Guitten Conference booth at AMTA 2014, Louisville, KY
In review of the AMTA Annual Music Therapy Conference in Louisville, KY in November, 2014, I thought it was an amazing conference! This was the first time the Guittens (patent pending) came out to play in the real world. They had a great time, and people loved them. Pretty much sold them all! West Music quickly became a fan, so you just might find them online, at conferences, and conventions in the future with West Music.
Here I am with Roberta Kagin, Professor and Director of the Music Therapy Program at Augsburg College in Minneapolis, MN. I received my Bachelor of Science in Music Therapy from Augsburg in 2004. She purchased Guittens for the music therapy students at Augsburg!
While Joe was holding down the fort, I was free to attend concurrent sessions. It was really good to be at a conference after such a long break from attending them. I think it had been 3 years since I attended a national conference. Conferences are great for connecting with colleagues and friends that I have not seen in awhile. For me, it’s like getting a boost of energy to keep on going. It stirs up ideas that have laid dormant for too long. It’s motivating! It helps me relate to others who are going through similar clinical, business, or life situations. I highly recommend YOU attend the next music therapy conference within reach! My FAVORITE part of the conference was the Opening Session on Thursday with the bluegrass band, “Down on Fifth,” and when people went up to the front to dance! It was sweet!
Lastly, it was an honor to be interviewed by Podcaster of On the Mic and Music Therapist, Michelle Erfurt. She asked me about music therapy experiences and the Guittens.
Overall, it was an awesome conference. It was actually the best one I’ve ever been to. I can’t wait to do it again!
Photo by Rachel Rambach of Listen & Learn
The Guittens are here! I have been bustin’ at the seams to share them with all of YOU! They are available for purchase at: www.GUITTEN.com. They are hand crafted by yours truly.
The Guitten’s purpose is to:
1. Protect the head of the guitar. Why? Because while working with children and elderly over the past 10 years, I have had moments when I needed to use my hands to assist clients/patients. I’ve almost lost control of the head of the guitar. The ends of the strings are very sharp, and can actually draw blood if poked. The Guitten solves that problem by covering the sharp ends.
2. The Guitten hides the tuning pegs. This way, cute little kiddo fingers cannot attempt to re-tune your guitar.
3. If left on while putting your guitar in your gig bag, the Guitten will protect the inside of your bag from ruin. See this photo. This was my gig bag before I started using the Guitten.
So, with all of that, I created the Guitten (patent pending) to protect the head of the guitar. They fit any standard acoustic guitar head. At this point, I have four collections. They can be purchased at www.guitten.com
The collections include: Flower Garden, Backyard Buddies, Farm Friends, and the Easter Guitten Collection. Each Guitten has it’s very own name.
Flower Garden Guitten Collection
Top row from the left: Partita Petals, Green Gatsby, Patchen Polka, Banjo Blue. Bottom row from left: Seresa Sunflower, Pinky Petals, Eartha Blossom.
I am inspired by my clients to create adaptive equipment. I create things that I think will help them to be more independent in their music making. Yes, I can use POWER TOOLS! 🙂
Client meets the “Guitar Box.”
The “Guitar Box” was designed for clients who have limited ability to play the guitar in the traditional manner, but have a huge desire to play it.
For my clients with limited grip strength to hold a typical-sized guitar pick, I made this adaptation.
I cut this pick from an oversized guitar pick, then used adhesive velcro to connect it to the client’s hand.
I put these two adaptations together along with a Chord Buddy. I assist with pressing the chord buttons. This whole package creates a terrific opportunity for the client to feel in control of his/her guitar playing.
Stay tuned to see how I make the back of the “guitar box” useful as well for other instruments.
As a music therapist, I hear the statement, “My fingers hurt when I play!” When learning how to play the guitar, it’s very important to practice in order for your fingers to have that motor memory to find the chords. Of course, it’s tougher to practice if the fingers are more painful than needed. There are ways to adjust the guitar stings to make it less painful on one’s fingers. I find if I adjust the strings making it more enjoyable for the client to play, then the client will practice more. I have recently adjusted the strings on a client’s guitar, and have included pictures and instructions on ways to make the strings closer to the fret board, making it easier on the fingers. (more…)