{Intern’s Corner} Week 11: “Dig A Little Deeper”

Welcome Back Friends!

Thanks for joining in on week 11! This week started off a little rocky but then ended pretty well! Monday was an alright day; things were fine up until the end of the day at the hospital. I received a message that basically made me shut down. It affected me and put me in a really bad and anxious mood. That night I worked even harder to get my work done and attempted to sleep. I kept tossing and turning through the night and didn’t have a very restful sleep.

The next day, I woke with my anxiety going through the roof and my head throbbing from not getting enough sleep. I messaged my directors, explained the situation, and asked if I could take a mental health day. Rather than saying yes, my directors requested that I still come in. They understood that what I was going through was tough, but they said that I have a responsibility to my clients. They also said that I have the three of them as support, so I wouldn’t be going through the day by myself.

The first two thoughts that went through my head:

  1. “Rachel, you idiot! Why did you do that! You know you have clients that have to be taken care of, this isn’t school, this is your job. You don’t get to pick and choose.”
  2. “Rachel, you idiot! Good job, now by asking that you’ve probably disappointed your directors. Way to go!

I went into my self-criticizing mode and honestly didn’t help my anxiety at all. The day went by alright. My energy was low but I made it through sessions. The whole morning I was worried about how my supervision meeting was going to go. Like I mentioned a few posts ago, I like receiving criticism; I genuinely want to get better at whatever I’m doing, but internally my mind doesn’t handle it well. (I’m working on it, I promise!)

My supervision meeting went better than I thought it was. I actually made it through rep check (which I didn’t feel ready for) and we had a good conversation about my message from earlier in the morning.  There were some things that were really hard to hear. Again, I don’t like when I disappoint. But they were things I needed to hear. In all honesty it was a good butt kicking that needed to happen to get my self back on track.

This journey of self-discovery decided to happen right before my internship (perfect timing!) and continues to happen as I go through my internship. It’s been an interesting ride. There has been a lot of ups, downs, realizations, and discoveries. There has also been a lot hard work trying to rewire and retrain my brain from years and years of self-doubt, self-criticism, and self-loathing. 

This journey has been rough. There are days where things are so clear and everything makes sense and I feel so empowered. And then there are days where I feel like someone catapulted me off a cliff and I’m endlessly falling.

One of the biggest things I took away this week was the fact that these bad days happen. We can’t run away from them and instead we need to face them head strong. We have to “dig a little deeper” for that energy, but we need to do it. The jobs that we do — whether it’s being a therapist, doctors, engineer, teacher, etc. — they matter to someone else. The work that we do benefits others, and if we don’t do it, then those same people lose out, which isn’t fair.

My directors have been some of the biggest and best examples of how to be there for your clients even when days are extremely hard and tough. I have seen all three of them be complete superheroes for their clients, when sometimes they themselves needed their own superheroes to get through the day.

So when you’re having a hard day, here are a few suggestions of things you can do:

  1. Take a breath: Take a few deep breaths in (and out of course, don’t hold that stuff in…it makes you light headed!). Calm yourself down and clear your mind so you can think.
  2. Listen to Daniel Powter’s song “Bad Day” incase you need some affirmation for how you are feeling.
  4. Have a list of coping skills ready
  5. Be realistic: Come up with a list of things that you know you can realistically accomplish for the rest of the day. If there things you can’t do it’s fine, you always have tomorrow.
  6. Take a moment to remind yourself why you do what you do.
  7. Eat lots of food ( if you’re on a diet…it’s okay… you’ll survive)
  8. Create the “I’m having a bad” music playlist that may probably consist of a lot angsty, angry, hard core, music…that’s okay!
  9. Communicate with others: talk to someone you trust, let them know what’s going on and be honest with them with what you need to help you get through the day.
  10. Unplug: yes social media is good but sometimes it can be the cause of a bad day…..so SHUT IT DOWN!
  11. Watch a lot of funny, derpy, animal videos. (I do this on a daily basis even when it’s a good day. I think this is should be added on a list of “How to live a healthy life..”
  12. Cherish the good things that do happen…even if it’s a few.

