Remembering and Memorials

First, let me say that I have been MIA for the past couple weeks so no, you haven’t missed any posts.  Secondly, I am not American and this isn’t going to be a RAH, RAH, GO RED-WHITE-AND-BLUE post.  It is, however, going to touch on something that has affected us all and will affect us all at various times, in many ways throughout our lifetime.

Tomorrow is the 10th anniversary of September 11, 2011.  It is both shocking and strangely comforting that there is still an amazing amount of angst about the events surrounding that day.  The news media has been filled with stories with titles such as “10 years later” and “Looking back to the day that changed the world”.  One of the most touching documentaries (audio) that I heard on the subject involved the story of a then 9 year old girl who was attending school in very close proximity to the Twin Towers.  In fact, she was able to vividly recall hearing the sounds of, and seeing, people who either jumped or fell to their deaths, as she was fleeing with her classmates for their literal lives.  Please, let us all never forget and better still, keep a copy of a song like “Where Were You When The World Stopped Turning” by Alan Jackson on our regular playlist.  It is amazing that a song can capture so much of the varied emotions of that event so clearly and vividly, and leave you with questions about your own mortality and responses.

Clinically, death and dying is an important aspect of the work that we, as music therapists, perform.  Clients aren’t just clients, they become a part of us and we grieve their deaths/moving to another institution/declining health in many ways.  This is true regardless of the population(s) that you work with, perhaps a little less so if you are working in an educational setting with children  (There is still, however, the loss and addition of clients due to natural attrition and graduation/movement from grade to grade).  One of the ways that I have found helpful in dealing with the eventual deaths/decline of my clients is to participate in the quarterly memorial services.  This allows me to have closure and treasure the time that I spent with each of those clients.

It is also important to ensure that you prepare for, and plan for the discharge of your client.  True, you don’t always have the luxury of knowing exactly when that may occur but preparation is helpful.  I personally like to say “Have a great day, as best you can!”  It may be trite, or insignificant, but for me it means that I have let me client know that,  “I’ve enjoyed the time that I’ve spent with you, you are a worthwhile person who is worth my time, and I want the best for you, whatever that may be in this moment!”

How do you deal with death and dying in your own clinical practice?  Feel free to leave a comment below.

Posted in Clinical Practice, Education/Training | Tagged , , , , | 1 Comment

The textbook dilemma

Right now, a large percentage of the public is engaged in “Back to School” fever!  This includes first-time students, students partially through the courses required for graduation, parents, and educators returning to the classroom after well-deserved summer break/holidays.  With economic realities being what they are “Back to School” fever is also frequently wrought with worry and anxiety at one’s ability to pay for everything.

The cost of textbooks, as a percentage of the overall cost of a post-secondary or college education, is only rising.  Should you purchase the textbook, look for a charitable friend who can lend you the textbook(s) that you will need, or search for another alternative such as using a previous edition instead of the newest, costlier edition?  This is a difficult question to answer but let me play devil’s advocate and pose a few questions.

Q1:  I am just starting my training to become a music therapist.  Won’t my textbooks likely go through at least one update by the time I am beginning to practice?

Luckily for you music therapy textbooks/resources have a long “regeneration” cycle.  There are a variety of reasons for this including:  the specialized nature of music therapy vs. a more popular topic (e.g.  accounting practices), the time it takes for new techniques and practices to be incorporated into the training for future MTs/environments, the time available for the authors themselves to rewrite and update the material, and cost recovery by the publisher.    In my 15+ years of experience, it is often 5-10 years between new editions of a particular textbook.  In some cases, resources that were available as much as 2o+ years ago are still available unchanged.  Hence you shouldn’t fear that your textbooks will be “out-of-date” any time soon.

Q2:   I can get a previous version at quite a discount from a friend or fellow student.  Why not go that route?

Yes, it is possible that you will be in the unfortunate position of “unfortunate timing” (the transition year between the new edition of a textbook and the remaining availability of the previous version).  While it may be tempting to “go with the best deal” I would personally recommend against it.  Why?  1) The newer edition of the textbook holds information concerning the latest developments and techniques (not proven and/or known about at the time that the previous edition was published).  2) The newer edition may expand upon information previously presented in the earlier edition.  A great example of this relates to the historical evidence concerning music therapy – today’s knowledge and understanding of the historical evidence is significantly more detailed and documented than when I was student studying to become a music therapist.  3)  There are inevitably formatting, font, and moving about of material within editions.  This will inevitably lead to frustrations such as “referencing wrong page numbers” and/or “missing facts” that may, in fact, lead to lower grades on quizzes and examination.

