Friday, November 19, 2010

November 19: Cleveland Rocks!

Ali made this the other day and it made it into my bag... so happy it did!


No, seriously. (the guy who prepared my steak salad at lunch told me to tell you all that Cleveland rocks. Think it has something to do with the R&R Hall of Fame here).

The view from my hotel room...

Anyway, thank you all for your words of encouragement. Today's presentation went GREAT! I want to share just a couple of nuggets from it, because I think they are valuable to anyone. The title of my session was, "What are YOU worth? Defining YOUR place in the marketplace."

Here are some of my nuggets to chew on:

Worth = the intersection between real and perceived value; between where someone is willing to pay you for what they think you do, and what you are willing to be paid for what you know you do.

Any conversation or opinion you have about money is just that: yours. Money does not have an opinion of itself, nor a conversation about itself.

Any conversation or opinion you have about selling or sales is also just that: yours. Selling and sales do not have an opinion about themselves, nor a conversation about themselves.

For me, money is a reflection of value created for others.

For me, selling is simply a pathway to helping others.

Workin' the room...

Okay, that's it. I had about 30-40 people in my session and we chewed on the topics of money, selling, price versus value, and positioning. I was speaking to my fellow music therapists. We don't receive much of this training in our degree programs, so we are not really well equipped to ensure our own viability and sustainability in the marketplace. After all, with such a thing as music therapy, the marketplace doesn't instinctively know what our services are worth; it is up to us to declare and create that. Now, without any training in that area, can you see how easy it is for us to miss the mark and undervalue ourselves, especially when we haven't been made to sit down and learn to efficiently articulate what makes music therapy so unique and valuable.

Here are some of the unique selling points I often share about "Why music therapy?"

It's the only protocol that treats the staff while it treats the patients.

It's the only protocol you play!

Because everyone has a Prior, Personal, and Positive relationship with music. It is the mutual friend in the room.

It is the only protocol that treats the SELF inside the patient (David Aldridge).

I say more about each in conversation, but I'll spare you! Suffice to say that I know that music therapy works, and I know I as a music therapist work. My job is to get the MTs in my session in touch with that truth for themselves, so they have the confidence to get out there and start serving the clients that need their help at a rate the honors the value they are creating.

Did I mention that I recently promoted myself?

I am the self-appointed Ambassador of Music Therapy!

I'm REALLLLY glad I am here. Over the past 6 months, I have not had music therapy on my mind, even though I was using it daily. Now that I'm back and I look out over all these young (and not so young) faces that are HUNGRY for freedom and empowerment in the business side of music therapy, I feel so honored to be a motivational, educational, and inspirational force at their side!

The monument to soldiers in the square in front of the hotel where the conference is...

Okay, slightly new topic. Here goes.

Last night, I watched as they announced at our national conference opening session that our association has received two incredibly generous gifts over the past year. I want you to hear about these, because they are examples of God's abundance and generosity right around us right now.

First story:

A music education teacher passes away, and literally has 2 million dollars in her estate, when everyone (including her) thought she only had a million. She had a will for the first million, but no instructions for the second million. So, her benefactors went out on the internet to look up other places to donate the money. A google search later they found the AMTA at They had no idea about music therapy and were so excited, they donated $400,000.00 of the million to start music therapy programs in Washington state where this teacher was from.

A google search later we were gifted $400,000.00. Seriously.

Second story:

A successful music entrepreneur donates $2.5 million dollars to endow a music therapy program at All Children's Hospital in Florida. One check.

Folks, God's abundance pours about! You'll never see it if you look to the media to tell you about it. That's not their interest. Of course, small amounts of the news are occasionally devoted to happy stories like these, but that's certainly not the bell curve.

People are doing great things with money, so that others may do great things for others.

So, if you work for a large organization, chances are they have a matching program for charities. Check to see if PUCK or their parent organization CCRF (The Children's Cancer Research Fund) is listed on your company's list. If they aren't, add PUCK. Here is their complete information:

Pioneering Unique Cures for Kids
Lonni Mooreland
8362 Tamarack Village
Suite 119-265
St. Paul, MN 55125

Tel. (651) 621-3372

They use CCRF's tax ID which is:41-1893645

Please, if you haven't used this option, I know you gotta buy a turkey next week and a bunch of presents next month... I bet it's "a bad time" to ask for donations in the non-profit world right now, but 10 years from now, a little girl with EB is going to get to have more than only one Thanksgiving and Christmas with her family. Because of Bella. Because of us. Because of YOU.