After Tuesday, the rest of my week was fairly good. I had good sessions and I learned lots of fun new things! I ended the week by going to a pumpkin patch with my directors! IT WAS AWESOME!! I may or may not have bought too many pumpkins and then went back home and decorated the outside of my apartment. (Yes I live in an apartment and I decorated the outside…I don’t care…the neighbors can just enjoy it or deal with it!)

Since I mentioned it up above, I’ve included a link to Daniel Powter’s song in case you need a blast from the past!

I’ve also included pictures of my fun escape at the pumpkin patch today! I hope you all have a wonderful weekend!

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{Intern’s Corner} Week 10: “Someday”

Intern's Corner - Week 10

Hello friends!

Thank you for joining in on this week’s update of Intern’s Corner! This week as been an interesting week. For some reason I’ve been in a really weird mood all week and can’t really explain why. Honestly, it was a struggle to get out of bed every morning and by the end of my day I was extremely exhausted and completely brain dead.

Now, don’t get me wrong: therapeutically, things were going really well. I was leading more sessions, I was proud of most of my skills, and I felt like I was being an effective therapist. I especially had some great moments at the hospital this week.

Granted I spent both days working with the same patient for the majority of my time at the hospital. But in that time I was able to experience a dressing change, the removal of an NG tube, and co-treated/observed Physical therapy. The greatest thing in each of these scenarios was that I was able to contribute my skills to help the patient. Since I had already built rapport with this client, I was able to use my knowledge to help keep this patient calm during procedures and provide motivation during his physical therapy.

My two favorite moments from all these experiences were:

  1. The patient smiling, having fun, and accomplishing his goals!
  2. The physical therapist telling me that she was really glad to have me in the session. She said my presence was extremely helpful and effective and then she thanked me! YAS COTREATING WITH COWORKERS!

Thursday was another great day working with this patient. We had a great music therapy session followed by an awesome physical therapy session. My patient was also getting discharged.

It was also a sad day for a variety of reasons. Now due to patient confidentiality I can’t share too many details, but one of the reasons it was a sad day for me was that I was losing my little buddy that I had been working with for so many weeks. But my patient was leaving for a good reason and I couldn’t have been happier for them.

Since this week was emotionally taxing, I decided to amp up my self care for the week and went into an intensive mode which may or may not have included an entire large bag of pizza rolls. I mean, no one was keep track, so no one REALLY knows.

As I was sitting down on Thursday night going through myself care routine and processing my day/week, I made a few realizations:

  1. I freaking love my job: After debriefing about the patient I had worked with all week, my director asked me “How does that make you feel about your decision to become a music therapist?” I instantaneously responded that I was proud of it, I loved it, and I wouldn’t change it for the world.
  2. This week was the feast of St. Francis of Assisi: Yes St. Cecilia (patron saint of music) is who I chose as my confirmation name, but St. Francis also plays a strong role in who I am as a person. He is one of my all time favorite saints! His prayer talks about being the peace, the understanding, the love, and the care that someone else might need in their life. I really do try to live my life through this prayer and I think this week especially I was channeling this prayer even more. (I’ve shared the prayer at the end of this post, if you are interested.)
  3. Sunday’s tragic event in Las Vegas really broke my heart: It hurts to hear news like that and then it angers me that other people then begin arguing and fighting over all the wrong things. People lost their lives, people lost loved ones, people were scared, and people were hurt. There is no argument that can ever justify those outcomes, ever. It  also made me realize that sometimes life just sucks. It throws so many curve balls at you and makes you go through so many loop holes. But we as humans have this amazing ability to overcome those struggles and strive towards making the world a better place. It takes time and it takes a lot of hard work, but in the end it is completely worth it.

One of my directors wrote a blog post following the tragedy and in it she stated that one of the most important things we can do is to keep making the music. My favorite comment that she made was:

” In the face of tragedy, we still make music. Not because we should, but because we must.”


Her comment reminded me of one of my favorite sayings that I have hanging up in my room which is

“Where words fail, music speaks.”

This statement is true to so many people. It’s also something that shows why my profession is so effect. Music as such a powerful way of conveying feelings and emotions that sometimes our words don’t have enough power to describe. So to end my blog for this week, I share with you two things that I hold close to my heart.

