Started my day by the beach today (although didn't get to actually see the beach *sad face*) The MT had me observe a friend/colleague of hers who's a music therapist turn music educator. After completing his internship and working a few years as a self-contracted therapist in southern CA, he took on the role of an elementary/middle school music teacher at an independent K-8 school. It was a lot of fun watching the kids play and hearing all the wonderful music they made. Such talent!! Today I got to observe the 7th, 3rd, and 1st grade classes. The 7th grade was working on their "band" for the spring recital. He had kids on drums, bass, acoustic guitar, electric guitar, keys, and vocals. They played "Revolution" by the Beatles, and it sounded absolutely amazing! I was blown away by them. I'm being completely honest when I say that some of these kids could surely outplay me easily, and they're only 12 yrs old. The talent level didn't diminish as the younger students strolled in. He sang popular pop/rock tunes with the kids, and they not only had the lyrics of the songs they practice regularly memorized, but they easily recalled songs from way back in the beginning of the school year. I had no idea that 6-yr-olds could memorize and sing accurately classic rock hits, Jack Johnson, and Bob Marley!
Overall it was a great experience to just sit and watch the kids have so much fun at school, but to also see how he incorporated therapy techniques into his classes, like the drumming workshop he did with the 1st graders. It made me wish I was a kid again!
After driving back to the inland part of the OC, I met up with the MT to see a pt. She was the first pt I saw as a MT intern, so it was special getting to go back and see her again. The pt went through quite a transformation from the beginning of the session to the end. When we first arrived, the pt was laying in bed, moaning of pain and wishing away her very existence. I took a passive role and let the MT facilitate to the needs of the pt. She practiced some deep breathing with the pt and allowed space for her to cry and display her emotions. By the end of the session, the pt was up in her wheelchair, sitting in the living room in the sun with her dog on her lap.
The last stop of the day was to a memorial service for our beloved pt who recently passed. I felt a bit undeserving to be there... I barely knew the pt, while everyone else there seemed very close to him (family, friends, our staff, their staff, fellow residents). It was an eye opening experiencing nonetheless. It served as a reminder to treat every pt as we would like our own family member or even ourselves to be treated and cared for. I saw his family. I saw them cry and heard their stories and words of remembrance. All our pts are leaving loved ones behind (physically), and there is bound to be pain and grief. Just because our staff has to work with the dying process 5 days a week makes it even more important that we never take the situation lightly, and always remember to be sensitive to the feelings and emotional process of the pt's family and friends. However, even though people pass, they leave behind many wonderful memories and legacies. As one of our nurses said to me, "It's [the memorial] not a sad thing... it's a celebration!"