Embarrassing Moments and Things I Never Expected to Do in a Music Therapy Setting
It has been a wonderful week at MTC and I hope you have had a great week as well! I’m officially halfway through my internship! These first three months have been full of learning, growth, great moments, and some not so great moments.
This week’s blog is all about embarrassing things that have happened and things that I never expected I would do during my internship.
I am the first to admit that I am an awkward person. Not only am I awkward, but I’m clumsy. It was pretty inevitable that I would have some embarrassing moments during the first half of my internship.
It seems like whenever other staff are standing outside one of my contract locations, I trip and lose my shoe. I would like to compare myself to Cinderella, but it’s never that graceful.
One of the guitars I use in group sessions does not have the best strap on it. I think it is that way on purpose in case I need to take the guitar off quickly. However, it can be a bit of a hassle during sessions. The guitar ends up falling from the strap at least once a session. Thankfully my reflexes are fast enough to catch it, so it has not fallen to the floor (yet).
Stumbling Over My Words
One of my big goals during the last half of my internship is to get better at talking to other professionals. I tend to get nervous and stumble over my words as I try to process my thoughts and speak at the same time. It’s happened so many times that I cannot name one specific scenario, but it definitely makes me feel embarrassed every time. On the plus side, it’s getting better every day.
Performing my Rep Check for my Supervisor’s Kids
This one was actually a lot of fun. I did my Rep Check and then ended up improvising and creating songs with them. They created a lot of fun lyrics and we did this for about 20 minutes. It was a great experience, but also extremely nerve wracking to have an audience of people observing the music making; 3 of them being my supervisors and 2 of them being the parents of the kids.
So, some embarrassing and awkward things have happened. It’s a part of life. Thankfully, I am good at laughing at myself and then continuing on with my day. It’s all a part of the fun!
I have also had some experiences that I never pictured myself doing in a music therapy session.
Singing an Italian Aria
I now have a client who really likes opera. I promised her I would bring her an aria the next time I saw her, so I went digging through my old voice lesson repertoire. I ended up singing an Italian aria with her that went up to a high G and I accompanied myself on guitar. I definitely never saw myself doing this music in a music therapy setting. Current students: if you think you will never use the repertoire you are learning in lessons, you may be absolutely wrong.
Never ever in a million years did I think I would improvise songs as much as I do. Improvisation used to terrify me (and it is still a little scary). I was the girl in Vocal Jazz Ensemble that avoided scatting at all costs. Now a good portion of the music I use in sessions is improvised; whether it be to give directions, say hello or goodbye, or for relaxation. If you told me 4 months ago that I would be improvising as much as I am today, I definitely would not have believed you.
These first three months of internship have been absolutely amazing, with some embarrassing moments here and there. It’s a part of learning. I’ve also experienced some things that I never thought I would do in a music therapy setting. It’s been a wild ride, and I’m so looking forward to what the second half of internship brings.
Do you have any embarrassing moments? What about things you’ve had to do or sing in sessions that you never thought you would do? Please share them with me!
Hi again! I wanted to take a few minutes today to talk about what brought me to music therapy.
As a high schooler beginning to think about college, I had no idea what I wanted to do. After looking at my passions and hobbies, I settled on occupational therapy. By the beginning of senior year I had a college picked out and was planning on applying for fall 2015.
What brought me to occupational therapy? Throughout high school, the highlight of my weeks during the winter and early spring was volunteering with the local Special Olympics Swim Team on Friday evenings. I attended local meets and even State Games with the athletes, and learned that I had a passion for helping people. Naturally, this led me to occupational therapy.
However, there was always a little voice in the back of my head saying, “But what about music?” I couldn’t ignore that. I was very involved with my high school music department — in marching band, concert band, choir, the spring musicals, jazz band, even going to music camp for a week in the summer. I didn’t want to let that go. I knew I didn’t want to go into music education or performance, so I thought that a career in music just wasn’t possible for me.
As senior year rolled around and I was trying to get excited about a future in occupational therapy, that little voice grew louder. The college I had chosen didn’t have a band, orchestra, or choir and that just didn’t feel right to me.
At some point that fall, someone (perhaps my mom, a friend, or my band director) mentioned music therapy to me. I had no idea what that was but immediately knew that I had to do it. After looking it up, my heart was set!
After touring some colleges, I settled on Molloy College in New York and after applying, auditioning, an interviewing I was accepted as part of the Class of 2019. Four years later, I know I made the right choice. Music therapy is the perfect combination of my two passions: helping people and music.
As always, thank you for reading! I look forward to seeing you around MTC!
Hello everyone! I hope you’ve had a fabulous week! I’m sure it’s been a busy week for lots of you with the new school year starting.
This week I had my midterm evaluation. It’s amazing to think that I am halfway through my internship! I was so happy to hear from my supervisors that I am where I need to be. As expected, I am excelling at some things and need some improvement in other areas. One big thing we talked about during this meeting was confidence.