One a prayer, and one a song. My favorite lyric from the song says that, “we will wish upon the moon.” I know some of you are thinking, “why not wish upon the stars, that’s what we usually do.” But think about it: stars have a lifespan. At some point this ball of gas explodes and is done, but the moon is forever. So close your eyes, really listen, and take a moment to imagine and wish for a better world.

Prayer of St. Francis

Lord make me an instrument of your peace.
Where there is hatred let me sow love
Where there is injury, pardon
Where there is doubt, faith
Where there is despair, hope
Where there is sadness, joy
O divine master grant that I may
Not so much seek to be consoled as to console
To be understood as to understand
To be loved as to love
For it is in giving that we receive
It is in pardoning that we are pardoned
And it is in dying that we are born to eternal life.

I hope you all have an amazing week. Show compassion, be loving, care for another, be kind, and always strive for a better tomorrow.


{Intern’s Corner} Week 9: “Know Who You Are”

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Hello Friends!

Welcome back to Intern’s Corner! Thank you for joining me as I complete week 9 of my internship! I can’t believe I’ve already finished week one of month three!!! Time is flying so fast! This past week has been really good! Yes, as usual there were ups, downs, and frustrations, but like I’ve said before, without them I can’t learn how to become better.

Trying to figure out what I wanted to blog about this week was kind of a struggle. As I thought back through my week, a conversation with two of my directors stuck out to me. After a frustrating day with a client, my director sat me down and debriefed with me. During the conversation she made a comment that the criticism that is given to me comes from a place of love and care.

As much as I love constructive criticism, it is something that is really challenging for me to deal with. Meaning, I take in the feedback and then become extremely critical of myself. When things are pointed out, I get mad and frustrated at myself for messing up — even the tiniest of things. That’s the perfectionist in me.

Back in high school, I took two psych classes during which our teacher had us take personality tests. When I took the test back then, I had been placed in the INFJ, -A/-T  (Introverted, Intuitive, Feeling, Judging, Assertive, Turbulent) grouping. I decided to retake the test to see if I was still in that group or if maybe things had changed over the past 6 years.

While I was working one of my weekend jobs, I re-took the test whenever there was down time. Word of advice: don’t multi task when taking a personality test because you lose your train of thought and in all honesty, your results won’t be too accurate. When I finished the test, I found out that I had been regrouped into the ENFJ group.

To be honest, I wasn’t completely thrilled about this. As I read through the descriptions of this personality type, I did agree with a lot of what was being said but there were times where I was like, “ummm, no.” So before writing this blog, I sat down, focused and took the test again! And guess what!? I truly am an INFJ personality.

So, as a way for you all to get to know me a little better I thought I would give you all a summary of my personality type! (P.S. some of my own comments are in there!)

INFJ Personality Type: “The Advocate”

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  • 53% Introverted/ 47% Extroverted
  • 52% Intuition/ 48% Observant
  • 24% Thinking/ 76% Feeling
  • 67% Judging/ 33% Prospecting
  • 47% Assertive/ 53% Turbulent

Quick Facts about “The Advocate”

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  • Members of the Diplomat Role Group that have an “inborn sense of idealism and morality” and are “capable of taking concrete steps to realize their goals and make a lasting positive impact.
  • Advocates see helping others as their purpose in life and have a real passion to get to the heart of an issue so that people don’t have to be “rescued” at all.  (good thing I’m becoming a music therapist then!)
  • Act with creativity, imagination, conviction, and sensitivity to create balance. (AGAIN! Good thing I’m becoming a music therapist!)
  • Advocates must remember to take care of themselves; their passions can take them past a breaking point finding themselves exhausted, unhealthy, and stressed. (OH man guess who wrote an entire blog on SELF-CARE!?!!)
  • Other advocate personalities include: Martin Luther King. Nelson Mandela, St. Mother Teresa, Nicole Kidman, Jimmy Carter, and more.
  • Fun fact: My friends used to call me Pocahontas in high school; granted it was for my super long hair…but hey!



