Intern’s Corner – Week Two

I have just finished my second week of internship! It has been a little bit different that what I expected, mainly due to COVID-19 procedures, but it has been very exciting! Being an intern during a global pandemic certainly makes for an interesting time.

Throughout these two weeks, I have had a few unexpected circumstances come up. The weekend before I was scheduled to start, I was informed that I had possibly been exposed to COVID-19, which is not unexpected during these times. As a result, my first week was spent at home where I began via Zoom and online classes. During my second week, one of the locations where I was supposed to observe decided to remain fully remote rather than going back in person. Therefore, a good portion of my schedule was put on pause.

As this pandemic does not look like it is going to end any time soon, I am choosing to find the good. It can be really hard to not worry about how the pandemic can and will be affecting your life for the next six to seven months. There are certainly some days where I can get wrapped up in my head. During those times, it is important to find the good. I found three things to help me navigate these tough times.

Be Flexible

I am so fortunate to have a team that is supportive and understanding of the situation. When I was possibly exposed, my supervisors adjusted my first week to make sure I could still get hours even though I was unable to come in. During my second week, one of the locations I was going to observe decided to stay remote until further notice. As a result, my schedule changed once again. Hopefully my schedule will begin to settle out in the next week or two but until it does, I am ready for whatever life throws my way!

Enjoy Current Opportunities

This past week has been a big adjustment for me. Some of my days are fairly full and I have a lot of music to learn and assignments to complete. While I currently have a lot of free time in my schedule, I know that this will not be the case in a few weeks. Because of that, I am taking advantage of the free time I have to learn as much music as I can, work ahead, and adjust to being an intern. Although I am excited to (hopefully) meet some new clientele in the next few weeks and months, I appreciate the free time I have in my current schedule.

Find the Good

While I am unable to spend full days with clients in-person, I am learning how to do music therapy in other ways. Two methods I am learning are music therapy via Zoom and recorded videos. Both methods have their pros and cons, and I definitely prefer Zoom over recordings. However, both methods are great ways to provide telehealth services during the pandemic.

Even though my internship is looking differently than I expected a few months ago, I am excited to see what it has in store over the next few months.

Thanks for reading and I hope you all stay healthy this upcoming week!

Cicely McCain

Intern’s Corner – Week One

Hello everyone! My name is Cicely McCain and I am the new music therapy intern here at MTC! I am so excited to start my journey with this group. As this is my first blog post, I should probably tell you all a little about myself.

I am from the small town of Petersburg, IL. I have a younger sister and two little brothers. I also have a pet gecko named Lil A (his full name is Alexios). In my free time, I like to paint, play piano, and watch TV shows. My favorite to watch is anything Star Trek.

For the past four years, I attended Western Illinois University, from which (pending completion of internship) I will graduate with a major in music therapy and a minor in psychology as a Voice/Trumpet primary. During my time there, I was a member of multiple ensembles, including University Singers, Concert Band, Marching Band, and even Steel Band for a bit! I was also a member of WIU’s Music Therapy Association and Mu Phi Epsilon.

As I am a fresh intern, there are PLENTY of areas in which I can improve, such as improvisation, song writing, and overall confidence. During my first week, I have written three goals to help me be the best me I can be for myself, the MTC team, and my clients. Those goals are:

1. I will not let my anxieties and nerves get in the way of my growth.

I tend to allow my anxieties and nerves hold me back from experiences. Often times, I will avoid pushing myself to the next level because it is “new” and I am scared of failing. However, you cannot grow if you never try new things. Author Celestine Chua said, “Fear, uncertainty and discomfort are your compass towards growth.” I plan to remind myself of this each day of this journey.

2. I will fully prepare for each day as best I can physically, mentally, and emotionally.

Throughout high school and college, I tended to “wing it” a lot. I did not have a proper sleep schedule, struggled to remember to eat or drink regularly throughout the day, and generally just went through the motions. Looking back, I wish I would have taken better care of my mind and body. I cannot give to my team or my clients in the way they need if I start my day half empty. During internship, I plan to take better care of myself so that I can be there for those who need me.

3. I will force myself to step outside of my comfort zone in all aspects that arise.

As stated in my first goal, I tend to avoid “new” or “scary” things. There are many skills that I am nervous about learning, such as improvisation and songwriting. I have minimal experience with both, but I know that these are very important skills for music therapists to have. Throughout these six months, I am going to avoid shying away from anything that is scary, but rather push myself to get as much out of internship as I can.

I look forward to everything I will continue to experience and learn during my internship. In six months, I hope to look back on these posts and see how much I have grown.

Thanks for reading!

Cicely McCain