Q:  My textbooks are just going to gather dust after I graduate/May not be relevant to the population that I ultimately decide to work with?

First, while you may not reference your high-school notes and/or textbooks, you WILL do so with your music therapy textbooks.  You cannot forsee your working situation right now and it may well be that you end up moving to a geographically isolated, or employment isolated situation where you are are the only music therapist.  In both cases, you will inevitably need to “go back” to your notes/textbooks for ideas and inspiration.

They also say that a modern worker will have 5-6 different jobs during their “employable years”.  This means 5-6 jobs in different sectors of the workplace.  In music therapy we have the advantage of remaining in the “job” of music therapist, while shifting clinical populations.  It is not a case of “relearning” an entirely new occupation, but rather relearning a small portion of those skills that you employ on a day to day basis.  Regardless, those textbooks will once again provide valuable ideas and resource material when you shift clinical populations.

Finally, speaking as a MT educator, I can also say that I constantly draw on materials from my past, and material from the present, to engage and challenge my students, in their own learning and understanding of the big question, “What is music therapy?”.  Sometimes, just sometimes, old is good!

Q4:  Great comments but I still can’t afford to get every new edition, or old edition, of every textbook that I need!

Sadly, neither can I.  In this instance I am going to make a very controversial suggestion – speak with your professors directly and ask them how much they are relying on information from the text vs information presented through lecture, video, internet, etc.  (Yes, fellow educators, “we are not in Kansas anymore!”.  I truly believe that digital resources such as videos and sources from the internet should be a part of your education and collaboration with your students).  While not ideal, it may give you a sense of textbooks that you absolutely must purchase vs textbooks that you should purchase.

Q5:  Are there any other options/opportunities that I can take advantage of?

I’ve just learned about a new textbook service called Chegg.  (Part of my inspiration for this post).  It is similar to many other services that allow you to “rent” your textbook but is very different from those services in its’ approach.  Indeed, it has several additional services that go above and beyond the simple renting of textbooks.  It is also one of the VERY few, if any, services that I have seen offer copies of the 3rd edition of the textbook entitled, Introduction to Music Therapy:  Theory and Practice by Davis, Gfeller, & Thaut (published by the American Music Therapy Association), used in many first-year classrooms.

Secondly, I would recommend that you develop your educational networks before and during your education as a music therapist, using social networking platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and/or Google+.  We live in a educational environment that can potentially span the globe.  There is no reason that you shouldn’t seek out additional, or specialized sources of information concerning topics in, and the clinical practice of, music therapy.

Finally, I am going to recommend that both educators and students alike consider sharing their resources concerning music therapy, freely and widely, using the protections inherent in technologies such as Creative Commons licenses.  We are still being far too restrictive and/or sensitive to financial pressures in our dissemination of information concerning the effects and practice of music therapy.  I’m going to take another bold step out here and suggest that movements such as the Open Educational Resource (OER) movement, are the future of public education.  Legislation and 3rd party reimbursement will only make the field of music therapy more publicly accessible.  Free publicity, such as we saw in the new coverage surrounding the rehabilitation of Senator Gabrielle Giffords or the recent publication of the effects of music therapy upon cancer, will only promote the profession so far.   Seeing music therapy in action, and learning about its’ fundamental principles through FREELY available OER will help to ensure that music therapy continues to expand and grow as a viable and diverse treatment modality.

Good luck and best wishes to all of the future and current students enrolled in global music therapy training programs!

Please feel free to leave a comment in the box provided below this post.  John Lawrence has been a music therapist for the past 16 yrs and a sessional instructor in music therapy for the past six years.  Any opinions expressed in past, present, and future postings to Global Music Therapy are his alone and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of an employer or music therapy association of which he is a member.

Posted in Education/Training, Global resources, Open Education Resources (OER), Social networking | Tagged , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Customer service – an option?

