As I was starting this post, I noticed that that I have posted 1701 times on this blog since it started. That amazes me. When I started all of this writing in the year 2006, I wanted a place where I could write about what I was going through. I never anticipated that I would still be writing eleven years later, on an almost daily basis, and that people would actually read what I write!

I love writing, and my favorite topic is, of course, my life as a music therapist. How could it be any other way? I'm sure that there are other professions where the practitioners get joy out of the everyday interactions, but I'm sure that there aren't that many that would give me the same sort of joy.

Yesterday, I was thinking about my music therapy origin story.

On my way home after working at church, I often hear part of the program Snap Judgment. Yesterday's program was about moments that changed lives. My music therapy origin story is like that. It changed my life.

I love hearing about the stories of how people found music therapy. For me, it was a chance comment that led me to my profession. Before I heard about music therapy, I was a typical, aimless eighth grader. I didn't know what I wanted to do with my life. I figured it would be some sort of teacher, but I didn't know for sure.

I went to a Girl Scouting Wider Opportunity in Evansville, Indiana. A Wider Opportunity was a seminar for older scouts. They were held all over the country. Mine was a fine arts seminar, and I attended as a vocalist because they didn't offer a place for female cornetists. I went on my first ever solo trip across country and was there to learn about being a vocalist.

We took master classes, smaller focused lessons, and attended lectures every day about different professions related to the fine arts. My life changing moment happened during one of the Careers in Music lectures.

We had spent the hour talking about being a music educator. We talked about the types of course work, the future prospects, and the ways a music educator could specialize. The lecture was finished when the presenter said, "Oh. There's another program here as well. The person who was supposed to talk is out of town this week. She asked me to give you this. The program is called music therapy." She plopped some photocopied brochures on the desk and walked out.

"The program is called music therapy." Click.

Something clicked in my brain. I really heard a click, and that was it. There was no other profession for me after that. From that moment on, whenever I was asked what I was going to do when I grew up, my answer was always, "Music therapy."

I knew nothing about the profession other than the title and the little bit of information that was included on the brochure. I special ordered a book for my sixteenth birthday. The book was entitled, The Music Within You, and I still have that first copy. I started looking for colleges, armed with a brochure and a book. For my senior AP Biology project, I looked at whether musical styles would assist comprehension and recall. Jazz worked the best.

I guess my parents didn't ask me what I wanted to do when I grew up because they didn't know that I wanted to do this job. They were surprised when I insisted only on schools that offered music therapy for my college tour. I think they despaired a bit about job prospects and whether I would be stuck doing something else after wasting my time and their money on a trash degree. I don't know if my parents know this, but Harvard recruited me, and I turned Harvard down because the university didn't have a music therapy program. 

From the beginning, I knew that Music Therapy was for me. It combined the best things in my life into something spectacular. It was the right decision then, and it is the right decision for me now.

1702 posts. Eleven years. Lots of music therapy events and thoughts over the years.

Thanks for reading.


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