Music Therapy Room
This past summer I redesigned my therapy space to make it a little more kid-friendly and visually appealing. I run sessions out of my home and had never made a big attempt to make it a very “fun” room, mostly because I was doing other full-time work doing MT in the school district. But I just had my first child last year so I quit my full time job and now do a few sessions a week with kids at home. Spending more time in that space at home made me realize it needed some dramatic changes!
The redesign was a challenge because I wanted to keep as much open space as possible to allow enough room for group sessions, but wanted to find nice pieces to put on the big open walls that would be appropriate for a wide age range (infant to adolescent). I decided that the first line of business was to paint the walls to add some color to an otherwise grayish-tan (and boring!) room. I had some leftover paint from when we first moved into our house and it turned out to be just enough. I painted each wall a different color–green, blue, and yellow to make it fun but calm at the same time.
The Therapy Space:
So this is what it was like before. I had a big wardrobe where I stored all of my instruments, one small clock as my lone wall decoration, boring color (or rather no color at all!), and a lonely looking keyboard and guitar. I feel embarrassed just looking at it…
And here is the new room! Colorful, warm, bright, and decorated with actual artwork! (Imagine that…) I looked all over for art pieces and found the best ones at Hobby Lobby. They’re mostly posters that I mounted in regular poster frames, and I found some iron pieces that I liked as well. I took the wardrobe out and it opens up the room dramatically.
When we first bought our house we had so many other projects going on and it honestly didn’t even occur to me to do anything with the closet in my therapy room. Not only did I not have the time, but I thought it might be fun for my clients to have a place to “hide” for various games. It did work well for that, but it was absolutely hideous. Again, I am painfully embarrassed…
Part of the decision in taking out that wardrobe included committing to building shelves in the closet to house all of my instruments. I had never built anything with wood, but my dear husband took a Saturday afternoon to help me build it all. It was so fun to learn how to do it and to make it all my own! I did have to keep in mind, however, that we may move some day and someone else will probably use this closet for clothes…so I tried to design it to be as versatile as possible. I think it worked out nicely. And I fit everything inside!
Here are some other photos to give you a better picture of what the room looks like:
I found this wall decal from Etsy.com and just love it. I hadn’t anticipated this but it created a nice natural home for the keyboard. Only downside is that if I get a real piano for the room some day it would totally cover the decal…
The easel is from IKEA and functions as a whiteboard (quite handy with some clients!), a chalkboard (old school, haven’t really used that yet), and a place to mount the music schedule. I also love this guitar collage picture. It’s nice because it gives the room more of an adolescent feel while keeping it fun for younger kids too.
I didn’t really change much in the office, just added a few guitar coat hangers (from Bed Bath and Beyond) and rearranged a few things. Here’s what it looks like now!
I hope this gives you some ideas on ways to design your therapy space. It took me a lot of time and thought and it was very helpful to see what other music therapists had done. I enjoyed seeing pictures and video of Rachel Rambach’s studio (http://listenlearnmusic.com/), and wished that I could have seen more examples. So for those of you who are looking for ideas, here’s another source!