Creative Commons license via Flickr (RW Photobug)

This past week I’ve been reflecting upon the issue of customer service, based on several experiences that I’ve had with organizations involved in some of my duties as a music therapist.  What I am about to share shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone.  Just think of these tips as “gentle reminders”

Situation One

The first situation, and I am not going to name names, involved the ordering of new instrumental resources.  Company A always bends over backwards, offers a toll-free (North America) phone number, includes the name and contact information of the customer services agent who prepared my order, and ships materials promptly and safely.  If I EVER have a problem with an order, something is missing (once a drum beater was missing from an order), or my order doesn’t arrive within a few days of me placing the order, I can, and I have given them a call.  Their customer service is one of the things that keeps me coming back (as well as their prices).

Contrast this with Company B with whom I placed an order because I could not get the same product through Company A.  First, their published North American toll-free number “does not work from your [my] calling area”.  Secondly, a promised e-mail follow-up only came after I re-contacted them because I had not heard from them in over a week.  They do not accept “international money orders” but did give me the option of using PayPal (I don’t have a problem w/using PayPal but I do not hold the financial keys to my workplace kingdom hence this is not a possibility).  Who do you think I will use when it comes to my next order, if at all possible?

Lesson One:  Always be try to go above and beyond when it comes to customer service.

That includes all facets of your business from interaction with your clients and parents/siblings, communication with your clients, and payment arrangements.

Situation Two

I’ve also been eagerly awaiting the arrival of several resources.  Company C allowed me to order online and I received prompt confirmation of my order via e-mail. Great customer service, yes?  If would have been if the items in question had been shipped immediately too.  After placing my order (via credit card hence payment on their end should have been certain) and receiving confirmation of my order (in mere minutes via an e-mail address that I had supplied), I received another that e-mail saying that “Congratulations, your [my] order has been shipped”, five days after I placed the order.  WHAT???  (I’d use another three-letter acronym but that just wouldn’t be polite). This may sound like sour grapes but – you have had my money for 5 days and you are just now shipped my requested (& paid for) items?  We are not talking a very small, mom & pop operation here, the company in question is truly international.  Sounds like a clear way to make yourself money and alienate your customers.

Lesson Two   – money in hand should mean action from you!

As a music therapist, this might also include things such as learning a client’s “favorite song” before the next session and/or making sure the session notes are up-to-date (two things that I personally admit to being very bad at).

Situation 3

Finally, there is the customer service story behind Company D, my own company.  I recently started up piano lessons, as a subset of my music therapy business, and a secondary means of earning some added income.  The first lessons were Tuesday evening and today I followed up with the parents of my students today (Saturday).  I wanted to know how the students were doing and whether there were any questions or concerns, either student or parent, that I could address before next week’s scheduled lesson.  It didn’t take long and I felt good doing it.

Lesson Threegood customer service makes you feel good too!

Feel free to leave your comments and criticisms in the comment box below.  I will DEFINITELY read them with interest and respond as necessary!

Posted in Building your business, Business/Self-employemtn, Contracted services, Customer service, Employee-based employment | Tagged , , , , , | 2 Comments

Information that you can trust – (3 of 3)

All rights reserved (John Lawrence c/o J. L. Outdoor Photography)

Fireworks – that’s what I feel like when I review the past week.  I love to research and could probably spend the rest of my life researching/searching for resources however that wouldn’t pay the bills.  I definitely found more that I was bargaining for when I started looking into blogs and videos that I consider to be trustworthy.   Now, it is time to share them with you!

Blogs about Music Therapy

Turns out, this would be a very lengthy blog indeed if I started describing the 35 active music therapy blogs about the profession/music therapy education/etc.   That doesn’t count the additional 17 blogs that are published intermittently.  WoW!   I’ve complied a list of URLs that should allow you to subscribe to the RSS feeds for most of these blogs.  It is public and fully editable.  You can find it at:

Happy reading!

Videos about Music Therapy

While there may only be a 35 active bloggers, there are literally hundreds of videos with a title that includes the term “music therapy”.  A good majority of them can be ignored as either:  a) not representing music therapy – the profession or b) those that demonstrate a specific technique (e.g.  _____ on the boomwackers).  I’ve also tried to weed out those that are promoting a specific business or educational institutions.

There are three main sites that I used to source the resulting list presented here.

