I'm now a music therapy major. Prayers have been answered and dreams have come true. What is music therapy, you ask?
Music therapy is the clinical and evidence-based use of music interventions to accomplish individualized goals within a therapeutic relationship by a credentialed professional who has completed an approved music therapy program.
Get out your tissues.
This semester, I did end up getting the internship mentioned here. It was the biggest blessing of my life.
Over the course of the internship, because my best friend led the session that I was involved with, I began meeting the music therapy faculty. One of those members, now a very dear friend, graduated high school with my aunt. (Thanks, Facebook. I knew you were good for more than one thing than wasting my time and feeding my natural instinct for addictions to modern technology!) One day, after our session was over, to add to my already emotional state, I ran into this particular professor as he came into the room to fix a technology problem. I had previously met him for a minute in the office, but it was this day that I realized who he was.
(Not having permissions to use his name on my blog, I will hereafter refer to him as Dr. MT.)
"Dr. MT," I said excitedly, "if I could major in one thing regardless of anything like talent, ability, anything like that...it would be music therapy." "Well," he quickly responded, "I graduated with a girl who was visually impaired. Just sayin'..." Instantly, y brain began to process what he just had said. It was like someone had told me I would get married, adopt the children I so desperately desire, and have a successful career. The news was so big that things just didn't seem real.
You see, I do have some background with music therapy.
Georgia College and the University of Georgia are the only two universities in Georgia with accredited degree programs in music therapy, and way back when I was in the eighth grade, I had found Georgia College because I wanted to double major in Choral Music Education and Music Therapy. Now, I realize that would be nearly impossible. Though the classes are somewhat the same, two music majors would have been tough and there would have been no way to use both of the degrees at the same time. In a way, they would have coincided, but it just wasn't worth it. And then I found out the news that turned me away...
As a music therapist, I THOUGHT you had to be proficient in three instruments. It turns out, though, that AMTA requires that you only have proficiency in one other instrument and guitar. I turned away. There was no way that I could learn guitar with my limited dexterity issues and the coordination issues that I face. There was just no way possible.
I thought about it, and on Friday, two days after the initial discussion, I went to Dr. MT2, the department head, and asked her what it would take to declare a minor. I was happy with that because it was just therapy classes, meaning that no knowledge of instruments was required, just knowledge of the therapy practices. PERFECT! With the click of the mouse, I became a music therapy minor. With the click of the mouse, the excitement escalated to an all-time high!
Thinking intently about the choice that I had just made, I practically skipped with joy out of the office. Still, though, there was the statement that Dr. MT had made, and then, more importantly, there was my heart. There was a hole. A void. Something that needed to be patched and filled.
After thinking about it for the weekend, I knew it was my calling. I knew that from the first session I saw as an eighth grade student, it was my calling to become a music therapist.
So, there were some adjustments that had to be made to some of the classes. For instance, this girl's just not made to learn a brass or string instrument, but bring on the percussion and the voice! To substitute for those brass and string methods classes, I will be taking some intense sign language classes. I could not be more excited. I'm also learning to play the guitar and to play the piano.
Welcome to my passion that surpasses all passions. Look for a section devoted to music therapy resources to appear on the blog in the VERY near future, and for now, I leave you with a video of one of David's sessions with Zoe, Kellie's daughter. Thanks for the permissions to use the videos, Kellie!
Let's make some music together, shall we? My audition on my principal instrument, which is voice, will be on January 11. Say a prayer! The two audition pieces are in German and Italian, and just in case you're familiar, the repertoire includes Nel cor piu non mi sento by Giovanni Paisiello and Widmung by Robert Franz. Sight-singing is also a part of the audition, and I'm just a little nervous for that.
I'm looking forward to pursuing the career of my dreams. In a few days, I will post my true plans for the future with music therapy and get some feedback from all you music therapists and special needs parents out there!