Wednesday, October 19, 2011

The Intensive Summer Practicum Experience at SMWC

An important option for SMWC music therapy students is the Intensive Summer Practicum, which is typically open to music therapy students the summer following their junior year. All students who are interested must have demonstrated maturity, some solid music skills (but with need to utilize these skills in a consistent clinical setting), and must obtain approval from the Coordinator of Undergraduate Music Therapy and Academic Advisor. The ability to complete a summer practicum requires a student to pay tuition for 1 credit of independent study and commit to 4-5 weeks, full-time, at a music therapy placement under the direct supervision of an onsite music therapist (as well as the ongoing supervision of the faculty supervisor).

However, the most important factor in whether or not a music therapy student can complete a summer practicum experience is the willingness of music therapy clinicians to take on a student for this intensive experience. Working with students in a practicum requires supervision skill, strong clinical skills, and a commitment to the time needed to provide feedback and guidance to the student in collaboration with the faculty member. The SMWC music therapy faculty are so grateful to these professionals, one of whom is a graduate of the SMWC Master of Arts in Music Therapy program (Larisa McHugh, MA, MT-BC).

More than 15 SMWC music therapy students have completed a summer practicum in diverse settings and locations since the experience was developed by Sharon R Boyle, Associate Professor of Music Therapy, in 2003. Nina Galerstein, MM, MT-BC, first developed the idea and Boyle collaborated with her while teaching at another university. The experience was so successful that Boyle decided to develop a model which would work at SMWC. She has worked to develop long term relationships with skilled clinicians/supervisors and this has resulted in SMWC music therapy students entering internships with increased understanding of therapeutic process, improved clinical and music skills, professionalism, and a renewed excitement about their goal of becoming a music therapist. Some of the clinical sites and supervisors have included:

Nina Galerstein, MM, MT-BC-- Stockley Center (Georgetown, DE)
Larisa McHugh, MA, MT-BC-- Bethany Village (Dayton, OH)
Erin Fox, MA, MT-BC-- Good Samaritan at Stillwater (Stillwater, MN)
Ann Hannan, MT-BC-- Riley Hospital for Children -IU Health (Indianapolis, IN)
Lisa Swanson, MMT, MT-BC-- Orchard Manor (Lancaster, WI)
Jonni Fogerty, MM, MT-BC-- Fogerty Music Therapy (Bloomington, IN)
Julie Edgell, MA, MT-BC-- Meaningful Day Services (Fort Wayne, IN)

The experience and time that these clinicians have shared is invaluable to the future of our profession!

Recently, the following students completed summer practicum experiences:

Nicole Gilberti -- Orchard Manor
Katherine Mendenhall -- Riley Hospital for Children - IU Health
Briana Priester -- Bethany Village

Jennifer Whitlow ('11) (center) at end of summer practicum with Orchard Manor music therapy supervisors Nikki Bossenbroeck (far left) and Lisa Swanson (far right).
We will feature some students in the coming year, who will talk about their summer practicum experiences. These opportunities are an important aspect in the development of each Woods music therapy student!

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