Intern’s Corner – Week 18

A Week in the Life

Hello again everyone! We are really getting back into the swing of things here at MTC as our Listen & Learn classes start back up. It’s been an exciting week!

A month or two ago, one of MTC’s therapists, Molly, wrote a blog post about her typical schedule. I liked it so much that I thought I would give you a “Week in the Life” of an MTC intern!

My schedule has changed quite a bit since starting my internship, and it continues to change a little from week to week. I will share with you my current weekly schedule, as the school year is in full swing!

Monday

On Mondays I spend the morning at one of our school contract locations. I provide group sessions as well as a sing-along. I then head back to MTC and facilitate 2 one-to-one sessions. I have about an hour in between the sessions, so I use that time to work on my weekly assignment, documentation, and other prep that needs to be done. Then I finish out my day by taking a piano and guitar lesson with one of our amazing teachers here at MTC!

Tuesday

Tuesdays look very similar to Mondays. I’m back at the school contract throughout the morning, but this time I have both group and one-to-one sessions, followed by the sing-along. Afterwards, I head back to MTC and have my supervision meeting. This is a wonderful time for me to talk about how things are going and receive supervision from the four MT-BCs at MTC. Then I have a one-to-one session, teach 2 lessons, and practice during the extra time I have.

Wednesday

Now that Listen & Learn classes have begun, my Wednesday mornings are spent leading a class and observing one of Rachel’s classes. I then have a little break that I use to write my blog, do some practicing, and prep. In the afternoon I head over to a contract location, where I provide music therapy for a hospice group. Then I go back to MTC and provide 2 one-to-one sessions and finish off my day teaching another Listen & Learn class. Wednesday is the day I have the most diversity in populations served.

Thursday

I do a bit of traveling on Thursdays. I start off at a daycare contract and lead one group session and observe the other. I then travel to the children’s hospital and provide music therapy to patients until the mid-afternoon. From there I head back to MTC and have 2 one-to-one sessions and teach a Listen & Learn class!

Friday

Fridays are my “short” days. I spend the morning to mid-afternoon at the children’s hospital and then practice and prep at home!

Weekend

The weekends are my time. I typically travel to Macomb or back home and spend time with the people I love. I do make sure to dedicate some time during the weekend to prepare and practice for the next week!

This is a very generalized version of my weekly schedule as an intern at MTC. I hope this is beneficial for those who wonder what a music therapy intern’s schedule looks like! I love that I have such a range of populations in my schedule and get to work with almost every age. I truly enjoy going to internship every day!

Thanks for reading! Have a great week!

Emma Kovachevich

P.S. Here is a screenshot of my schedule on Google Calendar for all of us visual learners out there!

Intern’s Corner – Week 17

3 Things I Wish I Could Go Back and Tell Myself During Music Therapy Practicum

Hello everyone! It’s been a beautiful week here in Springfield! The skies have been blue, the temperatures warm, and the office has been full of music!

As the school year is now in full swing and music therapy students’ practicums have begun, I’ve been reflecting on my practicum experiences. 

For those who do not know, music therapy students are typically placed in different settings throughout the community each semester as their practicum. At Western Illinois (where I have my undergrad training), students provide music therapy once a week to their own clients with supervision from music therapy professors or professionals.

My first practicum experience was as an observer the spring semester of my freshman year. I then co-lead a group the spring semester of my sophomore year. Every semester throughout junior and senior year is solo leading! 

I remember practicum being terrifying but so exciting at the same time. This is the chance during undergrad to apply what you are learning in your classes in a real-life scenario. As I look back on my experiences, I want to share with you what I would have told myself back then.

Calm down!

I was a nervous wreck for a lot of my practicum sessions. I wanted to provide the best services I could for my clients, but I was also so scared that I would embarrass myself or do something wrong during the sessions. There was truly no reason for me to get so nervous, though it is normal to feel this way! It’s important to remember that you know more than you think you do, and your supervisors and other staff support are there to help you if something unexpected does happen.

Take It All In

Carefully observe everything you can during your sessions. This can sometimes be difficult as you are also leading the sessions, but it is so important to recognize how your clients respond to the music and interventions you bring. This is your time to try out new interventions, be creative, and see what works for your clients and what doesn’t. I found practicum to be one of the most beneficial aspects of my undergrad experience. 

Have Fun!

Getting to provide music therapy is such an amazing experience. Enjoy it! 

Practicum is such a wonderful time for learning and growth in the real world. It can be scary at first, but know that everyone around you is there to support you as you develop your skills. 

Leave a comment if you have any advice for current music therapy students during their practicum experience!

As always, thanks for reading!

Emma Kovachevich

Intern’s Corner – Week 16

My Personality Traits and How They Impact My Role as a Future Music Therapist

Hi everyone! I hope you are having a wonderful week and had a great Labor Day Weekend! 