YouTube –  (Of course)
Vimeo –

Sadly, my searching did not result in many foreign (non-North American) videos.  Perhaps it was a language issues (I only speak English and a little French) or perhaps I wasn’t looking in the right places.  The obvious exceptions are the videos prepared by the Regional Liasons of the World Federation of Music Therapy located at:

You can view a list of the YouTube based videos that I recommend by visiting

For a list of all (spread across all sites) of the videos that I am recommending, visit my Google docs spreadsheet located at:’


I also discovered, much to my delight, a new video that will be released shortly called “Music Therapy Matters”.  Obviously I can’t say that it will, or won’t be a video that should be included in this list of “credible” videos about music therapy but the trailer certainly leaves an impression.  Better still, the full length version will be available, free of charge on both YouTube and Vimeo on Aug. 15th, 2011

I hope that you’ve enjoyed this 3 part series.  Previous posts in this “Information That You Can Trust” series can be found at:

Information That You Can Trust (Part  1 of 3) –
Information That You Can Trust (Part 2 of 3) –

Please feel free to make comments about these resources or leave a link to a resource that you think should be included.

Posted in Blogs about Music Therapy, Global resources, Music Therapy Specialties, Online Resources, Videos about Music Therapy, Websites about Music Therapy | Tagged , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Information that you can trust – Part two

Are you thought you were confused?

Confusion - uh ha!

Flickr - Creative Commons (Attribution-Non-Commerical-Share-Alike License) by Kavlinka

After the last post I have been struggling to configure this next post.  Do I make the post specifically relevant to MTs or to the public, do I separate out blogs and websites or do I just continue listing resources in a simply organized manner?  I simply can’t decide so I am going with the KISS (Keep It Simple Stupid) method.

Information sites for both MTs and the Public (con’t)

Mentioned in the previous post in this series
American Music Therapy Association (
World Federation of Music Therapy Association (
Voices (

Imagine – on online magazine about early childhood education and music therapy sponsored by the aforementioned AMTA.  A new edition is due out September 2011.

Nordic Journal of Music Therapy – this semi-annual journal is based on a subscription but some of the content is available via the internet for free.

Society for Arts in Healthcare – I can’t put it any better than this so here is a quote from their website:

Arts in healthcare is a diverse, multidisciplinary field dedicated to transforming the healthcare experience by connecting people with the power of the arts at key moments in their lives. This rapidly growing field integrates the arts, including literary, performing, and visual arts and design, into a wide variety of healthcare and community settings for therapeutic, educational, and expressive purposes.

As the profession of music therapy has grown it has become more specialized, in a fashion similar to the medical community where you might be a M.D. as well as a Neurosurgeon or Pediatric Oncologist.  Here are a few links to some prominent specialties or subsets of music therapy practice for both professionals and public alike.

Nordoff-Robbins Music Therapy (NR-MT) – this technique evolved out of the work of Paul Nordoff and Clive Robbins.  The video and clinical evidence to support their work is simply astounding and presentations about NR-MT are among the most popular, and sought out, at MT conferences.  NR-MT is a truly global organization with centres in the US, England, Scotland, and Australia and various individual with NR-MT training.

Neonatal Intensive Care Unit Music Therapy (NICU-MT) – this technique is directed at, as the title suggests, working with preemies in the NICU.  Pioneered largely by Jane Standley, a music therapist and long-serving educator at Florida State University, it recently obtained funding to patent and produce the “pacifier activated soother”, an important tool, “used in the NICU to teach premature infants the suck-swallow-breath reflex using music as a contingency” (

What is it with music therapists and techiques starting with the letter N?

Neurological Music Therapy – this series of specialized techniques recently gained new found attention for the role it has/and will play in the rehabilitation of US Senator Gabrielle Giffords, after she was shot in the head at point blank range.  However, it originally started as a technique called Rhythmic Assisted Sensorimotor Gait Training, used to assist persons with Parkinson’s, particularly involving gait and movement issues.  I, personally will be taking the NMT training this coming October at the Robert F. Unkefer Academy of Neurological Music Therapy in Fort Collins, CO.

