Opinion: Failure is part of your career journey


Emily Edwards

Britta Erikson

Music therapy senior

[email protected]

At the age of thirteen I stumbled across a pamphlet about music therapy at my local community music school. From that day forward, I knew I wanted to study music therapy. What initially attracted me to Loyola was their wide array of practicums and the hands on experiences they could offer students. Through Loyola’s program, I have been able to work with numerous populations and in a number of diverse healthcare settings. Not only have these experiences helped shape my professional path, but they have challenged me to discover what my true passions are within the field.

Prior to my practicum experiences, I had many preconceived notions about certain populations. Being placed into a variety of healthcare settings has allowed me to find comfort and growth in unexpected places. One of the most important factors of my practicum experience is the willingness to fail. The ability to feel comfortable enough to make mistakes is one of the driving forces that have continuously allowed me to improve and grow as a music therapy student. Practicums have helped me recognize how much goes into working in the field of music therapy. I am constantly learning how to take constructive criticism and apply it to my work as a student.

Whether was I was doing research, planning sessions or practicing instruments, I was always working to apply my skills at the practicum site. To help acknowledge the amount of time I put into preparing for my practicums, the music therapy department has students record their outside hours. Every semester I am astounded by the amount of outside hours I rack up, but it helps give me a better idea of what to expect in the future. As a music therapy student, the final and often most challenging step is a comprehensive internship. In some sense similar to a residency, music therapy students travel to programs across the country and work intensively under the guidance of a supervisor. Internships often serve as a pivotal experience for hands on growth. While I am nervous approaching graduation in December and moving to Seattle, WA in January to begin my internship, I believe that my experiences at Loyola and the music therapy department’s practicums have granted me with the tools with which to lead, learn and look at my growth critically.