Intern’s Corner – Week 7


Hello! I hope you’ve all had an amazing 4th of July!

This week I am reflecting on rapport. This is SO important in the therapeutic process and in building a therapeutic relationship. We talked a lot about this in school, but I didn’t realize just how important building rapport is until recently.

Over the past couple weeks, I have begun leading lots of new sessions. Most of these clients had already been seeing one of my supervisors, so when I started leading I just jumped in where they left off. 

This wasn’t always successful. I couldn’t figure out why clients would participate with my supervisor, but not with me. My supervisor pointed out that they don’t know me very well yet and I hadn’t built rapport with them. So, my next session I simply focused on building this therapeutic relationship.

It’s amazing what building trust and rapport does. In that next session, I gave the client choices and was not strict about what we would do. They immediately opened up to me. Giving them a choice and a sense of working together did marvelous things.

Though the client had choices and directed where the session went, we were still able to address their goals. I need to continue building this rapport, and as time goes on, the relationship I have built with the client will allow me to challenge the client in different ways.

Here are some ways that you can build rapport in your sessions:

  • Give the client lots of choices (i.e. what instrument to play or what song to sing)
  • Ask questions to get to know the client
  • Let the client choose the order of the interventions
  • Use client-preferred music

Therapy is a process, and that process right now includes building rapport with most of my clients. This will help immensely now and in the future. Though I want to focus on building the therapeutic relationship, this doesn’t mean I’m not also finding ways to address their goals. It’s all a balance. 

If you’re a student or intern working with new clients and things just don’t seem to be working, try taking a step back and building rapport. It’ll do wonders for you and your client!

I have been building rapport with my clients by giving them lots of choices during sessions; how do you build rapport?

Thanks for reading!

Emma Kovachevich

New Beginnings

I have mementos of home all over my apartment- one of my favorites is this beautiful picture of Connecticut, featuring mountain laurel which is the state flower.

Hello again and happy Friday! Now that I’ve introduced myself, I wanted to share a little about my first few weeks here at MTC and in Illinois. As you may know from reading my previous blog post, I recently moved here all the way from Connecticut. It was a big change, but one I’m so glad I made!

Relocating your entire life can be a little scary, especially when you’re moving halfway across the country to a place where you know no one. When I was looking for a job, I didn’t really look in Connecticut much. I knew that I wanted to live in a different state and experience new things — but I never thought that would bring me all the way to Illinois! I’ve always had an adventurous spirit, so when this wonderful opportunity presented itself, I didn’t bat an eyelash. It’s been the best decision I’ve ever made!

Now that I’ve been here for almost a month, I’ve had some time to settle in to my routine. I have a jam-packed schedule at MTC and the various contract locations that I serve, but I wouldn’t have it any other way. I’ve kept busy with trainings, paperwork, practicing, sessions, lessons, and not to mention unpacking and organizing at home!

Now that most of the trainings and paperwork are done and my apartment is mostly unpacked, I am really looking forward to getting out and exploring the awesome city of Springfield.

It’s been wonderful getting to know all the families and clients at MTC and I look forward to writing more blog posts in the future! Thanks for reading!

Molly Robitaille

Intern’s Corner – Week 6


It’s been a busy week at Music Therapy Connections! Full of new clients, new interventions, and new songs! My assignment for this week was to create a “Most Popular Songs” binder, and I wanted to share with you a little bit of what went into that binder.

At one of the sites at which I intern, I do a sing-along three days a week in addition to the regular music therapy sessions. This is an opportunity for the clients to sing what they want and just have fun! During this time, I’m not necessarily worried about fulfilling goals, but rather, it is an opportunity for them to work on social and communication skills.

The clients at this site range from children (about age 5) to young adults. I wanted to share with you the top 5 most requested songs I have received during sing-along! If you will be working with an age group like this, I would highly recommend you add these songs to your repertoire.

“You’ve Got a Friend in Me” – Toy Story

This is definitely a favorite, especially with Toy Story 4 just coming out in theaters. This song also presents good opportunities to use signing within it (especially on the “you’ve got a friend in me” phrases). I can also see it being used in song discussion about who their friends are and who they trust.

“Firework” – Katy Perry

This isn’t one of the newest pop songs, but the clients still love it. This song could also be used in regards to emotional expression and talking about feelings. Recently, I actually piggybacked this song for social situations.

“Let it Go” – Frozen

This one isn’t too much of a surprise, as Frozen is still popular with most kids. It’s a fun song to belt out with the clients at sing-along.

“True Colors” – Trolls

I have still not seen the movie Trolls, but apparently I need to because the clients request it a lot! Thankfully the movie soundtrack features some well-known popular songs, including “True Colors” by Cyndi Lauper. 

“Reflection” – Mulan

This is an older Disney movie that gets requested quite often. This song can be used to talk about self-identity and self-worth. Not to mention, the song is just beautiful in itself.

There are so many other songs that get requested every week, but these are the 5 that are requested most often. As you can see, Disney is a common theme as well as music from movies. If you are a student, intern, or professional starting to work with this age group/population and don’t know where to start, this is a good jumping off point!

Though there are common themes, don’t be fooled. I have had plenty of requests that have surprised me. Some clients request songs that their parents or friends listen to, and some just like music you wouldn’t expect. It’s been fun getting to know all of my clients!

Thanks for reading and happy singing!

Emma Kovachevich