An earlier post explored accessing gratitude in our lives. Hours spent working are a big part of lives. As music therapist, we should consider the role gratitude has in and around a music therapy sessions.
In my opinion, it does. Chances are you are already demonstrating it.
Here are some ways we use gratitude in a session.
None of this is outside our normal approaches. Rather it is being mindful that we are showing gratitude.
- Giving our clients our full attention. Especially in the activity filled space of a senior living community, having someone look and listen as you speak means a lot.
- Saying “please” and “thank you”. Social graces are important.
- Remembering what song(s) is meaningful for them. Remembering what music they can’t stand.
- Using their names. Nothing means more than hearing our name.
Here are some ways we can use gratitude with co-workers/facility employees.
Caregiving takes a physically and emotionally toll. Showing gratitude to staff (or family members) can impact our sessions.
- Acknowledging them for the job they do. Floor staff seem to be told what to do by everyone – the supervisors, the residents, the families. Letting them know how they positively impacted someone is a big boost.
- Letting supervisors know who is doing a good job. It seems the “bad” news gets shared more than the “good”. Being part of a positive tone is helpful to all.
- Occasionally including them in the session. Singing, playing instruments, dancing are rarely part of their work. A minute spent sharing this with those they serve can help develop positive relationships.
- Supporting clients in serenading the staff. Whether it is Nurses Week or a holiday, a few minutes supporting a show of musical gratitude impacts lives.
Adding gratitude outside the music therapy session can also reap rewards.
This need not be a constant. Think of it as the “little extra” you can offer. None of it requires tons of money or time.
- From time to time, sharing a note or leaving a card with clients or the staff is welcomed.
- Leave kazoos with the residents and a list of songs for the staff to use. (Yes, I’ve had staff thank me and ask for more kazoos.)
- Send an email with a link to news articles or music resources they might find helpful.