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.
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.
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!