Let’s talk for a moment about the scariest things we can think of…. spiders? heights? the boogey man?… how about walking into a session with 30 brand new clients…with a flawless session plan… opening your guitar case, and realizing your A-string has totally kicked the bucket… and you have not a single spare. You know that really uncomfortable feeling when the room is dead silent, and everyone is waiting for you to start… and all the while your brain is sweating trying to come up with a last minute plan of attack.
Yes, this happened to me. How did you guess?
“Take a chill pill! You totally got this.” That’s what I tried to tell myself as I rummaged through my collection of intruments. But you know what? I did.
Music therapists have a little bit of a stigma attached to them. We always have that shadow following behind us (yes, i’m referring to the guitar that proudly stands a good foot taller than us on our back). It’s literally our life support in many cases (pun intended). Now don’t get me wrong- the guitar is a wonderful, powerful tool that we utilize… but would it hurt to step outside of the box and explore other things we have to offer. For new professionals and especially students this sounds TERRIFYING. But trusting in our therapeutic ability AND in our musicianship is KEY.
Did I feel exposed and vulnerable without my guitar for 50-minutes? YES
Did it force me to step out of my comfort zone and explore some new ideas and techniques. YES
Did I crash and burn? NO!
Some lessons I learned:
- Always carry a spare set of strings in your case. (Although I probably would not have had time to even change them- there is nothing like getting glared at by a group of older adults).
- Challenge yourself to try something new- the results just might surprise you.
- Trust in yourself and your abilities. I think you’ll surprise yourself.
- You may get WAY different reactions and outcomes from your clients by trying something non-traditional. Kimberly Sena Moore, MT-BC, talks about stepping outside of the rule book here http://www.musictherapymaven.com/do-we-learn-our-greatest-lessons-from-our-clients/.
I hope my terrifying moment has encouraged at least one other to step out of the box ( I even pulled out my iPad- the ladies thought it was a riot!). If you try something new- let me know how it went! I’d love to hear your stories.