Welcome to my music therapy blog!  I have wanted to share my thoughts and ideas regarding this field for quite some time.  I will strive to approach this site with as much genuine zeal and honest excitement as I have for music therapy; and in the end, I hope to do the field justice.

I am a board-certified music therapist (MT-BC) with a B.A. in Communication Disorders from Truman State University and a Master’s in Music Therapy from the University of Iowa.

Degrees and certifications aside, I am, frankly, just a music therapy enthusiast, with the fortunate opportunity to practice my passion in life.

This blog serves as a forum to discuss music therapy: what it is and why it is needed.  It is also a source of information for those less familiar with the field.  For fellow music therapists, I plan to include session plan ideas, helpful resources, and other practice-related topics.

Honest questions and comments are welcome!

Rachel See, MA, MT-BC


7 Responses to “About”

  1. Nathan July 5, 2011 at 9:01 am #

    Love this idea! What kinds of things can we be doing with the 15 month Ty-guy?

    • Rachel Smith July 5, 2011 at 9:34 am #

      Thanks so much, Nathan! Right now, you can expose him to a wide variety of sounds, move/dance with him to music (however, I happen to know that he already dances better than I do), and incorporate sign language into some of the songs you use with him. I have lots of songs you can do that exposes him to specific language sounds…it’s auditory bombardment in a fun, structured way! Perhaps I’ll record of a few of them to share on here and I can teach you the rest in person when I see you!

      • Rachel Smith July 5, 2011 at 9:56 am #

        Have another suggestion for Nathan? Feel free to comment!

  2. Drew Lammy July 5, 2011 at 12:46 pm #

    Hey Rachel,

    This blog is an awesome idea. What are some typical diagnoses that would necessitate music therapy? Thanks.

    • Rachel Smith July 5, 2011 at 1:27 pm #

      Good to hear from you, Drew!
      Honestly, we work with a vast range of diagnoses and disorders (I have a brief list in my “What is Music Therapy” section). To determine whether or not music therapy could prove effective for that client or patient (and if so, HOW we could best use music to work on their goals), we perform a music therapy assessment.
      Therefore, it’s a bit tricky to say anyone “necessitates” music therapy, rather, we determine whether or not they could benefit from our services. That being said, there are definitely populations that typically respond really well to music therapy (children with autism, older adults with dementia, etc.).
      I just completed my internship at a state mental facility, where I worked with patients with a variety of psychiatric disorders. It was one of the best and most eye-opening experiences of my life. There was something about the music that proved to be safe and approachable for the clients, whether it was writing their worries/troubles/future goals in a blues songwriting format, using music to help facilitate relaxation, or analyzing lyrics to a song and discussing how those words relate to their own life (these are just a few sample interventions).
      I hope I answered your question – feel free to tell me if I didn’t! Other music therapists: feel free to jump in on this conversation if you have anything to add.

  3. Jade July 10, 2011 at 10:42 pm #

    Hi Rachel. Like Nathan I was wondering what some good things to do with Fiona who is also almost 15 months would be. She loves music and to dance but I want to teach her songs that are not only fun for her but will also help her learn. What would you recomend? Also would you recomend anything for Jude (he’s almost 2 months) or is it too soon? I think this blog is a great idea and I can’t wait to follow it!

    • Rachel See Smith, MT-BC July 10, 2011 at 11:03 pm #

      Jade, thank you so much for your support!! It truly means a lot!

      I have to say, I’m so sad that you are no longer in the Washington area, as I would totally recommend you consulting with Elisabeth Tinnes, MT-BC, from The Joy of Music: http://www.thejoyofmusic-therapy.com/. I know she has a lot of great programs through her MT practice.

      The tricky thing about giving “advice” to individual people/clients on my blog, is that it crosses some ethical boundaries and could upset other music therapists. I want to focus this site more on music therapy musings, session ideas for other music therapists, and advocating materials to spread the word about music therapy.

      Therefore, I’m shying away from listing specific ideas and suggesting that you look up music therapists in your area. Otherwise, there are LOTS of programs such as Kindermusic or Music With Me that involve the parents and their young toddlers. I’m sure your kids would love something like that!!

      The above being said, I will be posting songs and music activities that I have created for children to promote academic, language, and social goals. They will be in a video, audio, or typed form. You would be MORE than welcome to get ideas from these posts; however, if you use them, it would not be considered “music therapy” if it is not done by a music therapist….if that makes sense….just tricky yellow-tape issues :).

      I hope everything is going well for you, Jade! I would love to hear what kind of music Fiona (and Jude, for that matter!) gravitates towards, or responds to! The older I get, the more out of the loop I feel with regards to music for youngsters (especially TEENS, but you won’t have to worry about that for another few years, thankfully!) :).

      Thanks for reading my blog and be sure to keep in touch!!! I will always consider you one of my best friends.

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