Thank you for being partners in that child's life.

Cute Christmas tree in the adjacent mall...

Remember, kids died from asthma attacks 30 years ago that could have been avoided with today's medicines. It took a certain amount of research and funding for that research to make that switch possible. We have the researchers, and we even have the foundations of a successful treatment, but we don't have the money to see it through.

President Barack Obama, whether you like him or not, raised more money in his campaign than any other politician in history... 10 and 20 dollars at a time.

1 snowflake alone may seem frail, but put enough of 'em together, and you get an AVALANCHE.

If you haven't yet, will you please add a couple of snowflakes (or a whole snowball if you're feeling frisky) to our avalanche? Better yet, get your company involved and make it 2 snowballs!

One of the fun side streets in downtown...

How about asking that instead of presents, people send you a card that says they donated to PUCK in Bella's memory? In fact, to all my family and friends, that's all I want for Christmas, okay? Cards that say you donated my christmas money to PUCK. I am overflowing with God's blessings, I am in need of nothing, but our work is far from done with EB, so forward my gifts straight to PUCK, okay? God is so good. All the time.

God night.

From our lone Christmas picture photo shoot. How cute!!!


  1. Bella and Ali are two beautiful Christmas presents.
    Well done to the Ambassador of Music Therapy!
    Hope you have a nice weekend.

  2. First thing that comes to mind is that it isn't fair that you only got ONE Christmas photoshoot with your girls... thanks for being so strong when we are weak. And congrats on your promotion ;)

  3. I love that picture.
    Kens family lives just outside Cleveland...I should've connected you guys snow yet? Thats good!

  4. That's the prettiest butterfly ever!!

    A thought I didn't express before when reading your blog...I wish my Uncle on his death bed could have had music. I noticed when I sung to him he became so calm and relaxed, and I'm not that great of a singer if at all. I do reikei, but it got to be that he was in so much pain he couldn't even bear the thought of a touch.
    It would be wonderful if music therapy could be available at all hospices and hospitals!

    That's a gift that last photo...a beautiful one that lasts forever!

  5. Good morning, Tim and family...

    I love your comments and views on music and its value in our lives. I've always thought that music speaks to people in a way that nothing else can and that it reaches a place where nothing else can go. For years I was the pianist at my church and always felt so blessed to have a part in leading people in worship. It truly was a way to minister to others. Wishng you well as you continue to promote music therapy...for music is indeed therapeutic.

    Thanks for the challenge regarding the holidays and the giving of gifts. I always ask my friends and family not to buy me more "stuff", for I have a house full of stuff. I ask them rather to donate to a cause important to them or to make a donation to a cause that I support. Some of them actually follow through, and it is so gratifying for me to open a wrapped gift with a card that describes who received that donation. So I will second your challenge and ask those who follow your blog to do likewise. Most of us are so incredibly blessed and really do not need anything. Let's share what we have with those people and organizations who DO have great needs!

    Continuing to think of you guys, especially as we embark in this season of holidays. I'm sure they will be filled with many bittersweet moments. I feel sure, however, that you all will approach them with the same courage and grace that you always exhibit.

    Have a good weekend, sweet family.

    A friend in NC

  6. What He is doing through you, what your are letting Him do through you (and Bella) will change someone's life. Change someone's world. Will save someone's life.

    God is good. All the time.

    Bless you,
    Jennifer, Sweden

  7. Exactly Xmas for PUCK is what we did at work this week - actually we have done this for a few years now, but this year it seems more necessary! Instead of swapping $20 gifts with each other we had contributed to a good causes.

    Last year we helped a family with a much needed seizure notifciation dog, year before to a very poor and challenged family in OH, this year our team is donating to PUCK (many did already) and using the VZ Foundations Matching Gift program.

    It felt awesome!
    Thank for challenging us all to do this - it's the right thing! Gosh wish Oprah had known (actually maybe I will be writing to her later today)!


