Back in the days, I remember sending out many letters asking for placements opportunities when I was still in high school. I remember finding it very difficult, as it involves clients' confidentiality and other privacy concerns. Thinking back, I was glad that I had the opportunity to work alongside music therapists before my training, such as my placement with Angela Fenwick @ Birmingham Centre for Arts Therapies. Angela really taught me a lot of stuff! She is one of the most dedicated music therapist I have ever met! She has extraordinary high energy (espeically with her age!) you wouldn't believe until you experience working with her!
Nowadays I get emails from people time to time, asking about internships and to gain work experience with me. Without a doubt, I always say yes, (of course mentioning about the privacy and client confiendntilaity issues, that they may not be able to observe sessions). Well this summer, I have 2 wonderful ladies who help me out in my clinic! I have to say it's truly amazing to have some helping hands. In return, I will offer them my knowledge and skills in my expertise.
So here's a wonderful paragraph that Valerie has written me. I wish her every sucess in her A-levels! If you are interested, or know anyone who might be interested to participate in this internship program, please send me an email. info@ musicforlifehk.com
Internship Reflection by Valerie Chan 2015 summer
I am a high school student studying at the UK. I worked with Carol from the beginning of July till mid-August 2015 for a music therapy internship. Having had the amazing opportunity to observe and help in therapy sessions enable my further understanding of this occupation.
Firstly, music therapy is a very different job comparing to other musical occupations, e.g. soloist or conductor. During my internship, I saw the applicability of music on people’s lives and how it can help patients in their difficult situations. From observing music therapy sessions, I find this job meaningful because it does not chase after perfection or excellence in any aspects but rather wanting to let patients be themselves and heal from mental and physical injuries.
Secondly, I especially like the way therapist builds trusting relationship with patients because this give patients hope and an entrusting partner. Besides from providing a chatting partner, it also encourages patients to break through psychological obstacles. For example, in some cases, it is very touching to see that patients gain more confidence when they are playing music.
Thirdly, out of all the things I observed, I enjoyed very much learning the essential musical skills as a music therapist from Carol. These included music improvisation, chords and voicing, etc. Moreover, music therapy is a caring job and therapists need to find musical materials that suit each particular patient and I find that rather creative and fun!
Overall, I am glad that I worked with Carol this summer due to useful musical skills learnt and inspirational experiences from observing therapy sessions.
Internship Reflection by Keishel Lee 2015 Summer
Music for Life Music Therapy Internship – July to August 2015
During the past two months, I was very fortunate to be able to work with Carol at her Music for Life Music Therapy Center. Having a personal interest in music therapy and pursuing and music degree at Northwestern University, I was both curious and excited to discover what it is like to be a working music therapist, and to experience not only the challenges, but the positive outcomes that follow.
As an intern, I did not attend to every therapy session due to privacy and confidentiality of patients, but I did get to observe a couple of sessions with their permission. I was also given the opportunity to analyze videos of music therapy sessions to learn more about the differences between music therapy and regular music lessons. One moment that stuck out to me was during a songwriting session, where the patient did not display much emotion when constructing the lyrics of the song, but once she started to sing along, she started to cry and exhibit the emotional impact that she held in. While music lessons tend to focus on performance techniques for a particular instrument, music therapy allows more freedom to interact with different instruments in order to create bonding between the patient and therapist. This bond helps patients feel more at ease to open up to the therapist which may help with their struggles, such as with depression, anxiety, stroke rehabilitation, and so on.
Apart from observing music therapy sessions, I also helped out with administrative work, such as filing and organizing music sheets, contact information, and patients’ reviews. However, the main focus was on updating the Music for Life website for viewers to gain more knowledge on this growing field of music therapy. I researched the uses and effects of music therapy on various mental and physical illnesses, allowing me to learn more about the effectiveness of music therapy in clinical and educational
settings. Since the website caters to both an English and Chinese audience, I also had to translate some documents from English to Mandarin, thus enhancing my own Chinese writing skills. In addition, I was able to assist in proposal writing in order to implement music therapy at the Jockey Club Cancer Rehabilitation Center. This was important as music therapy is still a developing practice in Hong Kong.
Overall, I am grateful for this experience as it has allowed me to open up my interest and learn more about music therapy, including the different approaches it takes on helping people with disabilities. The most inspiring part about music therapy is being able to see the patients’ mood, health and well-being improve with the help of music.