The Right Tools: How Music Therapy Can Make All the Difference
Sometimes having the right tools makes all the difference in getting where you want to go. This is especially true with music therapy.
We have umbrella trees that need to be trimmed down to little stumps every fall. Currently, the project doesn’t take too long and we’re usually able to bust it out in one evening.
But it wasn’t always that way.
The first year we tackled the project we went at it with hand held trimmers, a step stool, garbage bags, a hatchet, and a broom. We trimmed off each branch individually or swung the hatchet to knock out a few branches at once. We stood on the step stool to reach the higher branches, precariously wavering on the rocks and steep hill.
When all was said and done it took 30 minutes per tree to get all of the branches off. With 10 trees (yes, TEN) that added up to 5 hours of branch removal.
(This has something to do with music therapy, I promise! Just stick with me here…)
Then we needed to clean up all the branches, which in our case meant picking them up and stuffing them into garbage bags then sweeping the sidewalk. We filled 15 of those big black outdoor bags and piled them on the side of our house, where they slowly made it into the weekly garbage pickup over the next couple of months.
Needless to say it was a laborious and time consuming project–around 10 hours when all was said and done. And knowing I’d have to do this every year…
I considered moving.
Fast forward to Fall of 2018. Our annual tree project is a completely different experience.
Want to know the difference? Having the right tools.
We use a chainsaw and the branch trimming takes 30-45 minutes instead of 5 hours
We align our trimming with our city garbage pickup (they come around in big trucks and pick up big piles of garbage on the side of our house) and no longer need to store garbage bags on the side of our house for 2 months. We simply use a pitchfork to scoop up HUGE piles of branches at once and throw them on the curb, then clean up with a blower and a push broom.
When all is said and done, having the right tools has turned our 10 hour project into a 2 hour ritual.
So what does this have to do with music therapy?
Music Therapy The Right Tool
Music therapy often cuts out the need for a “10 hour project” because for so many people it is the right tool. It’s the chainsaw, the blower, and the pitchfork. It helps people do things they haven’t done before, and enables them to make leaps and bounds towards their goals, changing what would have been a 10 hour project to a 2 hour ritual.
It’s about true efficiency, effectiveness, and making a lasting impact. And in so many cases, I’ve seen it bring more out of kids than anything else they do.
Music therapy helped a girl memorize her address in 11 weeks as opposed to 2 years.
Music Therapy immediately helped a boy put 5 words together instead of speaking one at a time.
Music Therapy promptly got the attention of a little boy with William’s Syndrome who previously wanted nothing to do with his speech therapist, and thereby primed him to communicate.
Music Therapy helped a boy with cerebral palsy begin to progress toward his educational goals on which he had made no progress for the previous 3 years.
Music Therapy motivated a boy to continue exercising on the treadmill for 10 minutes instead of 30 seconds the very first time we tried.
Music Therapy helped a little boy with social anxiety sit next to other children and playing with them instead of hiding.
And on and on…
People often consider music therapy an “extra” or “luxury” service, which is so unfortunate because they miss out or postpone the benefits. Once they add music therapy it often helps clients progress faster and more efficiently than they did without it.
It is by no means a “quick fix”, but when used often and correctly it can make all the difference.
So the question is, do you want to eliminate your “10 hour” effort and start seeing more efficient results?
For so many, music therapy is the right tool.
You just need to get it in your tool box.