I’m at the conclusion of my final semester of studies and about to be a Registered Music Therapist in Melbourne, Victoria. Time has passed incredibly quickly and I am so grateful for the many experiences I have had and knowledge I have acquired along the way.
In this blog post, I’d like to talk about my recent independent placement. As part of my final semester studies, I have to complete a placement that is entirely independent. Here, music therapy is implemented in a setting of your choice and you are generally supervised by a non-music therapist and in a setting that is yet to have a music therapist.
My independent placement was in an environment that was challenged given the COVID-19 outbreak in Melbourne and there were additional considerations that impacted the effectiveness of delivering music therapy. Given I worked with children and infants there was a strong focus on Family-Centre Care, however with the organisation having to provide visitor restrictions it was incredibly difficult to be guided by Family-Centred Care principles. Through the placement I challenged myself to think of unique ways I could deliver music therapy in this environment to foster family connections. I found myself using telehealth and realised that it afforded opportunities for participants to engage with their families that weren’t able to be there close to them, meaning participants could connect during music therapy despite restrictions being in place. When using virtual platforms, I was able to introduce musical story-telling, choice cards and lyrics via screen sharing. The opportunities were endless and the sessions we created together were just as meaningful as the face-to-face sessions.
I initially thought COVID would make the placement difficult, and yes, there were challenges. However, I believe it is our duty as music therapists to ‘think outside the box’ and come up with unique ways to provide people with music and create meaningful connections.
If anyone has any thoughts or wants to share their experiences please reach out. https://wfmt.info/wfmt-for-students/connect/
WFMT Student Delegate for Australia/New Zealand