Internship Experience 2016 by Medical Sciences Student Hannah Wat
I am a Medical Sciences student at the University of Edinburgh. For about three months I
was an intern at Music For Life last summer and had the chance to learn more about
music therapy. I hoped to gain general experience and knowledge about being a music
therapist, as well as about music itself.
At the beginning, I had the chance to participate in the preparation of a research protocol related to pregnancy and music therapy. My responsibilities included writing up and translating documents based on the main research, and completing other ad-hoc tasks related to the project. Apart from that I also helped with other paperwork, which involved some simple data input and processing. While completing the tasks I gained some understanding of the administrative side of the medical research system in Hong Kong. I also learned more about different ways music could help different people, both mentally and physically. For example, pain management, relaxation, familial bonding, etc.
Other than administrative work, I helped with leading a choir made up of patients in a
hospital. There was also a music therapy student who helped out. So my role was to provide assistance when needed and just to be a part of the group during the sessions. I
really enjoyed interacting with the patients as I felt like we were bonding through music.
Besides that, I also observed a singing lesson with a client with special needs and
epilepsy. It was somewhat eye opening to learn that techniques used in singing could
also be used to improve diction. I realised that sometimes it might be tiring to communicate with different kinds of people but the emotional reward you might receive is irreplaceable. Although these were not therapy sessions, I was happy I could observe how a music therapist would engage with patients.
Overall I felt like I have learnt more than expected and gained more understanding of
music therapy as an occupation and as a medical service. Carol’s experience and
knowledge have provided me with a more solid image of the responsibilities of music
therapists and the different ways they can work with patients as well as people in other