The word of the week could not have been any better suited to write about. Why?, because I have been anticipating this time for seven years and now the time has come. Seven years ago I went back to college to earn a degree in music, and music therapy, and now in a week that goal will be fulfilled.
My life is still full of anticipation, taking the certification exam, beginning to build a client base, and being part of the music therapy community. I thank all the friendly peers, students, mentors and professors who made this journey enjoyable and included me as part of their families.
And now with great anticipation of the future, I bid you all a heart felt thank you!
Collaborate – To work jointly on an activity, to produce or create something
As a musician, all I seem to do is collaborate. I have constantly been collaborating with other musicians and artists ever since I picked up the tuba. I’ve collaborated with single musicians by playing duets, or being accompanied by a pianist, and I’ve also collaborated with upwards of 400 different musicians, dancers and other artists on the field in a football stadium. A career as a musician has seldom led me to working alone. The same thing can be said about my experience so far as a music therapy intern. I’m constantly collaborating.
Since I started this internship, collaboration has sort of taken on a new meaning. Not only is it collaboration with other musicians, but with other therapists as well. Working with clients is often very much a collaborative effort between other music therapists, schools, speech therapists, occupational therapists, and ABA therapists. We are always in constant contact with many of these other professionals to share what sort of goal areas we are working on with different clients, and our ideas of how to best work with the clients. This collaborative effort helps us to be sure that we are all helping the clients progress in the areas that they need most.
Renewal is a great self description of my journey through life. Over the years every fork in the road has led to a path of renewal. Renewal in my life, thoughts, and actions.
Now coming to the end of my internship I will be renewing myself again as a music therapist. I have not completed my work I am just starting in another direction when I come to that fork in the road. Thanks to the great people here at The Music Therapy Center of California, they are helping me to fulfill a life long dream of playing music every day and help people at the same time. It doesn’t get any better then that.
I have seen the renewal of hope in clients and there caregivers brought on by the therapist great work here and that keeps myself striving to be the best therapist I can be.
If you are in doubt of yourself, not sure of yourself, then renew yourself!
Visual – a picture, piece of film, or display used to illustrate or accompany something
Visual is a word to which I can relate very strongly. I have always considered myself to be right-brained and a very visual thinker and learner. For me, things would always just click a little more when I was able to somehow see or visualize what I was trying to learn. For example, I would always try to think of piano keys when learning chords and scales in my college music theory class. Being able to relate these concepts to a set visual pattern, such as the layout of a keyboard, made it much easier for me to learn and understand the concepts. It wasn’t until I got to college, however, when I realized that there are many other people who think in a very similar way. In fact, 65% of people are considered to be visual learners. I’m also slowly starting to discover how important visual learning is to some people (To see just how important it is to some people, Temple Grandin sums it up perfectly in her book, Thinking in Pictures: http://www.grandin.com/inc/visual.thinking.html).
In my work as a music therapist, I’m starting to learn more and more just how much visuals can affect a person’s learning and understanding. When working with clients, using visuals when giving directions, teaching a lesson, or even having a conversation can make a world of difference to that client’s understanding. Much like myself, it just seems to make the message or concept click for them, and we as music therapists are very often able to use that to make therapy easier and more effective for the clients. A set of visual aids should be a standard tool in every music therapist’s arsenal, since it can make the world of different when working with people with special needs.