Intern’s Corner – Week 16

My Personality Traits and How They Impact My Role as a Future Music Therapist

Hi everyone! I hope you are having a wonderful week and had a great Labor Day Weekend! 

This week on the blog I’m talking about my results from the Enneagram Personality Test. I’ve seen this test all over social media and discussed amongst my friends, so a few weeks ago I decided to take the test.

For those of you who do not know what the Enneagram Test is, it is a personality test that tells you which of 9 personality types you fit into. There are lots of personality tests out there, but this one seems to be the most popular right now. 

I haven’t done a ton of research on this topic, but I wanted to share with you what my results were and how I see these personality traits impacting me as a future music therapist.

So, my Enneagram personality results were 6w5, in other words I am “The Defender.” Some of the traits of this personality type include intelligent, introverted, serious, self-doubting, problem-solving, and rule-following. Here are how I see some of the personality traits of a 6w5 in my work as a future music therapist:

Serious

I know what I need to do and do whatever I need to get it done. I also tend to just say things as they are, and sometimes I’m a little too blunt. However, I see this serious trait being beneficial in my music therapy work as I know when to get down to business.

Self-Doubting

If you have read my previous blogs, you know that this is something I struggle with. This is mostly seen as, perhaps, a negative trait. On the bright-side, this trait can help guide me through my limitations in the music therapy setting and establish what I need to work on.

Problem-Solvers

This trait is so helpful in so many instances, whether it’s helping out a friend, talking with family, or in the music therapy setting. I think that this trait helps spark my creative side of deciding on adaptive materials, visuals, etc in how to best engage, communicate with, and help my clients.

Intelligent

I will be the first person to say that I am not the smartest person out there. I know that I have a lot of knowledge in my brain, but communicating that knowledge is difficult. The knowledge I do have helps me so much when planning as well as thinking on my feet during music therapy sessions.

These are just a few of the personality traits that I see influencing my work in the music therapy setting. I by no means am advocating for this test, but simply find my results incredibly accurate and helpful in understanding myself better. 

Have you taken any personality tests? How do you see your personality traits influencing your practice? Let me know in the comments!

As always, thanks for reading!

Emma Kovachevich

Intern’s Corner – Week 15

The Internship Search

Hello everyone! I hope you’ve all had a marvelous week! Things at MTC are really starting to pick up as the school year gets into full swing. I’m looking forward to all the new opportunities I will be given in the coming weeks!

Around this time last year, I started the search for an internship. I know that many senior music therapy students have started or will be starting this same process very soon! Thus, I wanted to share what I looked for in an internship and some handy little tips I found helpful during the process.

What I Personally Looked for in an Internship

Population

This played a big role in my search. I wasn’t gravitating to or straying away from any one population during practica and my undergrad experience. Though every population and age group is different, I truly enjoyed working with all of the people I had worked with so far. I knew that I wanted an internship that would provide me with experiences in a wide variety of populations. Most of the internships I applied for were private practices or businesses that could provide me with those experiences.

Location

Although I like to adventure out on my own, I definitely knew I wanted to stay somewhere in driving distance from my family and friends. Thus, all of the internships I looked at were in the Midwest.

Supervisors

This is a huge one. As an intern, you will be learning from and working with these people for at least 6 months. I wanted supervisors that I knew cared about me as a student, but also as a person. I also wanted supervisors with whom I knew my personality would mesh. This is one that you will get a better picture of in the interview process. 

Tips and Advice

Start Applying

I waited until the start of my senior year to look for internships, which is very doable. However, it is important to pay attention to application deadlines. As soon as you narrow down which internships you want to apply for, start filling out those applications and reaching out to the internship directors. It will save you from a lot of stress.

Practice

Since this is a music therapy internship, you will most likely have to perform some repertoire during your interview. I think it’s quite obvious that you should practice the rep you plan on using, but I found it helpful to also practice other aspects of the interview. I had my parents and friends ask me potential interview questions and I would practice responding to them. Some universities also have the option to participate in mock interviews in their Career Development Programs.

Interview Them

The interview process isn’t just about them interviewing you, but this is your time to ask questions and get to know your potential supervisors and site. Bring questions to ask and be engaged in conversation. Not only does it give you more important information, but it also makes you look invested, genuine, and professional.

Be Open

Be open to new possibilities. Don’t rule out an internship site because it’s not with your dream population or because you don’t think you would ever get it. Take a leap and be willing to step out of your comfort zone. The world has a funny way of surprising you. 

I’m not going to lie: the internship search can be a bit stressful, but I hope this blog post gave you some insight! It can be a bit daunting, but nothing feels better than securing that internship. I don’t normally cry happy tears, but I definitely did when I was offered the intern position here at MTC. Honestly, have fun searching for your internships and set your standards high! 

