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Less is More + March/April

Welcome back to the Tuesday Toolbox! From strategy ideas and session planning tips, to clinical and organizational skills, Tuesday Toolbox is here to support and inspire you! For the rest of the school year, the focus will be: Less is More (psst! To get these delivered straight to your mailbox each Tuesday, make sure you're subscribed to the blog)!

Are you EXHAUSTED?? Are you WORKING HARDER, and want to work SMARTER? Are you OVERWHELMED by trying to keep up with pinterest and social media? Are you feeling ISOLATED? This series is for you!

Less ALONE, More Together

As a truly one-of-a-kind profession, it is all too easy to feel ISOLATED and MISUNDERSTOOD. If you are like me, you may have other music therapists on your team to interact with - but even then, the time together is extremely limited because most days are spent living out of our cars, driving from campus to campus or walking from class to class! If you don't have the privilege of having other MT's on your team or nearby, it can be especially lonely.

Last month, we talked about ways to connect with other MT's (check out that post here)! ANOTHER great way to avoid isolation AND to improve services to our students is to COLLABORATE! Did you catch the blog series, Collaboration in Education?

The series of video interviews educates music therapists on the role and scope of the other special education professionals and provides possibilities for collaboration and co-treatment to mutually improve our services! Think professional information in a casual environment! Check out the interviews here:

And if you are looking for some SUPPORT from another music therapist, check out our 6 CMTE course, Music Therapy Mentor! I am thrilled to offer a course that walks you through a self-evaluation tool, goal setting and action plan. The best part? It also includes 5 interactions where we can talk real-time about what's going on in your music therapy world! Learn more at


Did you have the chance to go to your Regional Conference? Shout-out to all of the regional boards and local committees that make regional conferences a reality! I had the privilege of attending the SWAMTA conference, and it did not disappoint! From advocating for music therapy at the Texas state capitol to training to interactions with some of my favorite people, conference - as always - left me full of excitement and inspiration!

But then what? I feel like I have a million notes on my phone, business cards in my wallet, handouts in my suitcase and ideas in my head! SO, I created a one-page document to organize the most important take-aways from conference that I can turn into ACTION!

...and I want to share it with YOU! Get the free printable of my conference 'debrief' HERE! Download the fillable PDF to your computer to type your notes or print and hand-write! You can also use this during or after any professional development, training or conference! Hopefully it helps you to organize all of the awesome information you gathered into application! Make your training more PURPOSE-ful!


Evaluations *shudder* Timely Data *cringe* Organized Planning *eye roll* Does any of this strike a chord? When our days are full, it's so hard to be motivated to complete these daunting, but important, tasks. We WANT to spend our time WITH STUDENTS. Making a difference.

So, how can we spend less time on paperwork while maintaining quality?

1. A S S E S S M E N T S // Create a template. Some kind of outline that you will use each time with all phrases or charts that you will use each time you evaluate. Include notes, whether in the template or on a separate document, of key elements to remember (like: don't forget to insert additional information here about behaviors that go outside of the data - response time, affect, etc.). Don't want to re-invent the wheel? Check out these Assessment Forms in my shop (or get more details on the blog: Assessments Made Easy-er) OR take the SEMTAP 101 course and get 5 CMTES + the Assessment Forms + bonus forms and tips!

2. D A T A // Did you know - How regularly you take data is up to your site/school district? I always felt like I needed to document each goal, each student, each time I laid eyes on them. The AMTA Standards of Clinical Practice more broadly state, "5.1 The Music Therapist will periodically document the client's level of functioning with regard to the goals and objectives." (emphasis added). What might this look like? Some sessions can be deemed as teaching sessions where you are simply practicing the skills. You may only need to document the time you were there and which students were present. Then other sessions can serve as "testing" sessions where you are focused on documenting their responses to the goals. Maybe you use the first and last week of grading periods (typically 6 or 9 weeks) to gather baseline and progress data. To clarify, before making any changes to regularity in your data, make sure your supervisor is on the same page. But if you are worn down from constant data, maybe it's time for a meeting!

Like the assessments, you will save time if you have a concise and efficient data-taking template. Grab the Data and Planning Sheets in my shop for an easy print and write format for individual, group and consult data!

3. P L A N N I N G // Evidence-based planning is easier than you think! With the Data and Planning Sheets, you can easily move through the formula: goals + student preferences + personal clinical experience + what you know from research = evidence-based strategies! Whether you work one on one or with a group, the method is the same! Organize your plans into weekly or monthly session sheets!

<3, Patina Joy

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