From our Music Therapy Intern…
A new year calls for a New Year’s Resolution. A new decade…well, that calls for a New Decade’s Reflection (yes, I just made that up, but I think it’s still worthwhile…and blog-able). The New Year always brings times of nostalgia and anticipation, but the start of a new decade lends to broader introspection on life and the winding path it takes. One decade ago I didn’t even know what music therapy was. Now, as I am nearing the last two months of my internship at Harmony Garden, I am eagerly anticipating the addition of the letters “MT-BC” to my name. The Lord has nudged me, on several occasions, to pursue music therapy, but His biggest and most impactful nudge occurred within this past decade.
It was fall of 2018 and I was handed a one page, two-sided, double spaced list of music therapy internship sites in Michigan. As I sat at my desk, I began scanning through the names and locations and populations listed. My heart was pounding, thinking that the name of my future internship site could be on this list; A place where my life as a future music therapist would would take off and grow roots. I shoved the paper in my backpack as class ended and drove home only to pull the paper back out and continue my investigation. I read through every word on the paper, waiting to feel my stomach drop as I spotted “the one.”
“Hmmm…Maybe I read too quickly,” I said, as I came to the bottom of the page. My eyes darted across each line and, for the second time, I read each listed internship, this time Googling the locations to get a better look on their website as well. Still, nothing inside me felt an emotional reaction or initial excitement towards any particular internship opportunity. Each listing had a specific population or diagnoses that they served, and I did not have a desire to specialize in one particular category of music therapy. I knew that I was nowhere near finished learning about all the different ways in which music therapy can benefit all people, and I simply could not pick a specific area in which to work.
It was then that I remembered, years ago, taking flute lessons from a music therapist named Jaime in my hometown of Jackson. I remembered walking out of her studio and seeing all types of clients eagerly awaiting their session. She seemed to welcome people of all walks of life, of all diagnoses, of all abilities, of all cultures. I didn’t know how things at the studio had progressed since I had last been there as a middle schooler, and I doubted Jaime had time or interest in having an intern, but I felt the urge to at least let her know that I thought her studio would be a perfect internship site.
As a music therapy college student looking ahead at internship opportunities, I was very disappointed that each listed site focused so intensely on one specific category of therapy. I wanted to continue gaining experience with all kinds of people and therapeutic experiences! I sent an email to Jaime and commended her on her passion for working with all types of people and abilities. It is very difficult and rare to find a music therapy studio with a team of music therapists all working together and serving a wide range of clients. I explained that her studio was very appealing to me, and I wished that there was a way I could intern with her. I pressed send and picked up the internship paper to give it a third try.
“Ding!” my computer chirped, and I checked my inbox. Jaime had responded. I began reading the email and felt my stomach drop, heart flutter, and eyes widen when I read “Funny you mention it…”
(Included are two other photos that show how the Lord has nudged me in life. One at my first ever piano recital, where he nudged me to pursue music. One on the day I found out I was accepted to Taylor University, where I met my husband.)
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.