Therapeutic Drumming – There are a number of therapeutic drumming initiatives out there.  The first, created by music therapist Christine Stevens, was and is promoted through Remo (yes, that REMO – drum manufacturer extraordinaire).  It is called HealthRhythms.  More recently, a drumming dynamo named Kat Fulton has stormed the music therapy world through her individual passion, her company and blog entitled, Rhythm for Good.  Her video blog series called Rhythm Renegades is definitely worth the watch.  Finally, I am going to mention Kalani.  A percussionist and music therapist, he has also contributed to the World Federation of Music Therapy International Library of Music/Rhythms

I can’t leave today’s post without mentioning a new resource that I have yet to see!  I know the three gals behind this new resource (who each blog, run successful MT businesses, and present at national and international MT conferences) from their work on the Music Therapy Roundtable, a ongoing series of podcasts about music therapy.   Hence, I have no trouble recommending this forthcoming resource, simply entitled Music Therapy Pro.

Music Therapy Pro (Screenshot)

Launch information for Music Therapy Pro

That is it for today’s post! 

I will be doing one more post in this series in the course of the next week.

Disclaimer:  The views expressed above are my own.  I have not been paid nor encouraged in any way to provide these resource links.  My professional experience includes 16 years as a music therapist and educator.  I am also a member of the Canadian Association for Music Therapy (CAMT) and co-chairperson of the Online Conference for Music Therapy 2012 (OCMT2012) set for Feb. 18th, 2012.  The theme of the conference will be One World, One Song.
Posted in Blogs about Music Therapy, Conferences, Global resources, Music Therapy Specialties, Social networking, Websites about Music Therapy, Workshops | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Information that you can trust!

Trustworthy Information

Flickr photo upload by Chris Guillebeau (CC Attribution, Non-Commercial License)

Often, I come into contact with educators who both celebrate and bemoan the creation of Google.  Proponents of Google may point to the Google search engine and Google’s many associated products such as Google Maps, Google Docs and Google+ as evidence of the positive nature of the entity known simply as “Google”.

Critics, however, point to the “popularity” contest that puts more popular results at the top of the list.  Indeed, a whole industry know as “Search Engine Optimization (SEO)” has been built around the idea of using specific words to place your content higher in the search results of a search engine such as Google.  Others criticize search engines, and the result loss of “memory and retention of information” as discussed in a recent post by Kirsten Winkler.   Some secondary and post-secondary academic institutions go as far as banning student use of Google when seeking answers and bibliographic source material.  Finally, others point to the fact that students have lost the ability to research information for themselves and rely on search engines such as Google to “find the answer”.

Finding the answer is only part of the equation and it is probably the wrong question to be asking.  More important are the questions:  How do I find the most relevant information in my quest for further information? (in a literal sea of results) and How do you know if the information is trustworthy or correct?  As we know, anyone, from anywhere, can post something on the Internet that may be the full truth, the half-truth or nothing but a fully-baked, outright lie.  As well, we are finding out that it is quite literally impossible to “take down” an artifact from the internet once it has been published, even if it has been proven to be a pure fabrication of the truth.

JUST FOR FUN:  Try “Googling” yourself and see what comes up in the results!  Are the results relevant and accurate or do they present an overall image of you that you would rather others not see?

So what, if any, trustworthy sources of information are available regarding the profession and practice of music therapy?

1.  AMTA website – This past week saw the introduction of a brand-new, redesigned, website for the American Music Therapy Association.  This organization has long been a pre-eminent source for information and news concerning music therapy and it is the oldest organization representing music therapists and music therapy practice in the world.  Revision of the website was long overdue and for the most part it is now more friendly, intuitive, and allows you to view the latest multimedia and social networking updates.  (AMTAInc can also be found on Facebook, @AMTAInc on Twitter, and AMTAmusictherapy’s Channel on YouTube).

NOTE:  Regarding the later (the YouTube channel) – be cautious because I am not sure how many of the videos have been actually vetted by AMTA and what videos have been included because they mention “music therapy”.

2.  WFMT website – The website of the World Federation of Music Therapy is also a great resource for individuals seeking more information about music therapy across the globe.  Dr. Petra Kern and her colleagues at WFMT have done a wonderful job of providing an up-to-date, and informative website.  Special mention goes to the Regional Liason Blog Archive and the Publication Center.

