I feel tremendously fortunate to be studying Music Therapy at CMU. Throughout my first semester, I kept having these “pinch-me” moments where I couldn’t believe I was studying what I love and working toward my goal of becoming an accredited music therapist.

Amidst lyric rewrites, unconditional positive regard, and a whole lot of goal writing, I can happily report that I have found my place in the Program. It leads to a Bachelor of Music Therapy, followed by an internship and exam for accreditation. Music therapy, done by accredited music therapists, uses music as a tool to promote client healing and wellbeing.

The Music Therapy Program at CMU draws on a wealth of knowledge from both textbooks and the profession itself. We complete practicum placements where we are supervised by a music therapist. Day-to-day we learn from our professors, who are practicing music therapists. I find their insights and experiences to be helpful and eye-opening.

Our cohort is a small, tight-knit group and we are provided opportunities to share our experiences from practicum with each other. In our Improvisation and Skills class, we have the chance to learn about and try out different music therapy interventions, which we can then adapt to use with our clients. We do spend a lot of time in practice rooms, but I value the time we spend together learning and practicing. Having professionals as well as peers share their music therapy experiences contributes to a well-rounded education. 

As music therapists-to-be, we take courses in music, psychology, and anatomy to prepare for the diverse environments where we are likely to be employed: schools, hospitals, private practice, personal care homes, or mental health facilities. One of the best parts about the Music Therapy Program is the opportunity to put learning into action. We have four semesters of practicum experience, each with a different client demographic.

Music therapy is beneficial for people at any stage of life and all ranges of ability. This semester, I’m looking forward to my practicum in the school system. Studying music therapy gives me the opportunity to merge my love of music with my desire to help others. In the future, I hope to use therapy services in a summer camp setting.

Guest blogger Johanna Kroetsch is a first year student in the two-year Music Therapy after degree program.