Intern’s Corner-Week 28

Well, this is my last blog post of my internship.The last six and a half months have flown by and I’m so happy that I got to spend my internship here at Music Therapy Connections. It’s been a fun journey of learning, growing, and meeting new people that have changed my life in so many positive ways. As I look back at who I was in August of last year, I realize that I’m a completely different person now. Even though it was hard at times and there good and bad moments, I wouldn’t change a thing about my internship experience. I’m so incredibly thankful for Rachel and Katey as well as the other team members here at Music Therapy Connections for welcoming me, challenging me, and loving me, especially when I didn’t know anyone else here in Springfield. My internship is an experience that I will surely remember for the rest of my life.

After this next week, I will be off to a new place to start another journey at my first job as a music therapist. I haven’t exactly absorbed or accepted the fact that I’m moving next Friday and finally starting my life after college, but know that all will be alright in the end. I don’t know where life will take me after next week, but I do know that it will be wonderful as long as I keep a positive mindset. It may be hard at times, but with a positive mindset, I will be able to conquer anything. I also have no doubt that I have the tools necessary to be an effective entry-level music therapist.

Finally, thank you for letting me share my thoughts and opinions with you each week. Blogging has been a great way for me to stay reflective and challenge myself to change my mindset whenever I needed it. I may be a sentimental person, but if you are just starting out your internship or will be in the next few months, I want you to remember to soak in every moment of your internship because it goes by fast.

Have a wonderful week!

Sammy Springer

Intern’s Corner-Week 26


Throughout the course of my internship, I’ve written several original and piggy-back songs and recorded them; I’ve learned a lot from the process and now believe that I have the tools and knowledge necessary to write songs specific to my client’s goals and objectives. This week, I’ve been working on one of my final projects for the end of my internship. I’ve decided to take all of my songs that I have written and recorded, put them into a book and analyze them to see how I can adapt them for different client populations and goals. This has had me reflect on three songs I use on frequently and how I adapt them daily for different client needs.

Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star 

I use this song a lot in the hospital setting, especially with younger children. Just this week, I improvised piggyback lyrics for a patient who wanted to sing about seahorses and starfish. I kept the melody of this song, just added different lyrics, encouraging the patient to engage in songwriting with me in order to allow them to express themselves in a positive constructive way. Since this is such a familiar melody to so many young children, you can rewrite the lyrics for any purpose or goal!

Twist and Shout-The Beatles

I’ve used this song throughout practicum as well as my internship for a variety of purposes. One can change the lyrics to this song to promote movement, encourage the learning of directional changes and opposites, make smooth transitions, and even promote speech. The melody is catchy enough to use with younger children and most older adults know this song as well!

Shake Your Sillies Out-Children Song

This song is a favorite of mine, however, I never sing it the way that it was originally written. I usually adapt this song in the hospital setting for when a patient is playing the drum or a shaker. I change the words based on their actions in the moment; for example, if they’re tapping the drum, I sing about tapping and replace the lyrics accordingly. If they’re playing a maraca or using an egg shaker, I sing about opposites and directional changes (up, down, etc.). Like the previous two songs, it’s such a great song because it’s easy to sing along with and great to adapt!

What are some of your favorite songs to adapt? I’m always looking for new songs and would love to hear from you!!

Have a great week!

Sammy Springer

Intern’s Corner-Week 25

Never say never. I have the bad habit of saying “I’m never going to (insert comment here) because I just don’t like it.” I use this phrase frequently, almost daily, about various aspects of my life. I’ve proved myself wrong over and over again because I’m currently doing things that I said I would “never” do in life. For example, I said I would never teach lessons. At my internship, I teach music lessons for piano and over the past six months, I am realizing that I LOVE it; now I’m considering teaching piano and flute lessons after my internship because it’s something that I enjoy doing and I love working with students.

I’ve heard myself say “in the future, I never want to do this” so many times in the past few months so I wonder why do I say it in the first place? It might be because something seems uncomfortable at first, but after practice and experience everything does get easier and more comfortable. Part of growing as a person is realizing that your tastes, likes, and dislikes change over time. Looking five years into the future, after learning and practicing, I might enjoy an activity that I absolutely dislike right now. The truth is that by saying “never” to something, it limits my outlook and prevents me from expanding, learning, and growing. The brain is a powerful thing and it hears me saying to myself that I will never do something, which causes me have a general negative attitude towards that situation. However, I’m very fortunate that I’m surrounded by people who push me despite hearing me say that “I never want to do” something.

Keep an open mind when trying new things. Always. Also, stop saying never! I’m striving to take that word completely out of my vocabulary. It’s a toxic word that prevents growth and limits a person from finding their true potential. That’s the lesson that I’ve learned this week and probably one that I will keep learning throughout my life. Just because something is hard right now, doesn’t mean that it won’t get easier over time; I might find myself to actually enjoy it!

