Tag: music therapy

Financial Aid: A Source of Hope and Confidence

University is a fantastic experience…but your bank account might try to convince you otherwise after you’ve spent a semester or two in school.

Lacey Siemens - Financial Aid: A Source of Hope and Confidence

For a student moving away from home, expenses go beyond paying for school and textbooks. The cost of living, groceries, gas tanks, and more, dig deep into the bank account and can be extremely intimidating. How are you ever going to make that much in one summer? Well I can assure you there are resources to help you cover the costs of university.

Scholarships that I have received have provided a source of relief and comfort during my time at CMU. This past summer I had the opportunity to work for a drop-in centre that provided snacks, supper, and day programs for children in the north end. This opportunity was rewarding in countless ways, and truly helped me develop skills in areas that will help me in my career as a music therapist. Yet, in this position, I was not able to earn enough to pay for even one semester. In making the decision to pursue experience in this field, I sacrificed a comfortable, high-paying job and free rent at home.

After paying rent for the whole summer, I barely broke even. But it was during this time that I experienced firsthand God’s love and provision. I received a letter informing me that I was being awarded a CMU academic excellence award, in addition to a generous scholarship from a CMU donor. This aided in covering my tuition expenses and fees, along with the cost of living as an out-of-province student.

Lacey Siemens - Financial Aid: A Source of Hope and Confidence

This summer was a time of relying on God to provide the means for me to continue studying at CMU. The day I received the letters outlining the scholarships I had been awarded, I remember calling my parents and laughing about the concerns that had us anxiously praying months previous. Scholarships are so much more than just a basis for financial support. They are a source of hope and confidence. Some generous person is showing they believe in you through their willingness to help you on your journey.

Use the tools and resources available to you, and don’t be afraid to reach out and ask for help by applying for scholarships. The funds you receive might just be the hope and confidence you need to kick-start your dreams.

Lacey Siemens is in her first year of a music therapy degree at CMU.

Music Therapy

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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.

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