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  • Creative (Well duh)
  • Insightful (again, duh)
  • Inspiring and Convincing
  • Decisive (I mean I’m extremely indecisive when it comes to picking out the restaurant I want to eat at, but ask me about some bigger decisions and I usually have an idea as to what I want. )
  • Determined and Passionate ( oh that’s why I’m was always up until like 3 am working inn high school and college!)
  • Altruistic



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  • Sensitive
    • This one really stuck out to me when reading the description. It said that I am highly vulnerable to criticism and conflict. When I thought about this past week and some other occasions in the past I realized how true this was for me.
  • Extremely Private
  • Perfectionistic (THIS IS ME!!!)
  • Always need to have a cause
  • Can burn out easily

The profile continues onto to describe this personality type behaviors within romantic relationships, friendships, parenthood, work habits, and career paths. It then provides a conclusion about the personality type and opportunities to learn even more. (Of course which requires you to pay money…so I just stuck with the free version!)

So you are all probably thinking, “Rachel, why did you write an entire blog on your personality?!?! This was kind of boring and useless. Come on!” Well here’s my point. As I was thinking about how I was going to title this blog, I got a little worried because I didn’t think I was going to be able to make it Disney related (shocker! I know!). But then I remembered my absolute favorite scene from Moana.

In this scene Moana is facing Te Ka who is extremely enraged and has already damaged Maui’s magical fishhook. Te ka starts charging towards Moana full of anger, rage, and ready to destroy. Moana instead of cowering away and showing fear, stands tall and walks calmly towards Te Ka, closing the gap between them even faster.

As she is walking, Moana sings the following words:

I have crossed the horizon to find you
I know your name
They have stolen the heart from inside you
But this does not define you
This is not who you are
You know who you are

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I don’t want to give too many spoilers about the movie for those who still haven’t seen it, so go watch it! The first time I watched this movie at my friends place, I secretly cried to myself. I hid my face with the blanket and tried to make my wiping of tears a “I’m just itching my face” gesture. I was embarrassed and didn’t want my friend knowing that I was crying. This scene and the song really speaks to me and where I’m at in my life right now.

Leading up to my internship, my entire world was turned upside down. I was dealing with a lot of things and lost who I truly was in my heart. To be completely honest, not everything has resolved and it’s been a very long and hard journey trying to find myself again, but I’m getting there slowly. Something that has helped has been learning who I truly am as a person. In the past I had let so many people control me that I didn’t know what I truly wanted, I just thought this is how I’m supposed to be.

Through my internship and the help and guidance of my internship directors, I’ve been slowly finding my true self again. Taking this personality test really did give me a good insight about somethings that I didn’t know about myself. I think it’s really important for each one of us to truly know as much as we can about ourselves so that we can be the best version of ourselves. Now I’m not saying that the personality type you get and the descriptions are the law and that’s what you have to stick with, but it’s a good guidance that needs to be taken with a grain of salt.

My journey to finding myself again has been long and extremely hard and I know I still have a long way to go, but I also know that it is going to be completely worth it in the end. One of my favorite people in this entire world is St. Mother Teresa, who — get this — is also known as “The Advocate” personality. My favorite quote from her is: “Do small things with great love”. I try and follow this everyday and I have wonderful reminders of it. I’ve got to wall hangings and a notebook that were gifted by friends.

If you would like to find out your personality type and learn more about yourself I’ve included the website at the end of this blog. So friends, there you have it, that’s week 9 for you in somewhat of a nutshell. (Lies…this was more like a mini book! Sorry!)

I hope you all have a wonderful week and please remember: always do what you love and don’t be afraid to learn and understand things about yourself. What matters is what you do with that information, if you use it the right way, not only will you benefit from it but so will everyone that encounters you!

Have a wonderful week!



{Interns Corner} Week 8: “Just Keep Swimming”

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Hello Friends!

Welcome to the end of week number eight of my internship! How crazy is that?!?!? I’m in week number eight!?!? It feels like just yesterday I was starting my education for my degree and now I’m like less than eight months away from being able to place those four beautiful letters after my name: MT-BC!

Therapeutically, this week has been another good week! I finally feel like I’m being an effective therapist to the clients and patients I meet and I feel comfortable with everything that I’m doing.

Yes, there are definitely moments where self-doubt comes rolling back in, where  I question my techniques and skills, but I remind myself that these moments need to happen. I have internship directors to guide me through those moments and help turn them into learning moments to help me become an effective therapist. But all in all, I finally feel like I’m finding my groove as a music therapist.