This topic may sound similar to my perfectionism blog post at the beginning of my internship, but I wanted to dive a little deeper this week. I can’t say that I’ve ever been a confident person. I am aware of my strengths and weaknesses, but tend to dwell on the things I’m not so great at. I think that this is a normal human thing to do, but it doesn’t necessarily help me in the therapeutic setting.
During sessions, I’ve been able to develop this “fake it till you make it” attitude. This doesn’t mean I come to sessions unprepared; this attitude just helps me take things as they come during the session. It helps me get out of my own head. My supervisors even tell me I look “cool as a cucumber” during most sessions. It’s the before and after that get me.
Before sessions, I tend to doubt my skills and knowledge. I get worried that I’m not going to be what my client needs. After sessions, I think “I should have done this,” or “I could’ve said this better.” Basically, I get in my head and it’s hard to get out.
I think these things, but in reality the sessions always tend to go pretty well. It’s my lack of confidence before and after sessions that are keeping me from fully succeeding. My supervisors and I talked about how if I gain more confidence, all the other skills that are still developing will fall into place.
The start of confidence is beginning to focus a little more on your strengths than on your weaknesses. So, this week for my self care I have been taking time throughout the week to write down some of my strengths. I feel a little strange doing this, but I think it will help in the long-run.
I know that I’m not the only one that struggles with confidence in themselves. I would love to hear how you pump yourself up and get into a confident mindset! Please feel free to leave a comment; it may help me and others reading this blog.
Thanks for letting me be real every week and for reading my blog posts. I appreciate it more than you know!
Hi again! I’m back to talk about the modern marvel of technology. It’s pretty amazing, and can be adapted and used in so many ways within music therapy sessions.
GarageBand. This one almost goes without saying. From recording songs for clients to giving them the opportunity to write their own music from scratch, this is an amazing resource for music therapists to have in their technology toolkit.
Music games. There are so many wonderful music games available that can help accomplish a variety of goals. Anything from rapport building to fine motor skills can be addressed through interactive music games. Some of my favorites available for iPads include Incredibox, Sound Forest, Piano Tiles, Auto Rap, and Ditty.
Organizing repertoire. I almost never rely on physical copies of music anymore. I have everything scanned in to meticulously organized Google Drive folders that I can easily pull up or access in a session, even without WiFi. I also use Guitar Tabs, which has lyrics, tablature, and chords for almost every song under the sun! I don’t have to worry about carrying around binders full of music or forgetting something at home. I can also look up client requested music in an instant.
Google Drive. I use Google Drive for EVERYTHING from tracking client and student attendance to documentation to organizing music as mentioned above to coordinating schedules and plans for the week with my colleagues. It’s easy to organize things and access from multiple devices — all password and fingerprint protected, of course.
This is just a small sampling of how I use technology in everyday sessions. Of course there are many other technology resources available for music therapists, but I find these ones to be the most accessible and successful for me.
As always, thank you for reading and have a great day!
We have been busy at MTC getting ready for the new school year. That doesn’t just include preparing session plans and getting materials ready. We even have a fresh look with fresh paint on the walls and new furniture! Lots of exciting stuff!
As the new school year approaches, I thought I would focus on music therapy students for this blog post.
Being a college student is so exciting, so difficult, and so rewarding. You constantly have new information thrown at you. You have more freedom to do the things you want and take the classes you like. You get so many opportunities with ensembles and clubs. The world is yours (or at least the campus is).
I personally found college to be the best time of my 22 short years. There were some hard times, but also great times. Here’s some things I learned during my 4 years on campus:
This is your time to explore things that you are interested in. College also gives you so many different opportunities that you may not get anywhere else. Join the clubs, intramurals, or fraternity/sorority. Do what interests you.
…But not too involved.
It’s great to explore and experience new things, but then before you know it you’re in 10 extracurricular activities. It’s important to remember that you’re in college to pursue a degree. It’s also important to remember that once you join something, you don’t have to stay in it all 4 years. So, do the things that will add to your learning and the things that make you the happiest.
Go to class!
This is a biggie. It’s tempting to stay in bed and skip that 8 am class, and, believe me, as a music major you will have a lot of them. Get out of bed and get to class. Not only are you missing out on important information, but you’re also letting money go to waste as you’ve already paid for the class.
Being a music therapy major is difficult…
Let’s be honest, there is a stereotype that music majors don’t have to do any real work, but wow is that wrong. You will have sleepless nights. You may have more classes in a day than you did in high school. It’s a lot of work and takes determination.
…But it is so worth it.
Seeing the progress your clients are making during your practicum session after a long week of school work, and knowing that one day you’ll get to do this all day every day, makes it all worth it.
If you’re nervous about the coming school year, it’s okay to be nervous. Know that you chose this major for a reason, and you are taking the steps to being a great music therapist every day.
Here’s my #1 tip: Take everything in and enjoy every moment.