Everytime I go to a Music Therapy session, I bring my little survival kit with me. In this survival kit I have the necessities for the instruments I use. I like to bring a capo, some material for tuning, writing stuf and plectra, some stuf to repair or make quick fixes to the instruments.
What do I bring with me?
I have an old pencil case from Kipling, with enough space for all my little life-saving tools.
I also bring an old TomTom case with my Clip-on Tuner. I have a CLX music tuner, which works very well. I can clip it on any instrument, from the guitar to the harp, the violin and the citer.
The case is sturdy and it is giving enough protection.
My handy-dandy reading light. Sometimes I have to play in very dark places. And I love to see my music sheets, if I have to play from them. So I just clip them on my music stand, or on my paper or map with songs, music paper or chords and lyrics.
Two tuning forks. I use those for teaching how the tones are vibrating. With a tuning fork I can show how music and tones behave. I can show it in the air or on water (poor water in a container and let the tuning fork touch the water, you will see the water rimpeling) or on your skin (feel it tickle).
My protecting earplugs with several different protecting parts, an old Alpine music safe set. Most of the time I don’t need to use them, but some clients or bands can make a lot of noise and piercing sounds. I know I have to protect my ears, even when it is not pleasant to put them in.
A piece of velcro, several rubber bands and a traveler sewing kit for quick fixes. The velcro is to help the instruments to stay put. Very useful with challenged clients. The sewing set has been very nice to fix the joining of flute-parts, and the rubber bands can hold things in place and can make small instruments and show clients things about strings and tension and notes.
Several different types of plectra and picks: normal, thick and thin, plastic and metal and one special for the mandoline. I always bring a lot of these. I always give a pick when a client is going to play a zither or another string instrument.
In my bag are two different capo’s. One that fits every guitar, very easy to bring even when I am not bringing my own guitar. There might be one where I go. I also bring a partial capo that clamps only 3 strings, a G7th. Of course I have an other capo, a Shubb, for my Taylor guitar in my guitar-case.
Some tuning keys for the harp, cymbal and the citer. I use these instruments a lot. But they are very quick out of tune. And it is terrible to hear some clients playing out of tune constantly. It is important to bring instruments that are in tune and ready for use.
Two sets of strings, for a western guitar and for a classical guitar. Always good to bring, just in casein breaks. The metal strings can also be used with the zithers and the classical strings can also be used on my harp.
My altered book for several random musical things and notes.
In this book I did put several kinds of papers with different graphs. It contains blanc paper, dots, lines and music paper and some old covers from music pieces, just for fun.
I can work some music pieces and songs out in this book.
And have some cheats to keep me going when I am in a hurry and can’t think straight. It is funny the way I can’t remember the easiest things when I am tired.
Some chalk for the wooden pegs in the violins and other older instruments and a little stick for children to practice holding a bow (violin).
I hope it helps to soo what other music therapists use and bring with them. I think that each music therapist has need of his or her own things and gadgets in the survival kit.
Does anyone have other tips and tricks? I love to hear from you!