placement reflection: 09/30/16

Today’s session was a challenging one, but because of this, it was also very insightful and rewarding.

My supervisor saw that something was clearly off about one of our clients’ behaviour and made a rare, executive decision to stop the music therapy. Stopping the music was a tough judgment call, and I learned that sometimes, music therapists have to make these tough, “fine-line” decisions for the sake of the troubled client or the other clients in the group.

Playing the xylophone was the perfect way to redirect the client’s focus and negative energy into the instrument. Redirection, as I mentioned last week, is a very important and effective strategy. Through this experience, I was able to learn once again that the flexibility of a music therapist is very important, as things never go as planned. One must also be creative on the spot in finding ways to work with clients’ sudden abnormal behaviours. Being observant is also a skill that music therapists need in order to respond to their clients’ needs, which for the most part are not explicitly stated, especially if working with nonverbal clients.

Another think I learned was that when working with the clients, we need to remember to be fluid and gentle in every single movement we make.

In general, seeing the clients respond so effectively to the music therapy that I helped in making happen – whether it be them verbally responding to the music or our words, or through the smiles on their faces – is very heart-warming and encouraging.

I believe it is through experiences like these that true happiness and fulfillment are felt, and ultimately helps one grow as a human being.