Research

[PsychToday] Harmonicas, Social Connections, and Politics

August 4, 2016
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America has spent the last couple weeks learning about the Democratic Vice Presidential Candidate pic, Senator Tim Kaine. We’ve heard his life story—the mission trip to Honduras, his begin-local-and-work-your-way-up political climb—and we’ve discovered a bit about the man—his younger self “hotness,” his fluent Spanish, and his harmonica chops…
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[PsychToday] Patriotic Music and Cultural Identity

June 30, 2016
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Stars and Stripes Forever
The Star Spangled Banner
God Bless the USA
America the Beautiful
Born in the USA
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[PT Post] Are Musical Genres Outdated?

May 27, 2016
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As a musician, one of the hardest questions for me to answer is “what kind of music do you like?” My current rote answer is “Well, it depends on my mood. Sometimes I like…” and then I continue on by listing several examples of different musical genres and the mood I associate them with…
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Music Therapists: Take this WFMT Survey!

April 21, 2016

The World Federation of Music Therapy (WFMT) is conducting a survey to obtain “detailed, descriptive, worldwide statistical narrative about the demographics, employment, and clinical facts, which help to describe the music therapy profession.”
If you are a music therapist, I encourage you to click this link to take the survey. Though I risk showing a bit […]

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[PsychToday] Music, Smell, and Holiday Shopping

December 23, 2015
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At the time of writing this post, we are in the midst of the hustle and bustle of the holiday season. Halloween candy has long been consumed, Thanksgiving meals digested, Hannakah candles lit, Solstice passed. All that’s left now is Christmas.
Of all those holidays, Christmas is arguably the most ubiquitous, in particular for those who […]

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[#PsychToday] The Evolution of Music: A Bonding Effect?

December 9, 2015
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Image courtesy of Ambro at FreeDigitalPhoto.net
I’ve performed in many ensembles over the years—band, orchestra, choir, and chamber groups—and have yet to find a music group as socially and emotionally connected as the marching band. Not to say I haven’t felt connected to my fellow choral, orchestra, and wind ensemble peers, but there’s something about the […]

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[PsychToday] 3 Musical Ways to Influence a Child’s Emotions

October 22, 2015
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When people ask me what I do, and I say I’m a music therapist, I generally get one of three responses:

The Curious Question: “Music therapy…what’s that?”
The Personal Connection: “You’re a music therapist?! Oh my goodness, my (mom/dad/grandmother/friend/child) had a music therapist and it was fantastic!”
The Emotional Association: “Oh I love music therapy! Music is MY […]

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[PsychToday] Scoping out Sticky Songs

September 23, 2015
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Pop quiz time! What do the following phrases have in common?
I’ve got my baby back, baby back, baby back, I’ve got my baby back, baby back ,baby back…
Who let the dog’s out! Woof, woof, woof, woof….
Give me a break! Give me a break. Break me off a piece of that Kit Kat Bar.
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[PsychToday] Punk Music Isn’t “Bad”

July 30, 2015
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Early in my professional career as a music therapist, a colleague asked me what I thought about her teenage son’s music choices. He had started listening loud, punk-type music and my colleague was wondering whether or not she should be worried. I assured her that, although this was not a particular area of expertise for […]

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