Music therapy is a young and growing field. Most people music therapists simply play music to help clients feel better. It is so much more than that. A typical day in my internship goes from reviewing cases with the rest of the clinical team, writing treatment plans, running groups to increase socialization, visiting patients in the ICU to decrease isolation, and even co-treating with physical therapists to increase gross motor movement. Music therapy changes lives.
Over the years, I have learned the difference between a hobby, job, career, passion, and calling. I knew music therapy was a calling when I began working with people of different abilities. From those who have autism, to paraplegia and severe trauma, I have personally witnessed music open up hearts and connect worlds. In a year, I will become a board certified music therapist (MT-BC). This year I am finishing my internship at Lurie Children's Hospital before I am eligible to take the board exam. In the meantime, here is how I am using the skills I am learning every week:
Super 7 Girls is a non-profit that focuses on giving girls access to the amazing skills and superpowers that will bring them success in life. Their director, Kim, not only hires academic specialists, but expands her program to include financial literacy, homework support, dance, and music (that's me!). Every Monday night, I direct a junior and senior choir, focusing on socioemotional learning in a project-based style. Check out their Instagram @thesuper7girls.
On Wednesdays I spend six hours at Till Elementary teaching General Music to grades PK - 2nd for the non-profit, Foundations of Music (FOM). I also get to teach Songwriting and Production to the 8th grade classes. It is a whirlwind of a day, complete with hello songs, singing and dancing, literacy through music, and creating an audible landscape for storytelling. Till is a special place with a deep history, and FOM is celebrating their 30th year! To keep their programs running, they are always accepting donations. Take a look at their website to learn more!
2018 Music Therapy Conference
Last November I hopped a flight to Dallas, Texas to spend four days with over 3,000 board-certified music therapists and music therapy students. It was incredible! My biggest gratitudes lie with my experiences digging into my culture. I was welcomed with open arms by the Black Music Therapy Network of the American Music Therapy Association. We discussed updates, changes, and aspirations to tackle the challenges of being 1.9% of the music therapy industry (I KNOW!). By the end of the conference, I was a proud attendee of the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee. I am dedicating part of my work to finding resources for the adult learners in the field as well as support for black music therapy students that is not widely offered.
Sat Nam Yoga
I took my healing services outside the studio and attended Sat Nam Yoga's Healing Circle. They host a healing circle on the first Friday of every month and welcome all modalities. There, I got to network with massage therapists, acupuncture specialists, other reiki practitioners, and more. It was at Sat Nam that I met Laura Halloway, a wellness specialist, who invited me into her circle of change-makers and deep-thinkers. In that group sat DJs, mentors, advocates, and entrepreneurs from Chicago to LA who are all committed to spreading more love into the world. Keep an eye out for this wonderful organization as we work to bring people together to alleviate pain and spread peace. I will be working with Laura to practice sound healing at various workshops and retreats internationally.
Want to help?
Keep an eye out! I will be launching a fundraising campaign to support my research in the use of technology and music therapy in the clinical setting. In the meantime, 40% of profits from all three studios goes to materials, research, instruments, and continuing education for 2019 as I build the practice of my dreams! The best way you can help right now is to book online or request a session and enjoy the studio services. Share this newsletter with your circles and spread the word. Invite others to subscribe to my website to stay in the know, and who knows.. maybe you will benefit from music therapy services one day. Find out more about the field at www.musictherapy.org.