Momentum and balance in 2024

I would like to acknowledge the Wurundjeri people of the Kulin Nation who are the traditional owners of country where I live, work, study, learn and make & share music, I pay my respects to their Elders past and present. Sovereignty has never been ceded; it always was and always will be, Aboriginal land. I would also like to extend my acknowledgement and respects to the traditional owners of the lands where Music Therapy is studied in other parts of this WFMT region, including (but not only); the Gadigal people of the Eora Nation and the Māori of Aotearoa.

February/March marks the beginning of the university year in Australia and New Zealand, I take a moment to consider the Music Therapy students & new graduates in the region and the various stages people might be at; first year students beginning their courses, returning students continuing their studies, new graduates who have perhaps recently commenced in new positions as a Registered Music Therapist and other possible pathways. 

I am a continuing part-time student of the Master of Music Therapy at the University of Melbourne, generally a two year full-time pathway, however, due to various reasons my partner and I made the decision for me not only to study part-time but to further reduce my study load in 2024 and 2025. The decision was not made lightly nor was it initially the preferred one but I am confident that it is the ‘right one’; the right one for me, my partner, our four year old and our family unit. It is a privilege to be able to prioritise family and parenting in this moment and though I am grateful for the extended duration of my studies and all it affords (e.g. further connections with peers & teachers, continued access to resources, and, additional space to deepen my learning), there is also a challenge to maintain momentum after an energising and inspiring first year in the course.

I have various ideas for maintaining my ‘music therapy momentum’; some are solo projects, such as further vocal/instrumental skill development and exploring ‘my voice’ through songwriting; some are social projects, such as meeting up with classmates for weekly jams/singalongs and starting up a singing group with friends; and, some are ‘connections projects’, such as attending peer supervision meetings and being a WFMT student delegate for the Aus/NZ region - I am already enjoying meeting MT students and new graduates from around the globe.

Let’s see how all of this goes… In the meantime, wherever you are in your learning journey, I wish you well and hope that you are able to strike a balance between all the things in your life and all the ways you want to grow.

Alan Dinh

WFMT Student Delegate for Australia and New Zealand