In addition to growing our team and moving into a new facility this fall, we also started a university-affiliated internship program. Katey and I made the decision to do so last winter; we spent months interviewing, filling out paperwork, and getting all of our ducks in a row to welcome our very first intern.
Alisabeth Hopper joined us in late August, and is now in week 8 of her internship. Although I have been an internship director in the past, this is our first time having an intern in the private practice setting.
It has been a learning experience for all of us, and we still have a way to go! Alisabeth has been blogging about her life as a music therapy intern, which I think will serve as a helpful resource for students and new interns who want a glimpse into the internship experience.
Alisabeth will be with us through March, and it will be so neat to compare her reflections at that point with those in the beginning and middle of her experience.
Even though I completed my internship 8 years ago, I can still relate to what Alisabeth is experiencing. It’s such a formative time in our careers as music therapists, and it’s exciting to be a part of her journey.
Read more about Alisabeth and follow along with her adventures in internship here.
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.
I still remember the feeling in my stomach as I headed to St. Louis to begin my internship with Midwest Music Therapy Services. That same mix of nerves and excitement came rushing back today as I embarked on a new adventure: becoming a music therapy internship supervisor.
After months of coordinating, contract writing, and preparation, The Hope Institute is now a university-affiliated internship site for music therapy students at Illinois State University. Getting to this point was a journey in itself, but now is when the fun really begins.
I’ll be writing about my internship experiences (both as intern and supervisor) frequently over the next nine months, and I’d love to hear about yours, too. A few questions to consider:
- What were your greatest challenges?
- What do you wish you had learned more about during your own internship?
- What were the most useful aspects?
- What were your greatest successes or breakthroughs?
It would be interesting to hear the perspective of current interns, long-time professionals, and internship supervisors alike. I’m going to be answering each of these questions individually, but in the meantime, please share your own thoughts in the comments!