This post is in response to week 2 of the #MusicTherapyBlogger challenge sponsored by Serenade Designs!
Challenge #2: Write about something that works for you in your everyday life as a music therapist.
I am a traveling music therapist and for years, have been trying to come up with an easy system for getting to and from sessions. Thanks to a post by @ at Life Rhythm Music Therapy, I found the perfect solution….the EasyGo Foldable Wagon!
This was me before I began using the EasyGoWagon. Actually, that’s not true. I used to use a 28 or 29 inch high huge black suitcase that I wheeled in and out of sessions….that was until I hurt my back lifting it into my car and lost two weeks worth of work recuperating. I tried other modes of transporting my equipment, but they all broke within weeks. Music therapists need tough equipment! I thought I had hit the jackpot when I found this little purple beauty by Lipault Luggage. It was expensive, but lasted 3 years and was very light. I would stuff the suitcase full of instruments, movement props, AAC devices, etc., and then hook larger bags onto the handle. With my guitar on my back, I would lug this contraption in and out of schools and facilities to the ever-present comment, “Boy, you sure have a lot of bags” or “Look, it’s the bag lady”. LOL! The main problems with this system were that the suitcase had to be filled to the top so the hooked on bags (which usually contained oversized items that wouldn’t fit in the suitcase) wouldn’t drag on the ground and the bags would flip all over the place making it difficult to move.
Onto the awesome foldable wagon by EasyGoWagon! The main reasons why I love it are:
1. It’s easy on my back. I can put just about everything I need for sessions into this wagon, including that large gathering drum you see. I even put my guitar on the top of the pile, so my back doesn’t hurt at all anymore. Pulling it is easy even when it’s loaded with heavy items. My back and knees no longer hurt. Thank you, thank you, thank you!!
2. You can put a ton of items in it. Want to bring that large ocean drum just in case you need it for a sensory intervention? No problem! Have a number of groups at the same facility and would like to use different instruments, movement prompts, etc. with each? Go for it!
3. It folds up and stores easily. If you’ve ever tried to get your instruments into or out of your car when it’s raining, during a thunderstorm or when it’s freezing; you know how important this is!! I am no longer fumbling with different bags and trying to get clipped on bags off of my suitcase. I quickly unpack the items and presto, I’m done. At 30 pounds, the wagon is a little heavy, so it’s important to lift it correctly when putting it into your car. I’ve rigged one of my old luggage ties around it to use as a handle so it’s easier to get into my car.
4. It has a canopy! The first day I used my wagon, it was raining. I whipped out the canopy and protected my equipment from getting wet.
Before you run out and buy this wagon, there are some things you need to keep in mind. Because of its length, it can be difficult to maneuver through some doorways and spaces. I’ve often wished my arms were just a little bit longer so I could hold open the door and pull it through a little bit more easily. It’s also very tough to use on stairs or porch steps. I wouldn’t recommend using this with homebound clients unless there is an entrance ramp. Finally, I’ve had it since November, so the real test of its durability will tell over time. At $139.00, it’s more expensive than wagons you may find elsewhere, but its quality and extras may make it worth your while.
How much easier has this wagon made my life? Let me put it this way….I loaned it to one of my co-workers for a week so she could try it out to see how she like it. After using my old travel techniques for my first session, I texted her to see when I could get it back. Enough said!