By Elisa Aven, M.M., MT-BC

Many people use the social networking site, Pinterest, for exploring new recipes, planning weddings, and compiling motivational quotes, but the applications for music therapists are incredible. From planning interventions to exploring self-care strategies to discovering articles, Pinterest can provide today’s music therapists with the inspiration needed to continue to reach their clients’ goals in creative and innovative ways.

How to Navigate Pinterest (for those less technologically inclined):
Once you have created a username and password and you are logged in, you will see your main screen, which should already be full of “pins” or pictures that Pinterest has already determined you might be interested in. When you see a pin you want to learn more about, you can click on it which will take you to the next screen where an enlarged version of the same pin is displayed. If you click on the pin again from here, you will be redirected to the website that the pin came from if it was uploaded from the Internet. If you want to save the pin in order to view it again in the future, you can select the button, “pin it.” From there, you must create or select a “board” to pin to. You can categorize your pins in any way that makes sense to you. Some people have a single board for all music therapy related pins while others have their pins organized more specifically with boards such as “Music Therapy Products,” “Intervention Ideas,” and “Resources.”
In addition to the pins Pinterest has already accumulated for you, you may wish to “follow” your friends’ boards as well as boards containing pins related to music therapy. You can find boards by typing any keyword into the search field and selecting “boards.” In addition to following music therapy boards, I have found it extremely helpful to follow boards related to special education, substance abuse, hospice, counseling and others created by professionals in related fields. This has given me the chance to be creative, expand my horizons, and adapt activities to fit within my scope of practice without ¬†reinventing the wheel.
Below is an example of a pin that I found on a counseling board that I adapted into a music therapy intervention. I used the poem structure represented here in order to facilitate a songwriting activity for my clients in an outpatient substance abuse rehabilitation program. Each client was able to contribute several lines and create the instrumentation and melody using GarageBand.
If you have found that your creative juices are running dry or feel as if you could use some assistance in thinking up new ways to reach your clients, Pinterest may just be the resource for you. We hope you will follow all of The Palm Beach Music Therapy Institute’s boards in order to discover just some of the possibilities that exist for the Pinterest-savvy music therapist.