It’s hard to believe that I am finishing up my fourth week at MTC! Time has flown by, but it also feels like I’ve been here for longer than that…in a good way!
This week has definitely tested my skills as a future music therapist. Due to unforeseen circumstances, I was given the opportunity to fully lead all of my sessions this week (with supervision). When I got to my internship site Monday morning, I had no idea that this was going to happen. This week became another chance for learning that sometimes you have to just “go with the flow.”
We’ve all heard this phrase at least once in our life. Though people may say it jokingly, this phrase can also be completely accurate and needed in the professional world, especially as music therapists.
I am very much a planner. I like to plan out my sessions as well as my everyday life. It took me a long time to be even a little bit comfortable with not planning every detail in a session. This internship is really pushing me to feel okay with “going with the flow” as some of the sites I am at require sessions that are full of improvisation and clients deciding what to do in the sessions.
There is a concise word for “go with the flow”: flexibility. Now, I’m not talking about touching your toes without bending your knees, because I definitely can’t do that. I’m talking about taking things as they come. I’ve learned that flexibility is a valuable skill to have as a future music therapist.
How often does your day go exactly as you pictured? How often does a session go exactly the way you planned? I know my answer to these questions: hardly ever. Though I like to plan as much as I can, something I did not expect always happens and “upsets” the plan.
Session plans are a wonderful tool. They provide structure and a direction for each session. They also are often my “security blanket” during sessions. However, I have to be careful about not overplanning.
Be open to taking the session in a different direction as the session goes on. Be open to following the client’s direction. Be prepared for unexpected things to occur. A session (or your day) can go in a million different directions, you can’t plan everything.
Here are a few things I have learned about being flexible:
Flexibility is often a learned skill.
I definitely have not always been flexible, and am still working on this skill. It takes time and practice.
Flexibility can be difficult.
It can be hard to get away from the session plan. Go with your gut and trust it. It’s often what the client needs.
Sessions often go better when you are flexible.
At least I have found this to be true. When I don’t have time to overthink, the session goes much smoother.
These past four weeks I have been “thrown into” a lot of sessions. Some I knew about a bit beforehand, and some I didn’t. Though it can be scary, I especially encourage students and interns to be willing to “go with the flow.” If you practice it now, it will help you in the future.
I will be continuing to work on improving my flexibility while still being very prepared for my sessions. Hopefully I find a happy middle ground! What are you? Are you a planner? Do you go with the flow? Are you somewhere in the middle? Let me know!
Thanks for reading! Have a fabulous rest of your week!
Special thanks to my sister, Sophie, and my cousin, Jennifer, for helping me out with this week’s blog pic! :)