Do you know enough repertoire?

Do you know enough repertoire? Do you have enough songs? I just returned from facilitating a healing retreat for healthcare professionals. And I have to preface this message with :: YOU ARE ENOUGH.

I think it is so important to practice therapy in the space of YOU ARE ENOUGH / I AM ENOUGH. Coming from a place of empowerment, abundance, and a strong sense of self is so important in our work.

And I could go on for days! BUT if you have room to grow a little, or if you know someone who drives a lot, then please pass this on.

Today’s Shout-Out is for Sarah, a music therapist in Texas who doesn’t have much time for connecting with other therapists, learning repertoire, or coming up with new session plans for her clients.

I have a feeling you might understand Sarah’s predicament. Can you relate? So, the question stands… How can we make the most of our time while REJUVENATING and RESTORING ourselves?

Honestly, only you can answer this question. Self-care is so incredibly important. What we can offer here at Music Therapy Ed are tips, suggestions, and ideas. But YOU must be the one to create the action that elicits true change. YOU must be the one in tune with your personal needs.

I have a good start for Sarah, but we need your help, too! Please leave your supportive comment below.

Click play to hear about Sarah’s troubles and learn 4 ways to maximize your time during the day. Also, make sure to download the freebie below the video.

Links mentioned in the video: (Kat’s FAVE! Affiliate link), The Music Therapy Show, The Music Therapy Round Table, AMTA’s Pro Podcast, Rachel Rambach, Amy Kalas, Rachel See, Christine Stevens

Jessie, an incredibly awesome music therapist in San Diego, asked me once how she could make time to learn new repertoire for our clients. I thought that was a great question because– who has time to learn repertoire anyway? When I thought about how much she drives daily, a light bulb went off.

I thought, if I could record some “Play It On The Go mp3s,” which includes my voice speaking the chords out loud with each song as it played… maybe Jessie could treat these mp3s like an audio book – a learning experience in the car.

YOUR NUMBER ONE PRIORITY IS GETTING FROM POINT A TO POINT B. Never drive distracted. And rest assured that you can listen to these mp3s as many times as you’d like! Over and over and over =) Always drive safely, and keep your eyes on the road. Consider these mp3s just another audiobook.

We’d love for you to download our first go at Play It On The Go mp3s! These are casually-recorded learning mp3s that you can use to brush up on your Motown. Get them while they’re hot! And upload them to your mobile device to Play It On The Go.

Motown music therapy

Download Motown Play It On The Go mp3s.

Do you like these mp3s? Should we send you more? Do you have a specific genre that you need? Please let us know by sending an email to

And don’t forget to leave Sarah a supportive comment – How do you handle too much time in the car? What do you do about maximizing your learning opportunities? Please let us all know in a comment below.

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  1. Thank you, these are great! It took me a few tries to figure out how to download them but they’re now on my iTunes (recently upgraded my Mac to Mountain Lion and am still getting used to it!).

  2. Thanks for everything in this post! I feel ya, Sarah! I am in a similar situation, and feel the same way at times! I, too, struggle with finding time to learn new repertoire, but I love the “Play it on the Go” idea! Great tips for using your car time wisely – thank you!

    For me, on driving a lot: For me, personally, my drive time is my “me” time. I typically listen to audiobooks (LOVE my audiobooks!) or just jam to preferred music. My audiobooks have saved me from the feeling of “I JUST WANT TO BE HOME ALREADY!!!” that I used to get from driving so much. Obviously, if I need to work through something in my head or listen to a song for my therapy sessions, I will, but if I always did, I would go crazy being in the car so much!

    A wonderful post! Thanks, Kat!

  3. Thanks for the post, Kat!
    Sarah, I am in the same situation as you are and I totally understand your feelings and challenges. Love the “learn in the car” idea and I have also used audio books, as well as CDs of music I have been learning. I recently borrowed audio disks of Martha Beck’s “Finding Your Way in a Brave New World” from my local library and I enjoyed every minute of her uplifting self-care ideas.
    I also have found that if I let someone else do the “heavy thinking” of session planning, I have more time just getting the repertoire down. I rely on Barbara Reuer’s Music Worx Toolboxes and Creative Forecasting publications to do the session planning outline, then I tweak the plan for my individual sites’ needs and off I go. This has helped me a lot!
    Also, I make time every few weeks to have coffee or even a phone call with my mentor. We share ideas and challenges, and after every one of our talks I feel like I can get out there again and make music!

  4. It is easy to feel crunched with time. I often load songs on my iPod whose lyrics I am learning. I use podcasts and audio books when I’m driving, doing dishes, folding laundry. Some books on Kindle also have an audio to them.

    Kat, thanks so much for the mp3s. Love that you added chords!

  5. Hi Sara!

    I first heard of “Automobile University” from the great motivational speaker Zig Ziglar (shows my age), and since then, I, too have benefited from listening to audiobooks. has a monthly subscription model for $14.95 a month you get one credit. The nice thing is, the book that you want this month may cost $22.95, but it’s still only one credit, so you don’t pay retail! (Always love a deal).

    The other thing about audiobooks is that I experience ZERO ROAD RAGE because my attention is not solely on trying to get to point B as fast as possible. I just don’t care if someone passes me or I catch a red light.

