Magical Moments, Music Therapy

Coping with Hospitalization

Katy Perry's show in Berlin (This file was edi...
Katy Perry in Berlin. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

From time to time I get to share my patient’s work.  I do this with express permission from the patient/client and/or their parent.  This is the case with “Madeline” – a teen hospitalized with a halo contraption to stretch her spine in preparation for spinal surgery in two or three week. Later, she would experience two weeks of healing and therapy.

After our first meeting, we decided a good way to get to know each other was by singing through some familiar tunes. She sang Katy Perry’s Firework.  It’s a great inspirational song about keeping going when you feel less than your best self.  This young teen, removed from her regular social and academic environment, was missing her regular life.

After we went through a few options, Madeline chose to re-write the lyrics and create a version that reflects her advice on how to get through tough times.  These are the re-written lyrics she wrote with my assistance.  I share this as an example of the power of music to inspire and facilitate health.  Hum the tune to yourself as you read her words.

"When you are alone, and have no where to go, 
A friend can help you through, You don't have to be alone.
There's always someone who's there to comfort you, 
To hold your hand through the rough time.

When I'm feeling weak, and losing control
I'm not sure how I can make it through
But then I turn to friends, and they boost me up
Make me feel I'm strong, so I can carry on.

Baby I'm a firework..."

Remembering home, remembering friends, remembering what is important can make all the difference to help someone cope with hospitalization or a series of medical procedures.  Madeline is now equipped with a catchy song she can sing to herself in moments of struggle to remind her of the important things — her friends.

Media Reviews

Music Therapy Strikes Chord –

I was asked to speak about music therapy by a student journalist from Columbia College, Izzy Gut, who was enthusiastic about music and intrigued by music therapy.  I spoke with her in route to the American Music Therapy Association’s Great Lakes Regional Conference in Columbus, Ohio.  In the car with me was friend and colleague Ellen Rayfield, so Izzy was lucky to get us 2 for 1 for her interview.  Our regional President, Tracey Richardson, was happy to add a bit more to the conversation post conference.  It was a joy to come back from an inspiring week of information sharing, to have this article, “Music Therapy Strikes Chord” on to share with all of you.

Cheers – keep singing.


Making Music

A Running List of Modern Pop/Rock Songs for Piano

Wowie Zowie – What a great list of songs to inspire some fire for lessons! For those of you who are struggling through music lessons, take a look at this great resource list. Thanks to author Amaryah for the great video links! Keep playing!

As promised in my last post “So your child wants to quit music lessons?“, here is a list of modern pop/rock songs for piano that you can introduce to your child or student (in no particular order).  I plan on adding songs to the list as they are released or discovered.  *Disclaimer: some are not appropriate for kids but would still be good matches for young adult/adult students.

  1. “Say Something” by A Great Big World & Christina Aguilera
  2. “Atlas” by Coldplay 
  3. “Just the Way You Are” by Bruno Mars
  4. “Jar of Hearts” by Cristina Perri

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Media Reviews

Illinois Association for Music Therapy – Member Spotlight

Illinois Association for Music Therapy – Member Spotlight

Thanks to the folks at the Illinois Association for Music Therapy for inviting me to be the  spotlighted member for the month.  Click here to hear my story of what brought me to being a music therapist, and why I stay.  Check it out at


Media Reviews, Music Therapy

A Joyful Noise

I came across this delightful and insightful post from a blogger who is enthusiastic about living a healthy life.  This is the story of how this person used music to tolerate some dental discomfort, and was inspired to do a little research on music therapy since using music worked so well for them.  Kudos for doing what feels right and for being curious enough to learn more.  As a board certified music therapist, I am excited to share this well written and cheerful post with my readers.  Thank you for sharing this Yeloros!  Enjoy the singing and dancing!

A Joyful Noise.

Music Therapy

Music Therapy for District 97 Families

20121117-152112.jpgMusic Therapy for District 97 Families

If you have a family member or friend in special education with Oak Park School District 97, my music therapy presentation this Tuesday night is a must- attend.  Not only will I share with parents how music therapy can target educational goals, I will offer parents a much deserved moment of respite and relaxation through music.  Here is how you sign up to attend.  Come, listen, and enjoy.

Magical Moments

Loving Yourself and Maintaining Balance.

January was a crazy month for me — I feel like I am just emerging from the mayhem of the holidays then a very busy professional month. I found myself watching the work of my colleagues via YouTube, Facebook, Blogs and websites. We MT-BCs were very active. Me personally, I did an internet radio show, a presentation for a music fraternity, wrote a wellness article for my employer, co-lead an important planning meeting with colleagues, and gave a lecture plus experiential workshop for an Intro to Creative Arts Therapy class at a local university. On top of all of that I also directed a women’s choir in two soulful songs I arranged for a church service post MLK Day. I’ve realigned my schedule to accommodate new clients, and have been posting for another blog about music for young children. I kept moving forward with my regular job and contracts too of course. I guess I mention this because I have not been writing/blogging much lately.


In honor of this work, I am going to treat myself well and take a bit of a retreat this next weekend to re-energize and recharge my batteries. Between that and the love of my family, I can think of no better way to celebrate Valentine’s Day.

May you find a way to love yourself deeply this week. Happy Valentine’s Day.


Image courtesy of

Media Reviews, Music Therapy

The Music Therapy Show on Blog Talk Radio

Missed the live show Friday?  Click here to take a listen to my discussion with host Janice Lindstrom and learn a little more about why I love being a music therapist.

Music therapy and private practice 01/11 by Janice Lindstrom | Blog Talk Radio.

Thanks for listening — I’d love to hear any comments you might offer!

Keep singing.

– Victoria