Reflections from a Music Therapy Intern

Karen Herzel, a graduate student at Illinois State University, joined me back in August as The Hope Institute’s first-ever music therapy intern.  I asked her to share some reflections as we approach the six-month mark of her internship (she’ll be with me through May), and she graciously agreed.  Here they are, in her own words:

As the second half of my internship evolves, it is a good feeling to reflect on the journey to this point. I can say, without a doubt, that the greatest part of the internship on a personal level has been the positive change in my belief in myself as a competent music therapist.

I am consistently challenged to discern the needs of our clients, and then consider how best to address those needs within a group music therapy setting. I am continuously learning how to more effectively combine creativity and structure, and rejoice in the small effects for the students as well as the larger ones.

I am blessed to have a supervisor who believes in and encourages individual growth. Her wise and patient choices to allow flexibility within specific parameters, in addition to her honest and timely feedback have been, in my opinion, the keys to a truly worthwhile and educational opportunity for me.

We talk through so many facets of music therapy itself, as well as how to most efficiently apply it to our specific special educational setting. She is also an amazing musician and therapist, and her example has been a strong catalyst in strengthening and broadening my own musicianship and therapy skills.

This has been, and will continue to be, a truly joyful journey. I feel confident that the excellent training and supervision I have received during this internship will allow for me to provide worthwhile services to clients in the future.

Thank you, Rachel, so very much, for so graciously putting wind under my music therapy wings.

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