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  • Writer's pictureCarolyn Meyer, MT-BC

Revitalize your telehealth sessions

Technology, lighting, sound quality OH MY!

To those who have been facilitating telehealth music therapy services for almost a year now, YOU SHOULD BE PROUD! It is no small feat to make this adjustment in your practice and therapeutic process. Although I am feeling more confident and consistent with my own virtual session skills, I know many of us in the music therapy community have been feeling fatigued or worn thin from this style of service. We are right here with you in that.

Let us do the brainstorming! Here are some tips, tricks and intervention ideas for you to utilize in your telehealth practice.

Customize your space

There are plenty of simple ways to make your telehealth room a place that is inviting for both you and your client.

-Consider adding a piece of furniture or decor like a potted plant or a woven basket of instruments to your space

-Hang instruments such as a drum or guitar on the wall, check out our therapist Jennifer's amazing instrument wall below!

-Invest in an iPad or laptop stand so you can set up your telehealth space anywhere. Carolyn recommends this stand

Embrace this new therapeutic space with your clients

It's not a secret that we are all conducting our services from our own homes. Although we always want to maintain clinical boundaries, there are a few simple ways to create a safe and welcoming space for our clients.

-As simple as it is, one of my clients and I always share what we have in our cups at the start of our session. It is our way to say hello, welcome each other into the session and connect over what crazy mug I am drinking my tea out of!

-Give your clients time and empathy for the transition into the session. Musical prompting such as an "I Spy" song might help them orient and ground in their own space while also switching attention to you and your space.

To the tune of "If You're Happy and You Know It"

I spy with my little eye

I spy with my little eye

(client name)'s (object)

(client name)'s (object)

Music time is great with (client name)'s (object)

Find the technology that best fits your needs

No two telehealth music therapists are the same, and that is important to remember when considering your virtual "setup." It might be helpful to think about your client base when considering what technology to utilize (or upgrade to). Some examples include:

-Using an external microphone for clear and loud audio for older adult clients

-Using a ring light or lamp placed behind your screen if your telehealth space is dimly lit

-Downloading apps for audio sharing (think Spotify, Calm, or Relax Melodies) and utilize the share audio feature with clients


We hope you can take away some new inspiration for your unique practice as well as take pride in the meaningful music therapy work you are implementing each and every day!

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