On the Road Again: Tips and Tricks for Traveling Musicians Part 1

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A blog post in two parts; part one will focus on YOU.  Part 2 will focus on your CAR.

Part 1: Your Upkeep

It is important as a therapist to remember to take care of yourself.  Traveling from place to place can take its toll.  I was nervous about getting burnt out when I took my job, knowing I would be required to travel. I decided to look for ways to fight the burn out and develop my skills while on the road.  Now I sometimes look forward to my long drives!  Here are some of my tips:

Driving is mindless…literally.  The skill of driving is in your long-term memory; meaning you are not actively thinking/learning while using this part of your memory.  For example-do you ever drive somewhere and realize when you reach your destination you have no idea how you got there? That is because you already know how to drive and the only thing you need to actively know is your destination.  With that knowledge, I encourage everyone to exercise his or her mind during the daily commute.  I personally stock up on podcasts with topics ranging from music therapy to politics.  There are two great music therapy centric podcasts: Music Therapy Round Table and Music Therapy Research Blog.  You can subscribe to both FREE through i-tunes! There are many categories to peak your interest when it comes to podcasts; I guarantee you can find many that can help you become the best music therapist you can be! Books on tape are also inexpensive and easily accessible.   You will find that taking time to do work on yourself during your commute will benefit both you and your clients. 

If you have the technology you can also take notes on your sessions while driving.  You can use a voice recorder (with headphones for safety) or one of many available i-pod, i-phone or i-pad applications such as a Evernote. 

This may seem obvious, but listening to music is another way to develop your skills.  I find that while listening to music I often think about what types of goals I could work toward using that particular song.  I have had many session ideas develop from hearing a new song on the radio.

I challenge you to find meaning in the things you listen to this month!

Okay, not lets talk about your physical health.

When you are on the road during the day it can be difficult deciding where to eat and when to eat.  My philosophy is NEVER EAT FAST FOOD.

Pack snacks.  This is important because you aren’t walking around and you need another way to keep your metabolism running. You can fire up your metabolism by snacking frequently instead of eating one large meal. Energy filled snacks such as fruits, nuts and vegetables travel well, are easy to eat and tasty. Think energy food!  Avoid eating out on the road at all costs; it’s bad for your body and your wallet.  Most gas stations have fresh fruit options such as apples and bananas for only $.075.  If you absolutely need to stop somewhere for a fast meal I would suggest Starbucks.  They have many options for a healthy meal and it’s just as fast as McDonalds.  Also, when you buy from Starbucks you are supporting a sustainable economy since Starbucks is one of the largest buyers of fair trade coffee.  And there is some food for thought.

Just remember YOU are worth it!  Be safe out there.

Please comment and tell me what traveling tricks you have! 

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