If any other interns or professionals would like to add any advice, please leave a comment! Thanks for reading!

Emma Kovachevich

Intern’s Corner – Week 14

Embarrassing Moments and Things I Never Expected to Do in a Music Therapy Setting

Intern's Corner | Music Therapy Connections

Hello again!

It has been a wonderful week at MTC and I hope you have had a great week as well! I’m officially halfway through my internship! These first three months have been full of learning, growth, great moments, and some not so great moments. 

This week’s blog is all about embarrassing things that have happened and things that I never expected I would do during my internship. 

I am the first to admit that I am an awkward person. Not only am I awkward, but I’m clumsy. It was pretty inevitable that I would have some embarrassing moments during the first half of my internship.

Lost Slipper

It seems like whenever other staff are standing outside one of my contract locations, I trip and lose my shoe. I would like to compare myself to Cinderella, but it’s never that graceful.

Falling Guitars

One of the guitars I use in group sessions does not have the best strap on it. I think it is that way on purpose in case I need to take the guitar off quickly. However, it can be a bit of a hassle during sessions. The guitar ends up falling from the strap at least once a session. Thankfully my reflexes are fast enough to catch it, so it has not fallen to the floor (yet). 

Stumbling Over My Words

One of my big goals during the last half of my internship is to get better at talking to other professionals. I tend to get nervous and stumble over my words as I try to process my thoughts and speak at the same time. It’s happened so many times that I cannot name one specific scenario, but it definitely makes me feel embarrassed every time. On the plus side, it’s getting better every day.

Performing my Rep Check for my Supervisor’s Kids

This one was actually a lot of fun. I did my Rep Check and then ended up improvising and creating songs with them. They created a lot of fun lyrics and we did this for about 20 minutes. It was a great experience, but also extremely nerve wracking to have an audience of people observing the music making; 3 of them being my supervisors and 2 of them being the parents of the kids. 

So, some embarrassing and awkward things have happened. It’s a part of life. Thankfully, I am good at laughing at myself and then continuing on with my day. It’s all a part of the fun!

I have also had some experiences that I never pictured myself doing in a music therapy session.

Singing an Italian Aria

I now have a client who really likes opera. I promised her I would bring her an aria the next time I saw her, so I went digging through my old voice lesson repertoire. I ended up singing an Italian aria with her that went up to a high G and I accompanied myself on guitar. I definitely never saw myself doing this music in a music therapy setting. Current students: if you think you will never use the repertoire you are learning in lessons, you may be absolutely wrong.

Improvising

Never ever in a million years did I think I would improvise songs as much as I do. Improvisation used to terrify me (and it is still a little scary). I was the girl in Vocal Jazz Ensemble that avoided scatting at all costs. Now a good portion of the music I use in sessions is improvised; whether it be to give directions, say hello or goodbye, or for relaxation. If you told me 4 months ago that I would be improvising as much as I am today, I definitely would not have believed you. 

These first three months of internship have been absolutely amazing, with some embarrassing moments here and there. It’s a part of learning. I’ve also experienced some things that I never thought I would do in a music therapy setting. It’s been a wild ride, and I’m so looking forward to what the second half of internship brings.

Do you have any embarrassing moments? What about things you’ve had to do or sing in sessions that you never thought you would do? Please share them with me!

As always, thanks for reading!

Emma Kovachevich

Intern’s Corner – Week 13

Confidence

Hello everyone! I hope you’ve had a fabulous week! I’m sure it’s been a busy week for lots of you with the new school year starting.

This week I had my midterm evaluation. It’s amazing to think that I am halfway through my internship! I was so happy to hear from my supervisors that I am where I need to be. As expected, I am excelling at some things and need some improvement in other areas. One big thing we talked about during this meeting was confidence.

This topic may sound similar to my perfectionism blog post at the beginning of my internship, but I wanted to dive a little deeper this week. I can’t say that I’ve ever been a confident person. I am aware of my strengths and weaknesses, but tend to dwell on the things I’m not so great at. I think that this is a normal human thing to do, but it doesn’t necessarily help me in the therapeutic setting. 

During sessions, I’ve been able to develop this “fake it till you make it” attitude. This doesn’t mean I come to sessions unprepared; this attitude just helps me take things as they come during the session. It helps me get out of my own head. My supervisors even tell me I look “cool as a cucumber” during most sessions. It’s the before and after that get me.

Before sessions, I tend to doubt my skills and knowledge. I get worried that I’m not going to be what my client needs. After sessions, I think “I should have done this,” or “I could’ve said this better.” Basically, I get in my head and it’s hard to get out.