This week on the blog I’m talking about my results from the Enneagram Personality Test. I’ve seen this test all over social media and discussed amongst my friends, so a few weeks ago I decided to take the test.

For those of you who do not know what the Enneagram Test is, it is a personality test that tells you which of 9 personality types you fit into. There are lots of personality tests out there, but this one seems to be the most popular right now. 

I haven’t done a ton of research on this topic, but I wanted to share with you what my results were and how I see these personality traits impacting me as a future music therapist.

So, my Enneagram personality results were 6w5, in other words I am “The Defender.” Some of the traits of this personality type include intelligent, introverted, serious, self-doubting, problem-solving, and rule-following. Here are how I see some of the personality traits of a 6w5 in my work as a future music therapist:

Serious

I know what I need to do and do whatever I need to get it done. I also tend to just say things as they are, and sometimes I’m a little too blunt. However, I see this serious trait being beneficial in my music therapy work as I know when to get down to business.

Self-Doubting

If you have read my previous blogs, you know that this is something I struggle with. This is mostly seen as, perhaps, a negative trait. On the bright-side, this trait can help guide me through my limitations in the music therapy setting and establish what I need to work on.

Problem-Solvers

This trait is so helpful in so many instances, whether it’s helping out a friend, talking with family, or in the music therapy setting. I think that this trait helps spark my creative side of deciding on adaptive materials, visuals, etc in how to best engage, communicate with, and help my clients.

Intelligent

I will be the first person to say that I am not the smartest person out there. I know that I have a lot of knowledge in my brain, but communicating that knowledge is difficult. The knowledge I do have helps me so much when planning as well as thinking on my feet during music therapy sessions.

These are just a few of the personality traits that I see influencing my work in the music therapy setting. I by no means am advocating for this test, but simply find my results incredibly accurate and helpful in understanding myself better. 

Have you taken any personality tests? How do you see your personality traits influencing your practice? Let me know in the comments!

As always, thanks for reading!

Emma Kovachevich

Intern’s Corner – Week 15

The Internship Search

Hello everyone! I hope you’ve all had a marvelous week! Things at MTC are really starting to pick up as the school year gets into full swing. I’m looking forward to all the new opportunities I will be given in the coming weeks!

Around this time last year, I started the search for an internship. I know that many senior music therapy students have started or will be starting this same process very soon! Thus, I wanted to share what I looked for in an internship and some handy little tips I found helpful during the process.

What I Personally Looked for in an Internship

Population

This played a big role in my search. I wasn’t gravitating to or straying away from any one population during practica and my undergrad experience. Though every population and age group is different, I truly enjoyed working with all of the people I had worked with so far. I knew that I wanted an internship that would provide me with experiences in a wide variety of populations. Most of the internships I applied for were private practices or businesses that could provide me with those experiences.

Location

Although I like to adventure out on my own, I definitely knew I wanted to stay somewhere in driving distance from my family and friends. Thus, all of the internships I looked at were in the Midwest.

Supervisors

This is a huge one. As an intern, you will be learning from and working with these people for at least 6 months. I wanted supervisors that I knew cared about me as a student, but also as a person. I also wanted supervisors with whom I knew my personality would mesh. This is one that you will get a better picture of in the interview process. 

Tips and Advice

Start Applying

I waited until the start of my senior year to look for internships, which is very doable. However, it is important to pay attention to application deadlines. As soon as you narrow down which internships you want to apply for, start filling out those applications and reaching out to the internship directors. It will save you from a lot of stress.

Practice

Since this is a music therapy internship, you will most likely have to perform some repertoire during your interview. I think it’s quite obvious that you should practice the rep you plan on using, but I found it helpful to also practice other aspects of the interview. I had my parents and friends ask me potential interview questions and I would practice responding to them. Some universities also have the option to participate in mock interviews in their Career Development Programs.

Interview Them

The interview process isn’t just about them interviewing you, but this is your time to ask questions and get to know your potential supervisors and site. Bring questions to ask and be engaged in conversation. Not only does it give you more important information, but it also makes you look invested, genuine, and professional.

Be Open

Be open to new possibilities. Don’t rule out an internship site because it’s not with your dream population or because you don’t think you would ever get it. Take a leap and be willing to step out of your comfort zone. The world has a funny way of surprising you. 

I’m not going to lie: the internship search can be a bit stressful, but I hope this blog post gave you some insight! It can be a bit daunting, but nothing feels better than securing that internship. I don’t normally cry happy tears, but I definitely did when I was offered the intern position here at MTC. Honestly, have fun searching for your internships and set your standards high! 

If any other interns or professionals would like to add any advice, please leave a comment! Thanks for reading!

Emma Kovachevich