Thanks for reading!

Sammy Springer

Intern’s Corner-Week 24

Last week I wrote about three reminders that I would tell myself in the past in order to help overcome challenges. This week I would like to reflect and share with you three things I would like to keep in mind as I continue practicing as a board-certified music therapist after internship. If you are in this stage of life as well, finishing up internship and deciding what is to come next, I challenge you to think about what you could possibly remind yourself in the future, especially when times get tough or seem difficult.

1. Keep an open mind.

When I continue on through my career, I need to remind myself to continue keeping an open mind about any situation I may encounter. This has been my theme of the past week; just because I may not fully enjoy something right at this moment, it doesn’t mean that, in the future, I won’t enjoy it or have developed the skills to be effective in a particular situation. This can apply to all aspects of life including clinical situations, certain foods, and other activities.

2. Trust yourself.

As Katey always says to me, “You’re the expert! What is there to worry about?” So as I enter into my career, I need to believe and trust in myself more than ever. Even when I feel that I don’t know what I’m doing, I do know because I’ve received excellent training and guidance in the past. You CAN do it because you ARE the expert!

3. Take care of yourself!

This is probably the biggest reminder that I need to tell myself everyday after my internship. I’ve been experiencing multiple problems that have stemmed from muscle weakness. I haven’ t been taking care of myself the way I should and it has effected my guitar playing and overall personal health. When I start my new job, I need to be proactive about strengthening my muscles so that it medical problems don’t get in the way of my clinical skills.


Sammy Springer


Intern’s Corner-Week 23

3 Things I Would Tell My Younger Self

As I come to the end of my internship (I still have a few more weeks…but I’m almost done!), I’ve reflected on how much I’ve grown these past few months as an individual. I wish I could go back in time to five years ago or even six months ago and give myself some advice about life, school, and internship.

Give your opinion…it’s important. I just figured this out this week, but I wish I had learned to give my opinion years ago. Everyone’s opinion matters and it’s especially important to share your opinion, if it’s respectful and kind, with someone else if you have something valuable to say. It’s emotionally draining to keep your feelings and opinions to yourself. While sharing your own opinions is important, it’s just as essential to listen to other’s opinions as well. Sharing your own opinions with other people and having an open conversation can lead to further growth and learning.

Don’t worry so much! You’re going to be just fine. I’m still learning about this, but the amount of time I spend worrying has decreased significantly over the course of my internship. Sessions, documentation, handling stress-it all gets easier with practice, which happens over time. Therefore, I would tell myself, don’t worry!!! It’s not worth it and it will all get easier with time!

Work hard, but find time to relax. Working hard is important and worthwhile, but I also think that’s important to find time to relax. Six months ago, I didn’t even know the definition of self-care. Before starting my internship, I was working four jobs and going to school full time. It was worthwhile, but I wish I had spent a little more quality time with my friends before leaving school and given myself time to relax. However, I’m glad that I learned this lesson now; I’m working on balance in my life, working hard but still making time for self-care.

What are some things that you would tell your younger self?

Have a great weekend!

Sammy Springer

Intern’s Corner-Week 22


Happy New Year!

2016 went by so fast, but I’m looking forward to 2017 because it will be filled with new experiences, love, laughter, and new friends. I only have a few more weeks left of my internship (seven to be specific) and knowing this has allowed me to reflect on how I want to spend the rest of the year. These reflections have helped me develop some New Year resolutions that I believe are achievable and important in my growth as an individual.

Lots of new experiences are headed my way in 2017. I will finally graduate college, become certified, start a new job, and move to a new state. Since I’m not always comfortable with change and will do anything to avoid it, but one of my resolutions will be to embrace new experiences and do something challenging every day. It’s a pretty broad resolution; I will challenge myself to continue seeking out good and appropriate challenges that make me uncomfortable each day; my internship has allowed me to do this, but I want to continue doing things that make me slightly uncomfortable. Growth is uncomfortable, but it makes me a better person, therapist, and friend.

Additionally, there are too many days where I wake up with a negative attitude and outlook towards life. One of my New Year resolutions will be to think more positively. We all know that thinking positive thoughts can help change attitude and mood, but it doesn’t always come easily. That being said, I will be spending more time reflecting and writing down at least five positive aspects about each day to help encourage me to focus on the positives rather than the negatives. Each day is a gift, even if it’s been terrible, and I want to fully appreciate each moment.

I believe that these two resolutions are pretty big, but they are definitely achievable. I plan on making new resolutions throughout the year once I practice these first two!

Thanks for reading my resolutions! I would love to hear about yours!!

Sammy Springer