This week has been one of the hardest weeks personally. Last Thursday after finishing up a great week of sessions, I decided to surprise a good friend up in Peoria by attending the musical she was cast in. The show was wonderful and I was super excited to see friends that I hadn’t seen in a while. When I got back into my car I quickly checked on the updates/notifications on my phone.

I opened up Facebook and the first thing I see is this beautiful picture of a really good friend and a caption that read that she had passed away during a tragic car accident earlier that night. I didn’t know how to feel in the moment. In all honesty, my mind thought it was a really cruel joke that someone thought would be funny. In my mind it still feels like it was this cruel joke that someone was playing and that this friend hasn’t really passed away.

As I drove back to Bloomington that night, I passed by this gaping hole in some guard rails on the highway and I prayed hoping that I didn’t just pass the location where Rachel, my friend, had gotten into her accident. The next morning as I was reading the new reports I realized that I had.  This cruel joke was no longer a joke and had become a cruel reality.

So I’ve decided to dedicate this week’s post to Rachel Dean because she has been on my mind and in my heart this entire week. I wish everyone in this world had a chance to meet Rachel. I don’t think that you would be able to find anyone as happy, encouraging, beautiful, and loving as Rachel. She truly was a kindred spirit. Anyone that encountered her was always happier and always felt more loved because of her presence.

Despite her own struggles, Rachel strived to help everyone she ever met achieve their goals and be the best possible person that they could be. When you were around Rachel, you only wanted to be happy. No matter what burdens you carried or what troubled your mind, when Rachel was present those thoughts and feelings were all put to rest for a little while.

I was lucky to meet Rachel at a young age through swimming. We swam on the same team for almost eight years and then later swam against each other on rivaling high school teams. I always say that if you really want to truly get to know someone, be on a swim team together. No better way than to bond while spending countless hours in a pool shedding tears over aching muscles, hard sets, and super early morning practices.

One of my favorite stories regarding Rachel actually involves her sister Hannah. When I joined the team, one of the first things our parents realized was how similar Hannah and I looked to each other. When you put us in similar looking swim suits and caps, you literally can’t tell us apart.

We then realized that there were countless times where our parents were cheering for the wrong kid at swim meets where we were on opposing teams. After hearing that story, Hannah, Rachel, and I would go around telling people that we were long lost cousins, reunited through swimming. It was probably one of my favorites things that we did.

If I had to talk about all the memories I shared with Rachel, this blog post would never end. I think on of my favorite memories of her happened about two years ago. It had been a few years since I’d seen Rachel face to face. We had both graduated high school, she’d gone off to swim for Lincoln College and I was at Illinois State working on my Music Therapy degree, but we still kept tabs on each other through social media.

One day I was walking across the overpass and from a distance I see this crazy dark haired girl running at me. I thought to myself, “Oh dear! What’s going on?! Why is this person running at me!? Please don’t knock me over!” As this girl got closer, I realized it was Rachel and all of a sudden I was bombarded by this huge hug from her. Just take a moment and imagine me with my 20,000 lb backpack being embraced and swayed from side to side by this 5’5″ human who is screaming my name and grinning from ear to ear.

I loved Rachel. Everyone that met Rachel loved her. She was a ray of sunshine that everyone just needed in their lives, even if they didn’t know it. She dedicated her time to always helping people and doing the best for them because she wanted to. She never expected anything in return, her only request was that you always did your best. And if you didn’t she was always right there to kick you in the butt as a reminder.

Losing Rachel has been one of the hardest things to try and cope with this past week. It made me realize how important the grieving process is and how you need to give yourself time to actually go through it. On Tuesday I had told my directors that I just needed enough time to be able to go back to Bloomington attend the service and part of the visitation on Wednesday afternoon but that I would do my internship stuff in the morning and once I returned. I wanted to be strong and put together and still accomplish my work and be able to handle saying goodbye to Rachel.

I woke up Wednesday morning a complete mess. I realized that as much as I wanted to be there for my clients and patients that day, I was in no state to do so. Actually trying to do so while being in such an un-centered state would probably cause more harm than good to my clients. So this is a reminder that self-care is extremely important, especially during hard times. There is nothing wrong in giving yourself a little time to heal.

