You’ve learned a little about me, but I’d like to tell you more. Specifically, how I got here and why I do what I do. Here goes:
I grew up singing. At home, school, church, community theaters, anywhere they’d let me, really. By high school, I knew that I wanted to pursue music as a career, and everyone encouraged me to go after my dream. So I applied to several college music programs, and ultimately chose to attend Rollins College, a small liberal arts college in Winter Park, Florida.
My experience at Rollins was amazing. There I was exposed to top-notch musicians, and I received voice training from a world-renowed opera singer. As fabulous as this experience was, it taught me that I really did not want to be an opera singer. I loved singing in my women’s trio; showtunes and pop were really more my speed. But nonetheless, I continued my studies while rethinking my future.
I knew music had to be a part of the equation; I just didn’t quite know how it fit into the puzzle. Then I was assigned to research and write a paper about a topic of my choice related to music. While doing a little googling and exploring, I stumbled upon music therapy. I had heard of it in passing, but didn’t really know much about it. The more I researched, the more I fell in love with the idea of it.
The professor of that class, who also happened to be the chair of the music department, was impressed with my paper and my interest in music therapy. He put me in touch with a local music therapist, who I job-shadowed for the remainder of the semester. I was so excited with the possibility of studying music therapy that I finished my degree a year and a half early, so that I could move on to graduate school.
I spent two years at Illinois State University, where I was a student in the music therapy graduate program. I completed clinical practicums in the field, wrote a thesis, and then spent a year in St. Louis interning with a private practice. Not once did I question my decision to pursue music therapy. I knew it was what I’m meant to do.
After completing my internship in St. Louis, I was ready for the real world. Luckily, there was a job waiting for me as a full-time music therapist at the Hope Institute, a school for children with multiple disabilities in Springfield, Illinois. My work at Hope allows me to work with students in both group and one-on-one setttings, and here I put my creativity to work in coming up with songs and activities.
So that brings us to the here and now. I’m always working on new songs and looking for topics to write about. My students are my biggest source of inspiration, but suggestions and requests are always welcome. I hope you are able to take something away from my blog, and that it keeps you coming back for more.