I had so much fun writing 9 Crazy Ideas for Playful Spontaneity During the Work Day. I remember that while I was writing, I put myself through all the suggestions (pretty intensely, too): sculpting in the air, hand-dancing on the desk, etc. Here’s another post that I had a blast writing~

It’s the new year, and it’s time for some new ideas, new session plans, and new music-making experiences! Last year, I shared my New Year’s Ritual with Older Adults, and here’s what’s on my mind behind the scenes that will freshen up my practice this year:

To preface the following thoughts, the #1 thing on my mind is the best interest, therapeutic goals, and overall wellness of the client. These ideas go hand-in-hand with the fundamental client goal and well-being:

1. Client initiates spontaneously. When I’m really tuned in to how my clients are making music in the session, I can match, morph, mingle, and move with their creation. It’s all about listening to my clients. I can’t count how many of my session plans have come from my clients’ spontaneity. Oftentimes, I can use one client’s idea to address a goal for a different client in another facility.

Here how I practice transferring daily routine listening exercises to improved listening in therapy practice: Distinguish between the instruments in orchestral or pop music. Pay attention to the birds while making out the rustle of the leaves. Notice all the elements: timbre, volume, pitch, texture, etc. See how quickly you can identify the location of an ambulance as soon as you hear the siren. Then, naturally move and groove with all the sounds going on with the body and the voice. Lots of fun!

2. The facilitator initiates spontaneously. When I find myself in the moment, listening to my clients, being present with my clients, and lost in the world of experience right then and there, spontaneous ideas abound. They seemingly come from nowhere. In addition, I find that the times when I’m the most spontaneous are the times when I’m taking the best care of myself.

3. Planned ideas. Preparing new songs, new techniques learned from others, and new ways to connect in my sessions is a huge undertaking for me this year. I’m looking forward to using familiar and non-familiar music, reading more books, and reading others’ blogs about their music-making experiences to spice up my sessions. It feels great to have a good balance of being prepared and spontaneous (adaptive).

4. Mash-ups. When I’ve had some time to massage one idea thoroughly, and when I allow plenty of space for multiple ideas to mingle and mesh, mash-ups just happen. I’ve been inundated with mash-ups for a few months now.

The trick is to have a healthy balance of prepared ideas to meet goals AND an in-the-moment flexibility to adapt to whatever energy the client brings into the session. Perhaps on that day, at that time of the session, there’s a micro-goal based upon mood (e.g. reducing agitation). Sometimes, I just throw the original plan out the window, and the session goes swimmingly because I’m able to adapt and be present in the moment.

Both planned and spontaneous methods are opportunities for creative expression. How do you freshen up your creative style?

If you like this post, you might also like:
Personal Experiment: Music, Art, and Dance All Day
17 Musical Instruments You Can Find in Your Workplace
Say It So You Can Play It

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