So why did I choose Dory for this week? Well because that was Rachel. She was this enthusiastic, optimistic, loving being that saw the good in literally EVERYTHING. She did her best to make sure that you would see the good as well. This world lost a beautiful spirit. So rest in peace my beautiful friend, teammate, and classmate. I know you will be our forever cheerleader, encouraging us all to do our best, especially on the hard days.

{Intern’s Corner} Week 7: “I’ve Got Gadgets and Gizmos A Plenty”

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Hello friends!

I apologize for the lateness of week seven’s post. The past week and a half has been pretty crazy with internship, gigs, family stuff, personal stuff, and basically just life. But friends, even though life was crazy this past week, things were good! I ACTUALLY FELT LIKE AN EFFECTIVE THERAPIST!!!

Granted there were definitely moments where things didn’t work or where some of my techniques or skills could have used some tweaking, but hey, that’s what internship is for! Therapeutically, this week was a really good one. I felt strong, I felt good, I had fun, and I loved every second of it!

With the various events of this past week, I was pretty much living out of my car. I can count on one hand the number of hours I actually spent in my own apartment. That’s kind of sad and scary all at the same time! I was driving back and forth to Bloomington, prepping for a wedding gig, working on internship stuff, and dealing with two work schedules. Life was crazy!

At one point I looked into my rearview mirror and realized that I was hauling just a
ton of stuff with me. I had a full keyboard, two music stands, two guitars, my box of music that I use for cocktail hours, my backpack, a laundry basket of clothes, three overnight bags, research books, desk bells, boomwhackers, and who knows what else was stuffed into my car this past week.

I felt like a mix of Ariel and Mary Poppins. Ariel because my car was like her tavern of wonderful and amazing things, and Mary Poppins because I felt like I had just about everything and more in my tiny little car. I felt like if someone were to come up to me and be like “Hey! Do you happen to have a steak knife with you?”, I’d magically find it in my car like how Mary Poppins would pull a coat rack out of her bag.

So for this week I thought I would rewrite a classic Disney that describes all my emotions about MTC and the profession!

Well, friends! That was week seven! It’s crazy how fast time flies!!!! I will see you again later this week for more updates on week eight!

Hope you all have a wonderful week!!


{Intern’s Corner} Week 6: “The Bare Necessities Of A Music Therapy Intern”

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Welcome Back, Readers!

I’m so glad that you could join me during week 6 of my internship! Last week I talked about how I had hit a super low point. Mentally I was just not in a good place. There was a lot of self-doubt and self-criticism.

Clinically and musically, I felt like I was sub-par. As I started my day at the hospital on Monday, I felt like it was going to be another bad week. We walked into the first patient’s room and my internship director told me to take the lead. I just froze and everything that was in my brain, all my knowledge and skills, just disappeared. It was honestly a disappointing and scary start to my day and week.

However, as the day progressed, things didn’t get worse but rather they got better!  The last patient of the day was kind of an initial turning point for the rest of my week. My internship director did start the session, but then stepped aside and I continued the rest of the session. It went well! Yes, there were things that needed some work and refinement, but compared to how the earlier sessions went, it was much better.

Tuesday rolled around and it was supervision meeting time. This was the first time in six weeks where I didn’t feel nervous, worked up, or worried for my supervision meeting. I felt good about my rep check songs and assignments that were going to be discussed. During this time we talked about how Monday went and the drastic difference in the first patient session compared to the last session. We also discussed using a new method to help change some of my thinking and mentality.

My whole life I’ve had a bad habit of being super self-critical and focusing on the bad things that have happened rather than the good stuff that happened during a situation. So my directors suggested that during my daily journal time I make a list of the things (personal and clinical situations) that I’m proud about that happened during the day.

Then I was to make another list “super short” of things that I would like to improve. By phrasing it this way, it was a healthier and more constructive way to focus on the stuff that I thought was “bad”. This method really did help me throughout the week. I felt myself feel better and it was a good way for my own brain to process everything that had happened throughout the day.


Thursday was a true turning point for me. I felt strong and good about everything that had happened in my day. I don’t know what changed or clicked in my mind, but I woke up feeling different. Honestly I had been dealing with some personal stuff the night before that just had me exhausted and so I decided to just shut my brain down. I just wanted a break from having to over think about EVERYTHING. Apparently this method worked and I was on fire!

