Okay, so I have been tossing around many great ideas for blogs over the past week but there is one event that happened outside of work that I just can’t get out of my head so I guess it wins out.

Like so many others, I got into music therapy because it combined my passion for working with people with my love of music and making music. It is wonderful to have a job that so clearly matches my own interests and strengths and I love coming to work and making music. However, making music with my clients in a therapy session is much different from making music to fulfill my own personal needs and cravings for musical expression. While I know this on a cognitive level it became very clear to me this past week when I had the chance to engage in making music outside of work.

One night last week I had the opportunity to make music for me and it was FABULOUS! It wasn’t on a stage in a concert setting as was the truth for so many years but instead consisted of a simple rehearsal of five musicians and five instruments (piano, guitar, uke, djembe, and drum kit). The official reason for the rehearsal was to prepare a specific piece that we would be performing together but the result was over an hour of rehearsing, sight reading, and jamming to that song and many others. As I left the evening rehearsal to go home I could feel my body buzzing with energy and endorphins (the body’s natural pain killer) and I felt like I could accomplish anything. As I marveled in how good I felt I realized that I had forgotten how good it feels to make music with a group of people outside of my work.

Making music was always a passion for me and is what brought me to this job, yet after a day of making music and using music in therapy, it isn’t the first thing that I go home and do. This is just a simple reminder, to myself and to any other musicians out there who may be working in a music profession or a job in a different field, that self care can still include making music…when was the last time that you took the time to engage with music, and in music, for you?

~Lindsey Wilhelm, MA, MT-BC