We’re All Still Learning

Hello again!

It’s been a great week at MTC. Lots of learning and growing as always! This week’s blog post is primarily for music therapy interns and students, as I know that this is a popular time of the year for internships to be starting, but I think it is also applicable for everyone! 

Heads up: this might get very real. It is coming from someone in the first few months of her internship. I understand that everyone has different experiences, and I appreciate you reading my thoughts this week!

“You think you know everything until you start your internship.” I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard this sentence. This sentence has A LOT of truth to it, but at the same time I’m not certain that it is 100% true. Also, it’s really scary to hear.

As someone who overthinks and self-doubts, hearing this sentence only made me more nervous for my internship. Here’s what I got from this statement: I had gone through 4 years of college classes on music therapy and so much more, but yet I actually know very little.

I do think that it is important to reinforce that students don’t know everything, but also important to remember that not all students really think that they know everything. 

A lot changes during internship. It’s all music therapy all the time. There are no ensemble rehearsals or theory, English, and history classes. An intern gets more hands-on experience in his or her first 2-3 weeks of internship than in the entire 4 years of practicum. It’s a lot of change, but all that you learn in your coursework prepares you for this next step. 

To students:

It’s true. You don’t know everything, but then again, who does? One of my supervisors likes to say that we’re all still learning. This is also true. We are all still learning. It’s why we have 4 years of college classes, a 6 month internship, a board-certification exam, graduate level classes, and continuing education requirements. There is always more to learn.

To interns:

It’s true. You don’t know everything, but you do know more than you think you do. From experiences I have had with MT students and interns, most of us don’t put ourselves on a pedestal. In fact, I’ve seen more of us tear ourselves down and doubt ourselves. I know I certainly do.

There is so much to learn about music therapy, so much that we will never know it all. However, this self-doubt does us no good in the music therapy profession. It gets in the way of what we need to do to help our clients. So no, you don’t know it all, but during sessions you apply what you do know.

Whether you’re a student or intern, you ARE the professional in your clients’ eyes. 

Internship is a hard 6 months. Entering the internship process can be very daunting. Hearing “You think you know everything until you start your internship,” can just make it more scary and as if the last four years of your life didn’t mean anything.

Instead of saying this, maybe we should say, “You’ve learned a lot so far, and you still have a lot to learn,” or, “You have learned what you need to know up until this point, and you will continue to learn so much more.” 

Music therapy students and interns: you’ve got this! Music therapy professionals: thank you for educating students, interns, other professionals, and yourselves every day. 

We are all still learning!

This blog post did get real, and thank you for reading my thoughts this week. Have another great week and happy learning!

Emma Kovachevich