  8. When I see the picture of Ali and Bella by the Christmas tree, two things come to mind.

    1. Absolutely Adorable!
    2. Absolutely not fair you only get one Christmas photo like that!

    Everytime I read the blog and you mention PUCK I have been wanting to donate. But enough already with the thinking, I WILL be donating to PUCK...Right Now!

    St. Peter, MN

  9. Dear Tim,

    Your thoughts on music really hit home with me. Let me explain. I have a daughter with Cerebral Palsy. She will turn 20 the day after Thanksgiving this year. She is very physically limited and requires complete assistance for all her care. The one thing she enjoys more than anything in life is music. She is s different person when she is enjoying her music.

    How did I get to your blog? A friend of mine whose blog I also follow posted the day your sweet Bella passed away. I had never been to your blog before that, but came here and read everything from the beginning. Your little angel just drew me in! I've been reading your blog ever since. I also have a brother named, Tim!

    From Kentucky

  10. Looking at that beautiful picture of your girls last Christmas brings me to tears. I'm so sorry you only had that one Christmas together.

    I think what you are doing to raise money for PUCK is awesome!! Keep it up. You're right, one day no more children will have to die from EB. That will be a glorious day!

    I had never heard of music therapist before reading your blog. I think it's great. I didn't come from a very musical family. I mean, I appreciate good music but, I never played an instrument. My brother is the only one out of 6 kids who plays any instrument. He plays piano and even toured with a musical around the country. I have heard of music being a great tool in therapy for people with mental disabilities and I think it's great what you do. I know a few kids with Autism and they LOVE music!!

    Lots of Love,
    Amber, Craig, Malorie(2 1/2), and Liam(10 mos.)
    The McLaughlin Family
    Moreno Valley, CA

  11. I agree about all that you said about music. It has been the one constant favorite thing in my life that carried me from adolescence into adulthood. I often use music in my elementary classroom to connect, create, change or inspire different moods! In preparation for my wedding, I spent one day buying dress and accessories, one hour total on my make-up and hair, but over 4 weeks on the music-no joke!!!!!

  12. Hi Tim,
    I realized I didn't get a chance to talk with you after Bella's service sunday. It was so great to see you and your family, Beverly, Betty and Dana all wish they could have made it. I had a chance to speak with Ang, but wanted to tell you feel free to post my info for anyone who wants my work on EB. Bella is the reason it exists, and it would be an honor to share it (so she can see her ripples!!)
    God Bless,
    Nurse Tanya

  13. Tim...

    I am so glad your lecture in Cleveland went so well! You are an amazing and talented speaker. Oh, and congrats on the promotion! :)

    This picture of Ali and Bella together at the Christmas photo shoot took my breath away, literally. You were blessed with two beautiful daughters!!! Ali's love for Bella, and Bella's love for Ali shine so bright in this photograph.

    I am praying for your family, for music therapy (in general), for a cure for EB, and for all the EB babies and families in this world. Together we can achieve a cure for this "incurable" disease!

    Thank you for challenging me to be the best person I can be!

    Megan from WV

  14. That Christmas picture is precious. Absolutely gorgeous. A treasure.

    Take care -

    lauren in Spring (a momma in tx)

  15. Good for you on a great presentation! I knew you would do well! :)

    Music is an amazing thing. It has soothed both my babies to sleep (even from the crabbiest of moods) and helped ease some of the toughest of migraines for me. It is amazing how something so simple can have such a huge impact.

    I remember one of my comments to Bella. I was telling her about my nephew who has osteogenisis imperfecta (brittle bone disease). It is exactly as it sounds and has varying degrees. Just a few years before my nephew was born a coworker told me about her nephew. He has the same disease. His life contained surgery, rods and a wheel chair. He had a greater degree of the disease but my nephew faced a similar future. Fast forward to five or so years ago. My nephew was given an experimental treatment that has worked wonders. It has improved his quality of life. He has less breaks and can walk and even run. No he will never play sports...but this change is just amazing. He isnt the same little boy. Research can change the lives of many and in this case changed my nephews life. EB will not be the same disease in the hope-sooner rather than later.

    I love that Christmas picture. Beautiful Bella and beautiful Ali. Sweet, sweet girls.

    Sending all of you my love and sweet kisses to Ali.

    Denise WI

  16. I'm glad you enjoyed your time in Cleveland! I am from there and can't say I find it as enjoyable ;)

    Jaimie (lurker in MD)