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Do You Make This Common (and Easy-To-Fix) Mistake?

by Kimberly on October 27, 2010 · 2 comments

I readily admit that I was never very good about it. It’s one of those things that I “knew” I should do…but never got around to. I know it’s good for marketing and I know it’s good for professional growth…I just never made it a big priority like I should of.

What is “it”? Recording myself work.

I’m in the process of pulling together application materials for the PhD program I’m applying to. Part of the application process involves submitting video clips of my clinical and musical skills.

Luckily, I had kept video I took in 2006 for a training program. And luckily I had enough foresight to get the appropriate releases and record sessions before I moved last summer and had to let go of all my clients.

But it struck me while editing this footage how valuable recording yourself is. And how I really should have listened to that voice in my head–and the voices of friends and mentors–telling me I should be recording myself more often.

Here’s why:

  • A picture is really worth a thousand words. My husband tells me that he never really “got” music therapy until he watched a video of it “working.” He had heard the definitions, had stories and examples described to him…but when he finally watched a video and saw how rhythm dramatically improved the gait of a stroke patient, that’s when he had his “aha” moment. And that’s just one person–think of how video footage can impact and influence a roomful of people!
  • Opportunities for professional growth. As therapy students, we receive external feedback from our supervisors and professionals. As interns and young professionals, we learn to self-evaluate what worked and what didn’t work during a session. But watching a video of yourself working, no matter how scary, gives you more of the external type of feedback. You’re able to look at yourself more honestly and, yes, critically. Which is a good way to challenge your professional growth.
  • Re-usable content. Once you have that remarkable video footage, you can re-use it over and over and over again. At trainings. At conference presentations. At in-house workshops. At marketing events. On websites. Record and edit once, then re-use multiple times. What a great use of your time!
  • New technology makes it easy. These days, the technology needed to put together a video is relatively inexpensive, slick, and easy-to-use. I use a $120 Flip Video Camera (I talk more about it here), a $12 generic tripod, my Mac’s iMovie program, my Mac’s iDVD program to burn a DVD, and YouTube. And for you PC lovers, there are PC-friendly programs (although I cannot personally recommend this, Microsoft has a Movie Maker software program. Check it out here.). So all-in-all, there is no excuse for not having the right equipment to create your own video.

If you–or your employer–are already in the habit of recording your work, great! You’re ahead of most of us!

But if not, my challenge to you is to start recording. Don’t make the same mistake I did.

Start with one session. Make sure you have the appropriate releases and the appropriate equipment. Then record. Watch and evaluate yourself. If you captured something remarkable, edit for potential marketing and training use.

And, of course, leave a comment below to let us know how it goes!

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{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

yehia October 27, 2010 at 2:01 pm

i told you this point before through an e-mail message.
you and other music therapist must record sessions and use it to be an evidence for other reshearches.

Jesse October 29, 2010 at 12:25 pm

I almost always do audio recordings of myself, and usually do video recordings during assessment. As time goes on, I’ll film more sessions. For me, it’s not necessarily for marketing purposes, but rather as a way to mark progress.
.-= Jesse´s last blog ..The Junk Band =-.

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