Music Related

A Day In The Life Of A Music Therapist

So, if you missed my last post about this, March is Music Therapy Month! In honour of that, I am doing weekly Thursday posts about music therapy, my experience with it, and things you probably didn’t know about it.

This week, I wanted to give you an idea of what a day looks like in my line of work. I run my company, and so I have gotten to pick and choose my clients and make my own schedule. Which is awesome and stressful at the same time.

I’ve decided to give you a run down of my Tuesday, since it’s one of my more hectic days, and most varied of my days. So here goes nothing!

7:00 – Drag self out of bed and get ready for the day.

8:00 –Check emails, gather all materials and leave for work.
Rush hour is pretty crazy in my city, so it can take between 30 minutes and an hour to get to my first site.

9:00 – Daycare music classes.
Technically, these aren’t music therapy sessions. But I do use my skills in these classes to manage the groups and adapt session plans for the various groups. It’s a fun, easy way to start my day.

12:00 – Leave daycare, drive to next client.
Stop and get coffee along the way, and eat my lunch.

13:00 –  Adult client with developmental delays.

14:00 – Drive to next client.
If I have time, depending on the roads, I’ll do some paperwork in my car and check emails again at this point.

15:00 – Senior group
My seniors groups take place in assisted living, so there are lots of different functioning levels in one group. I like to do games with them – it’s a good mental challenge for the higher functioning, and listening or discussing is easy to come up with for the lower functioning.

16:00 – Drive to next client.
This drive particularly sucks, because I’m going to wrong way to avoid rush hour traffic.

16:45 – Teen client with disabilities.

17:30 – Drive home.
Sometimes I do voice recordings of notes on my drive home (my car’s system lets me do this hands-free), if something happened in my afternoon sessions that I need to make sure I remember. By the time I get home, I’m usually pretty fried, so I tend to avoid doing paperwork or documentation that evening, and leave it for the next day.

18:15 – Get home. Check emails and messages one last time. Crash. Find food.

The rest of my evening is spent relaxing generally, because 6 clinical hours is a lot for a contract music therapist. I’ll do my documentation during a break the next day. Sometimes I’ll run through some songs or practice a bit when I’m home, but it depends on what I need for the next couple of days. Sometimes I get caught up with phone calls and emails until after 9pm, which can suck, but has to be done. Sometimes there will be accounting tasks waiting for me, especially if it’s the beginning of the month when all the cheques and payments come in from all my clients.

The hardest part of this and most other days in my schedule is that I have only myself to rely on to get things done. I’m the sole owner and employee with my company, so when things explode, I have to deal with it, no matter how tired, sick, or done I am. There are people I can call if I need advice, but it ultimately comes down to what I want to do.

It’s so worth it though. I absolutely love what I do. I work with some incredible people, and even on the worst days, I still enjoy going to work.


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