3.  Voices e-journal – this free online journal is published three times a year.  However, don’t let the price fool you – this is a top-notch, quality journal.  In addition to the journal articles, you can also find regular columns about music therapy, the “country of the month” feature and non-moderated and moderated discussions about music therapy.  I particularly like the insights into music therapy practice in various undeveloped countries, and the aspect of social justice that permeates many of the articles/discussions.

I’ll be continuing this discussion in a few days.  In the meantime let me know what you consider to be your most favorite, and/or trusted sites for information concerning music therapy and the practice of music therapy.

Posted in Global resources, Social networking, Websites about Music Therapy | Leave a comment

A global community – reaching out

This past week has seen numerous events of interest to music therapists that have highlighted music therapy on a global scale.

First and foremost was the 13th World Congress of Music Therapy, held in Seoul, South Korea between July 5-9, 2011.  For the very first time, Western and Eastern philosophies of music, music therapy training and music therapy practice in some of the most heavily populated countries of world were consciously organized and presented.  According to the website, linked above, there were to be 124 concurrent sessions, 32 workshops, 8 roundtables, 5 clinical forums, and 48 poster sessions featuring presenters from 34 countries. To get further details you can view the proceedings via the new edition of Music Therapy Today, recently released and published by the World Federation of Music Therapy (WFMT).  (The proceedings of past World Congresses are also available via the Congress website.).  Another excellent, and free, online e-magazine entitled Voices also features a global perspective on music therapy.

Individual contributions to the global music therapy community were evidenced this week by the passing of Dr. Tony Wigram.  Tributes came from around the world as news of his passing was shared and reshared by friends and fellow professionals.   Indeed, Dr. Wigram was a globally recognized, and much sought after speaker, educator, clinician and editor of many textbooks and articles concerning music therapy.  He will be greatly missed.

This morning, I listened to another fantastic podcast by the gals of the Music Therapy Roundtable in which they discussed “Long Distance Communication for Music Therapists”.  Initially the podcast focused on overcoming the transition from being a student, where you are amongst a group of fellow and like-minded individuals,  to being a professional in your own community, where “you may be the only music therapist in your workplace, or even your city.”  After some enlightening examples of ways to network locally, the discussion shifted to networking globally via one of my personal favorite tools – online social networking.

Indeed, I have personally found it increasingly easy to identify and connect with music therapists globally via social media such as Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.  Music therapy conferences have begun using Twitter hashtags (i.e.  #OCMT2011, #WCMT2011) and organizing Tweetups (meetings involving persons on Twitter) at conferences.  Other online resources such as blogs (e.g.  Music Therapy Research Blog), podcasts (The Music Therapy Radio Show with Janice Harris), and specialty resources such as Skype and FaceTime (Mac specific) are also useful.  That doesn’t mean you have to constantly be on all of these social networks, try them out and see what works best for you and your music therapy practice.  Please feel free to contact me if you need some assistance and I will be happy to help you out, give you advice and get to know you better.

Here are some of the ways to get in touch with me:


Facebook:  John Lawrence

Twitter:  @JLisaMT

LinkedIn:  John Lawrence MMT, MTA

Do you like to get the news?  How would you like a newspaper format document that gives you news about music therapy on a global basis?  Using Twitter posts, and links posted on the web, there are two daily papers about music therapy by the organization  You can read the daily #musictherapy or Musicothérapie by simply clicking on the link provided in your e-mail inbox.  Today’s edition of Musicothérapie featured contributions from 27 different contributors.  Talk about a global community!

Finally, I hate to admit it, but a webpage for your business or organization, music therapy chapter or event, can also be useful.  Although I have come to generally see websites as “dull” and “static” entities, they do serve a purpose.  To this end, I want to let you know that the website for the American Music Therapy Association (AMTA), arguably one of the most important and significant music therapy associations in the world, will be updated shortly.  I was involved in the redesign and can safely say that it will have a MUCH different look and feel from the present website.

Do you have a theme idea for the next Online Conference for Music Therapy (OCMT2012)?  We are currently evaluating proposals submitted to us, and will be announcing the theme shortly.  Submit your idea to:

Posted in Blogs about Music Therapy, Call for Papers, Conferences, Global resources, Introductions, Online Resources, Podcasts about Music Therapy, Social networking, Web 2.0 tools, Websites about Music Therapy, Workshops | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment