, th ..read more
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Sharing a Voice through Supervision
Pediatric Music Therapy
by Shawna Vernisie, MA, LCAT, MT-BC
2y ago
In a recent blog post, Amy posed a question to her readers: “So if you were a patient on your caseload right now, what might you need?” I can’t believe how much I resonate with this sentiment during this time. I work in a busy pediatric hospital in Queens, NY, primarily within the PICU, step-down/intermediate care unit, and medical/surgical unit. However, much of my environment, workload and responsibilities changed as the pandemic came to a climax. I no longer work on the units I provided services to regularly. Instead, I shifted to working throughout the entire hospital and providing music ..read more
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