I started my day at the children’s hospital. I got the patient list together all by myself! I worked with a variety of patients throughout the day and in each session, patients were accomplishing goals and responding really well. I EVEN GOT TO CO-TREAT WITH PHYSICAL THERAPY!!!! I used music to help a kiddo accomplish and progress during their physical therapy session! How awesome is that?!?!!?!?!?

After the hospital, I was back at the office to work with an individual client. I was under the impression that I was only going to lead a small portion of the session, but as usual just as we are walking into the session my director was like “Alright your leading the session! Go! Have fun! Fly little birdie!” (You would think by week six I would have picked up on this….)

Honestly I was horrified for a moment, but then I continued with the session. It went really well! The client was responding and interacting with me, communicating with me, and accomplishing a lot of his goals. After the session, my director and I debriefed about the session and then my wheels were turning with a whole bunch of ideas. I was on a super high from the awesomeness of my day.

By the end of that evening, I was sprawled across the office floor with boom whackers, sheet music, and mallet in hand trying to figure out some interventions for a client. I was literally a child who had eaten way to much sugar and was bouncing of the walls. I realized that my fire had reignited and I finally felt that love, happiness, and passion for what I do. IT FELT GOOD! I’m going to literally latch onto that feeling and not let it go!

So why did I use a Jungle Book song as the title of this week’s blog? Well as I was driving and listening to my Disney playlist (of course I was jamming out to Disney while driving…shouldn’t be so surprising!), “The Bare Necessities” came on and it got me thinking about my week. I realized that I had gotten out of my headspace and solely trusted my instincts and skills to get me through sessions. So to end today’s blog, here is the list of the “Bare Necessities” needed to be a good music therapy intern.

Trust your knowledge bank:

Dude! You spent like four years full of countless all-nighters reading research, practicing repertoire, writing up session plans, treatment plans, progress notes, embracing all the weird stares from students because you looked like a traveling band carrying around a guitar and a bag full of drums shakers, and various other instruments. You got this! Everything you need is in your brain and you continue to grow that knowledge bank as you continue to repeat all the steps mentioned above!

Trust your music skills:

YOU SURVIVED FOUR YEARS OF COLLEGE AS A MUSIC MAJOR! YOU WOULDN’T HAVE GRADUATED IF YOUR MUSIC SKILLS DIDN’T EXIST. As a music major you have spent more time in an 8X8 practice room (mainly crying, but we don’t have to admit that) practicing, refining, and honing in on your aural, sight-reading, and various other musical skills. You are a good musician! Don’t you dare think otherwise!

Trust your instincts:

You’ve been training and working intensely for four years. A lot of your clinical responses have become second nature, so trust them. Don’t overthink and just go with your gut.

Take part in self care! Constantly:

You are working in a profession where you are taking care of other people the majority of the time. Make sure to take good care of yourself so you have the energy and resources to provide the best care for your clients and patients.

Have an organizational system that works for you:

Just be organized. Even if that means you are chaotically organized. Find a system that works with you and go with it!

Give yourself some space to fail:

Yes I know what you are thinking… What? Failure? No I can’t do that. But honestly it’s okay to make mistakes. That’s the only way we are going to learn and improve. Let them happen and instead of dwelling on them and tearing yourself down, let yourself process it and then come up with ways to get better. In the words of Hannah Montana: “Nobody’s Perfect, I gotta work it! Again and again ’til I get it right! Nobody’s Perfect! You live and you learn it!” (Sorry, got carried away singing! I’m done! Back to the list!)

Have fun and love what you do:

How many people get to say that they get to have jam sessions, write music, use obscure instruments, and honestly just have fun everyday of their life? We are in such an amazing profession — love it; absorb it; take it all in! When you love and enjoy what you are doing, everything else will fall into place, and your clients will benefit even more from the services you provide them.

So there you have it, readers! Week 6 started a little rocky, progressively got better, and ended on such a high note. This week served has a beautiful and wonderful reminder that reignited my love and passion for music therapy.

I hope you all have a wonderful weekend! See you next week!