From our Music Therapy Intern…

My speaking voice recovered much quicker than my singing voice, but both have returned to full function over the course of the week. Jaime and the music therapists at HGMTS were gracious enough to allow me to take a full day of vocal rest on Monday, which meant that some of them even had to facilitate entire sessions for me. I am so grateful for the flexibility and understanding that the women here had, and for their willingness to put in extra time and effort to cover for me.

Jaime and Bekah have also put in extra hours for me this week as they have begun observing my sessions in order to prepare appropriate feedback for my upcoming midterm evaluation. They have taken the time to sit in, watch, listen, and take notes during some of my sessions. They then have sat down with me and encouraged me in my learning journey and affirmed me that I am making good progress. Although I was nervous at first, to be watched by two of the best music therapists I know, I was also desperate for them to finally be able to see what I’ve been doing and give me new perspective, constructive criticism, and fresh ideas!

As a music therapist-in-training, I seem to run out of ideas a lot more rapidly than the professionals surrounding me at HGMTS. It also takes far more time and brain power for me to create new interventions, and so I often gain repertoire by observing sessions facilitated by other HGMTS therapists. They each have compounding knowledge and creativity with each year of experience they have under their belt.

As a result of my lack of experience and therefore increased brain energy spent during every day of the internship, my body and mind are needing a break. Not because I dislike anything, not because anything is going wrong, and not because I want to give up. It has simply been a challenging 11 week stretch and I am beginning to feel taxed.

This week in Day Program, we decorated the treatment room door with a large turkey covered in feathers which state what each member is grateful for. I found this activity very therapeutic for me, as I have not taken the time to stop and think about such things in about 11 weeks. It does the brain good to shift thoughts to those of gratitude and joy rather than stress and overwhelm.

I am thankful for this internship, which is challenging me to grow. I am thankful for two lovely supervisors, who care for me and want the best for me. I am thankful for all of my clients, who bless me with their time and friendship. I am thankful for my husband, who listens to and supports me through all of my highs and lows equally. I am thankful for my family, who host me multiple nights a week to help me save on gas. I am thankful for the upcoming Thanksgiving break, which is much anticipated and needed.

Hannah Avery is our very first Music Therapy Intern here at Harmony Garden Music Therapy Services. Stay tuned for her blog posts as she goes (and grows) through her music therapy internship.