Once upon a time, I was a graduate student at Illinois State University studying to become a music therapist. And even though it’s been almost 8 years since I sat at a desk in a classroom, I still remember the feeling of wanting to soak up every last bit of information from the music therapists who taught and presented during my time there.
This past weekend marks my second time presenting at my alma mater’s annual Night of Music Therapy event, and both times, I’ve experience a little déjà vu from the students’ perspective. They are just like I once was — eager to learn, ask questions, and come away with knowledge that they can use going forward on their paths to becoming music therapists.
At this year’s event, I presented to both the students and the community at large. During the student session, I talked about my own journey from student to professional music therapist, and gave advice for how they can start preparing now and during internship for their careers.
The community session focused on the growth of music therapy in Springfield starting before I came to work here to the present. I also included a lot of background information about music therapy for those who weren’t as familiar with it, and how the community has played an integral role in supporting the growth of this field.
I always enjoy spending time with students, especially the students at Illinois State University. They took me to dinner in between the two presentations, so I had a chance to get to know them better and learn more about their professional goals.
Such a great bunch of future music therapists (and of course, their fearless leader, Dr. Cindy Ropp). Thank you to Crescendo, the student music therapy association at ISU, for inviting me to present!
It’s hard to believe that it’s been almost six years since I finished my graduate coursework in music therapy at Illinois State University. But lucky me, because I get to go back this weekend and hang out with music therapy students at their student organization’s Night of Music Therapy.
It really does seem like just yesterday that I was taking my first music therapy class and realizing I had found the perfect profession. Two years of classes and practicum experience later, I went off to St. Louis to begin my internship; nine months after that, I was suddenly in the “real world”.
That is one of the topics I’ll be covering in my presentation — making that scary transition from student/intern to professional. Finding a job, starting a private practice, making your mark on the field, and of course, a little songwriting and recording thrown in for good measure.
Because even though six years have passed since I was in those students’ shoes, I still remember exactly how it feels. I had so many questions about working as a “real world” music therapist, and that list of questions only grew as I got closer and closer to becoming one. Hopefully I can answer some of theirs tomorrow.
And the music therapy fun doesn’t stop there, because on Sunday I’m headed to Chicago for a collaborative workshop at the Old Town School of Folk Music. This is officially the last event I’ll organize as the outgoing secretary/programming chair for the Illinois Association for Music Therapy, and hopefully it will be as wonderful as last year’s workshop.
I hope you have a fun and exciting weekend in store, too. Bonus points if it involves music in any way :) Happy Friday!
Early last spring, I was invited to present at Illinois’ statewide Sharing a Vision early childhood conference. I’ve been looking forward to it ever since, and today is the day! My presentation, Music Therapy Techniques for School, Home & Play, is set to begin in just a couple of hours.
I’ve given similar presentations at quite a few conferences in the last couple of years, yet I never grow tired of sharing my passion with others — especially people who work with children like I do.
The opportunity to educate an entire room full of people about music therapy is priceless, and the fact that I get to make music with them (yes, I am bringing my guitar and a boatload of songs!) is just icing on the cake.