Intern’s Corner – Week 14

A lot was supposed to happen this last week.

  • I was going to lead a new intervention with the students at the Hope School.
  • My midterm project was due.
  • I was writing an adapted piano piece to do with a client.
  • I was supposed to lead a majority of the group time at SPARC.
  • And more.

There was a lot to do this week.

Monday night I had a tickle in my throat. By the next morning I was congested and had a sore throat. I had a cold. Two years ago I would have shrugged it off and gone to my classes. I maybe would have worn a mask if I felt like it was truly needed. However, it is not two years ago and I now work with many clients who are immunocompromised. It is better to be safe than sorry to protect our clients, so I took a sick day. Then one day became two, two days became three, and three days became four.

I don’t particularly like taking days off. I dislike missing days, as it makes me feel unproductive and behind. Additionally, I was sad not to get to see our client for so many days. I did not like taking four days off. However, I still had a productive week. This blog post will be a little peek into what sick week is like for a music therapy intern.  

My Week

So I had a sense of normalcy, I woke up every day around the same time I typically do. Along with that, I got ready and dressed like I typically would. When I felt well enough to, I worked on projects and documentation during the mornings. I found time to practice piano, voice, and guitar.

While I missed out on going to some of our contract sites, I did get to zoom into some of the lessons and sessions at MTC. I was so glad for this, as this meant I at least had the opportunity to observe the sessions and lessons.  Additionally, we did repertoire check and supervision via Zoom.

To my dismay, I found myself also needing to take breaks to rest and nap. I was itching to get back to MTC and work with our clients, but I needed to feel better before I could. I made sure I was drinking a lot of water, eating regularly, and resting when I needed it.

Over this week I learned that:

It’s okay to not alway be productive.

When I originally took Tuesday off my thought was “I am going to get so much done today”. While I did get a lot done, I did not get as much done as I thought I should have. I originally felt upset with myself because of this. However, I realized that I wasn’t feeling well and I needed to also focus on feeling better so I could get back to my clients quicker.

Thank you for reading! I hope you all stay healthy and have a happy holiday!

Intern’s Corner – Week 13

One of my biggest musical inspirations and influences for a majority life has been Taylor Swift. This week is Taylor Swift’s birthday and my 13th blog post. I thought it would be fun to reflect on the influence Taylor Swift and her music have had on me as a person and a future music therapist. 

My Swiftie Origin Story

As a child I listened mainly to country music. Country music is very male-heavy, which, while I enjoyed it, didn’t resonate with me as a 9-year-old girl. I think this is why Taylor Swift’s music stood out to me. Her music was country, but held a similarity to the music in other media I was consuming, like Disney Channel. Taylor Swift’s debut album was one of the first CDs I owned and I was hooked from there.

Inspiration to Learn

As a child, seeing videos of Taylor Swift playing the guitar excited me. I wanted to play the guitar like Taylor Swift. I received a guitar for Christmas when I was in the 6th grade and I attempted to learn to play it for years to come. Taylor Swift’s songs were a helpful tool for me while I was learning how to play the guitar, ukulele and the piano. I used songs like “Mean” and “Stay Stay Stay” to learn and become comfortable with bar chords on the guitar. When I did my guitar and piano competencies in college, I used the songs “New Years Day” and “Stay Stay Stay.”

Soundtrack to My Life

Taylor Swift’s songs have a reputation for being about relationships and breakups. However, there are many songs that I was able to relate to as a child and then teenager listening to her music. Using Taylor Swift’s music, I learned how to emotionally relate and identify with songs. Additionally, I have many memories associated with the songs and albums of Taylor Swift.

  • “I’m Only Me When I’m With You” makes me think of my elementary school friendships. 
  • “Mean” got me through the ups and downs of middle school.
  • Her album, 1989, brings me back to driving around my hometown as a teenager with old friends.
  • Her album, Lover, brings me back to driving around Macomb, Il with my friends in college.
  • Her albums, Folklore and Evermore were bright spots to an otherwise dark year, 2020. 
  • “This is Me Trying” was a support for me during the stressful times in my senior year of college. 

A Uniting Factor

Taylor Swift’s songs have been a uniting factor in my life. I bonded with people in college who later became my friends because of Taylor Swift songs. Additionally, I have bonded over Taylor Swift songs with professors and supervisors. Since Taylor Swift is a very widely beloved singer, discussing and using Taylor Swift songs helped me build rapport with clients and patients who are Taylor Swift fans. 

Without a doubt, I wouldn’t be the person and musician I am today without Taylor Swift and her music. I am incredibly grateful for her music and am so excited about what she is going to do next.

Happy Taylor Swift Day!!!


Intern’s Corner – Week 12

Many music therapists make use of song rewrites of familiar songs with clients. In honor of the Holiday season and my 12th blog post, I decided to do a rewrite of the 12 Days of Christmas based on my internship experience. I give you: The 12 Days of Christmas at MTC!

On the first day of Christmas at MTC…

I Practiced One Piano Piece

I have been working on my piano skills lately, particularly practicing Silent Night.

I Read Two Singable Stories

We make use of singable stories during Listen and Learn sessions and our sessions at the Hope School.

I Talked with Three Supervisors

I work directly with three music therapists at MTC: Katey, Molly and Emma.

I Went to Four Contract Site

With the MTC music therapists, I go to four contract sites to conduct music therapy sessions: St. John’s Children’s Hospital, The Hope School, SPARC and Concordia Senior Services.

I Wrote Five Session Notes

After each session, we write sessions notes based on what happened during the session and the client’s goals and objectives.

I Strummed Six Guitar Strings

The guitar is the instrument that I use the most on a daily basis when working with clients.

I Sang Seven Listen and Learn Song

I have learned many Listen and Learn songs that I use during Listen and Learn sessions, at the Hope School and with patients at St, John’s Children’s Hospital.

I Played Eight Colorful Chimes

We use a set of eight chimes with one of the clients we see at MTC and many of the patients at St. John’s Children’s Hospital.

I Made Nine Garageband Songs

As an intern, I am required to do weekly assignments. For these weekly assignments I have written nine songs and made recordings of them on Garageband.

I Shook Ten Egg Shakers

I’ve found that giving clients instruments, particularly shakers are a great way to encourage participation!

I Lead Eleven Interventions

I’m not quite leading full sessions yet, but I lead many music therapy interventions a week with our clients during sessions.

I Wrote Twelve Blog Posts

Another one of my internship assignments is creating weekly blog posts. I have now written 12 Intern’s Corner blog posts!

I hope you enjoyed The 12 Days of Christmas at MTC!