    Lastly, regarding red lights, I love the scripture passage, “Be still and know that I am God.” I now use red lights a moments of prayer and meditation/mindfulness if I’m not listening to a book. A lot of time, I drive in silence to give my thoughts room to breathe. Regardless of your religious affiliation or spiritual practice, red lights can be annoying, or a moment of respite. It’s our choice! 🙂

  6. That challenge from Sarah sounded like it came from my own mouth! I also spend too much time in the car, and not enough time for myself or learning new skills/repertoire. It’s a drag, but these are good tips! I’ll definitely check out the MT podcasts. 🙂

    2 ways that I try to make my car time more effective/enjoyable:
    1) Listening to songs that I enjoy on my way *to* my work in order to warm up my voice in a fun way.
    2) Then going home, I listen to an app called Umano. This one isn’t MT related, but it helps to pass the time and keep me up to date on current events and entertainment. Umano is an app consisting of current news articles from various sources that are read out loud/recorded and streamed to your phone. You can make an offline playlist, choose from categories that interest you, etc. Free, available for iOS and Android. iPhone link:

  7. maybe we should have a mobile MT vehicle? Just kidding.
    I can relate to Sarah, I worked in isolation for many many years and it was always my dream to have an office with multiple MT’s working out of it!
    Also, due to my own need, I’m working on sending out FREE songs, videos, and tips for parents as well as professionals on how to use music! Hope you can find many resources here Sarah, this is a great supportive, educational, prosperous, generous group! We’re all here for ya!
    John Mews

  8. Hello fellow MTBCs! I am so grateful for the Tuesday shout out from Kat as well as all of the helpful support. As I was driving in the car today I found myself thinking back to this group. I am looking forward to implementing some of these great suggestions!! I know that it is up to me to get some motivational tools to get me through the days where all I can think about is getting home or my dream job. I can tell you that in the past 2 weeks I started making time for myself at the gym. It has done wonders on my mental health. It’s the one time of the day that I feel like I am not worrying about anyone except ME!! It has been a slow process, but I have realized that if I am not taking care of myself then it makes working with others really hard. 🙂

    Thanks again for all of the insightful advice. 🙂

    • Hey Sarah! And now YOUR wisdom will help OTHERS! Thanks for taking us along your journey as a music therapist. I’m so honored that you sparked this entire discussion. Thanks for your presence here —

  9. Why do I always forget about podcasts in the car? Still living in 1995 with my cassette deck with iPod adapter in it. I do the podcasts while at the gym. I love the downloads and I’m always looking for Country tunes from the 50’s, Blues, and Jazz.

  10. sarah – you totally get it. and i echo kat’s triumphant chorus – WE ARE ENOUGH! i completely burnt myself out within the first two years of working, and it’s because i was so focused all the time on what i lacked as a therapist, what else i needed to do, all the ways i didn’t feel like i was serving my clients well or enough because i didn’t have the time! and before i knew it, i became a music therapist and teacher that had stopped playing music (the Source!), and my dream career was just a job. doing whatever it is i need to do for ME has become a complete priority (community support, time with my personal mentor, connection with musicians (not just MTs!) and my music, reading, and being outside!!). taking care of myself has actually been the most efficient thing i could do for myself in terms of my job, because i feel energized and excited about seeing my kiddos most days now, and everything that needs to happen – happens! peace and love

  11. I forget about podcasts too! Thanks for the reminder Kat.

    I love the mp3s you gave us here for learning new songs. LOVE them. What other genre do we need / would we appreciate? Any genre! I work with students age 3 to 26, so anything popular, or any “oldies” that kids listen to, or new guitar “tricks” are appreciated on my part.

    It is also a great idea to make our own – I can learn songs by ear if I am sitting with my guitar or at the piano, but not by just listening in the car. And like Sarah, I rarely have the time I really need to sit down with my guitar or at the piano to learn the rep that I want to learn.

    I also have a lot of time on the road, and I completely share your frustration over the time that *should* be useful but ends up feeling wasted. I often spend the time listening to *my* music, to popular music, or to Canadian Radio (CBC). The CBC often plays “family-friendly” popular music, AND they tell you what they just played. It is one of my favorite resources for new music.

    I do echo other people’s reminders to take care of yourself. I have found that going to bed early (or on time), or doing nothing work-related on a Saturday, or getting enough exercise can do more for my creative juices than if I had spent that time trying to be creative.

    Reading these comments remind me how much support we can and do receive from others via the internet. It is on my todo list to edit and update my bookmark folder for MT resources.

    Sarah – thanks for the request, and Kat – thanks for the ideas!

  12. Kat – what an amazing and “simple” idea! I would love to see more genres – maybe popular/radio tunes, both pop and country. I am a huge fan of podcasts, most recently The Foundation/Starting from Nothing thanks to you, of course!

  13. Thank you!! First for validating our knowledge and expertise, then for the reminder of how to improve. I love being around so many positive people who want to improve themselves and do it in a healthy way.

  14. Terrific post, info and sharing! Thanks for reminding us that we, are indeed, enough. Really appreciate the chords, sound examples – awesome way to expand my repertoire!!! Thanks Kat! See many of you in Jacksonville…

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