Monthly Archives: July 2010

Saturday Night Fever! Disco Improvisation

Whoa! What a last couple of weeks! I’ve been up to Boston, over to Vermont, back to NY and back up to Lake Placid! While camping in the mountains this weekend, a few fellow music therapy students and myself began to revisit some new piano skills we picked up at The “Keys to Creativity” workshop, presented by Josh Massicot MM and Wade Richards MT-BC, that we attended a few weeks ago.  Luckily there was a piano at the house, and we got some practicing in besides harmonizing with guitar around the campfire! Caitlin Preston-Fulton, Nazareth College MTS reminded me of the disco improvisation that was presented at the workshop, and I thought it was an interesting and useful thing to share.

What can a Disco improv be used for?

  • Movement! Definitely something different and interesting that can be used with your group.
  • A different sound for marches
  • Really easy for a client to improvise with you over the bass-Just mark off which keys they can use
  • Another way to utilize piano in a therapy session
  • A simple way to add another “style” under your belt
  • Get your clients disco arms moving!

Here is a short demo of how to play a disco improv.  The “key” is to develop your own sound, keep it simple so clients can join in and have fun with it.  Enjoy!



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Filed under Activities, Music Therapy, Musical Resources, Student Life

The Application Process…

For the last week i’ve been chained to my computer and table (not really :))… and no I haven’t been blogging (unfortunately!) I’ve started to fill out my applications for the extensive list of internships i’ve created… and I couldn’t be more excited! It’s a very time consuming, but also a very rewarding experience as I tackle each question and application form.  Here are some tips to keep your sanity….

  1. Don’t try to cram it in in a few nights.  Some applications require answers to questions that exceed a few pages.  Take your time, take one step at a time, and restrict yourself to answering just a few a night.
  2. Be honest: Be yourself.  Answer questions truthfully and honestly and make sure your personality shows.
  3. Stand out from the crowd.  There are countless ways to do this.  Find your unique way so you shine.
  4. BE ORGANIZED.  I have 10 folders- one for each internship. Label the folders with the name of the facility and a checklist of required items. It will make your life so much easier!
  5. If possible- try to make some sort of connection with the supervisor- this way your name is in their head.

Feel free to comment with questions or more suggestions! Thanks for checking back.  I’m excited to say I will be shadowing Annette Whitehead-Pleaux in Boston, MA for a few hours at the Shriners Burns Hospital in 2 weeks.  Check back for a post with my experience!

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Filed under Music Therapy, Student Life

Sometimes a “Hug Works”

Finding creative musical sources that can be used and adapted for many populations is critical for a music therapist student or professional, as well as writing original songs.  One source that I’ve been secretly enjoying for over a year now is “Hugworks.”  Now I am going to proclaim it to the world, and highly encourage that students and professionals take a listen to some of their great tracks, and maybe even pick up a few of their CD’s.

Fishy Mon

The Frog Song (tell me how you feel)

Hugworks is a nonprofit organization that creates products and services benefiting children with special needs.  Their music and products help improve self-esteem, wellness, and positive expression of feelings. Through the use of therapeutic musical entertainment and therapy, Hugworks addresses the needs of children with special needs.  Although their aim is children with special needs, their products can target a range of cliental including hospitals, camps, homes, and developmental facilities across the U.S.

For more information about Hugworks visit

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Filed under Activities, Music Therapy, Musical Resources