I think these things, but in reality the sessions always tend to go pretty well. It’s my lack of confidence before and after sessions that are keeping me from fully succeeding. My supervisors and I talked about how if I gain more confidence, all the other skills that are still developing will fall into place. 

The start of confidence is beginning to focus a little more on your strengths than on your weaknesses. So, this week for my self care I have been taking time throughout the week to write down some of my strengths. I feel a little strange doing this, but I think it will help in the long-run.

I know that I’m not the only one that struggles with confidence in themselves. I would love to hear how you pump yourself up and get into a confident mindset! Please feel free to leave a comment; it may help me and others reading this blog.

Thanks for letting me be real every week and for reading my blog posts. I appreciate it more than you know!

Emma Kovachevich

Intern’s Corner – Week 12

Hello everyone and happy Back to School Month!

We have been busy at MTC getting ready for the new school year. That doesn’t just include preparing session plans and getting materials ready. We even have a fresh look with fresh paint on the walls and new furniture! Lots of exciting stuff!

As the new school year approaches, I thought I would focus on music therapy students for this blog post. 

Being a college student is so exciting, so difficult, and so rewarding. You constantly have new information thrown at you. You have more freedom to do the things you want and take the classes you like. You get so many opportunities with ensembles and clubs. The world is yours (or at least the campus is).

I personally found college to be the best time of my 22 short years. There were some hard times, but also great times. Here’s some things I learned during my 4 years on campus:

Get Involved…

This is your time to explore things that you are interested in. College also gives you so many different opportunities that you may not get anywhere else. Join the clubs, intramurals, or fraternity/sorority. Do what interests you.

…But not too involved.

It’s great to explore and experience new things, but then before you know it you’re in 10 extracurricular activities. It’s important to remember that you’re in college to pursue a degree. It’s also important to remember that once you join something, you don’t have to stay in it all 4 years. So, do the things that will add to your learning and the things that make you the happiest.

Go to class!

This is a biggie. It’s tempting to stay in bed and skip that 8 am class, and, believe me, as a music major you will have a lot of them. Get out of bed and get to class. Not only are you missing out on important information, but you’re also letting money go to waste as you’ve already paid for the class.

Being a music therapy major is difficult…

Let’s be honest, there is a stereotype that music majors don’t have to do any real work, but wow is that wrong. You will have sleepless nights. You may have more classes in a day than you did in high school. It’s a lot of work and takes determination.

…But it is so worth it.

Seeing the progress your clients are making during your practicum session after a long week of school work, and knowing that one day you’ll get to do this all day every day, makes it all worth it. 

If you’re nervous about the coming school year, it’s okay to be nervous. Know that you chose this major for a reason, and you are taking the steps to being a great music therapist every day. 

Here’s my #1 tip: Take everything in and enjoy every moment.

Happy Back to School Month!

Emma Kovachevich

Intern’s Corner – Week 11

“Short-Term” Self-Care

Hello again!

I hope you all have had another great week! It’s been an eventful one for me! This week has been the end of summer session groups with Listen & Learn classes and some of our contracts. Lots of stuff has happened! 

I’ve most recently discovered the importance of “short-term” self-care. As therapists, we talk about self-care a lot. In fact, I’ve already done a blog post about what I do for self-care. When I think of self-care, I always think of it occurring at night or the weekend when the work day is over. What about during the few minutes you have in between sessions? I’ve recently discovered how important these few minutes are. 

These are the moments you have to center yourself, to prepare for the next session, recover from a previous session, or even simply to have a quick meal or snack. I’ve noticed that my mindset during the few minutes in between sessions carries over to my next session.

I didn’t realize how important these moments are until this week. I have five sessions back to back one day at the beginning of the week. During one of these sessions, something unexpected happened and I had five minutes before my next session to let my emotions out and recover. This may have been the fastest cry I’ve ever had, but I had a job to do and I knew I had a short amount of time before the next clients needed me. 

These five minutes of letting my emotions out in our office with my supervisor helped me recover from a hard session and prepare myself to best serve the clients I was seeing next. I let myself cry for a few minutes, talked to my supervisor, and then wiped my eyes and led the next session. This “short-term” self-care is a rather extreme example, but it is what I needed in that moment.

Here are some other examples of “short-term” self-care that I do or have heard that other music therapists do:

  • Sit in silence
  • Meditate
  • Listen to a song of your choosing
  • Read inspirational quotes
  • Reflect
  • Write down one thing that went well in the previous session
  • Do nothing/Sit back and relax

We talk about self-care a lot. In college, I didn’t really take it seriously. It’s amazing how quickly I am learning in the “real world” just how important it is. Self-care should be taken seriously.

I would love to hear from you! What do you do to take care of yourself during those few minutes in between sessions? 

Thank you for reading! Have an amazing week and happy August!

Emma Kovachevich