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Not Just Music Therapy

Posted Sep 05 2012 4:27pm

The past few weeks have had me thinking a lot about my growth as a music therapist and as a business owner. Today I find myself remembering a conversation I had with Rachel Rambach when I debated whether or not to teach music in addition to offering my skills as a therapist. I can’t really remember how I phrased the question, but Rachel’s response stuck with me. She said something along the lines of:

“I enjoy offering music lessons because it keeps me thinking about the foundations of music and music learning.”

Okay, she was probably much more eloquent than that, but there you have it. With that conversation, I decided that I wanted to teach in addition to my job as a therapist. I know myself well enough to realize that offering lessons would greatly enhance my work as a therapist.

Now, I love every single day that I am working, but there is something special about my Wednesday mornings. On Wednesday morning, I get to spend time teaching music to the students at the Columbia Jewish Day School. Some of these kids are taking music lessons, indeed many of them are taking from me, but before I came along, they had nothing in the way of formal music education.

I’m so glad that the administration there decided to invest in providing music education to their children. It has not only been enjoyable for me, but it has helped to keep me rooted in the foundations of music, and kept me thinking creatively about ways to teach about music in a way that is understandable and accessible to all of the children I work with, both in therapy and in lessons.

Because those kids are brilliant. Each one of them has been carefully cultivated as a learner by the incredible teachers at the day school. In fact, the therapist in my becomes overjoyed when I have a lesson plan laid out, but the kids turn it on its head and devour the information in their own special way.

Do you teach in addition to your role as a therapist? How do they compliment each other (or not!) for you? I’d love to hear your feedback in the comments!

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