Anna Maria Music Therapy Students Present at Passages Conference

Passages Group Picture 2018
On Saturday, October 27th, twenty music therapy students attended the Passages Conference at Lesley University in Cambridge, MA. Passages - Student & New Professional Music Therapy Conference is an annual, one-day conference sponsored by the New England Region of the American Music Therapy Association Students (NER-AMTAS). NER-AMTAS is composed of the American Music Therapy Association (AMTA) student members from Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and Vermont currently enrolled in AMTA-accredited Music Therapy programs. The purpose of the NER-AMTAS organization is to advance the aims, purposes, and goals of the American Music Therapy Association (AMTA) and the New England Region-American Music Therapy Association (NER-AMTA) within a student organization. The Passages conference is for all music therapists, and features presentations by students and music therapists in their first few years of practice. This year, the conference invited student professionals, specifically, medical colleagues from neighboring schools to attend the conference. NER-AMTAS believes that this advocacy can inform their colleagues on how they can work with each other to serve their clients in the near future. Several Anna Maria students and alumni gave presentations including:


Kayla McBrien (Senior) presented Music Therapy, Leadership and the Quest for Balance. This presentation explores the territory outside our respective comfort zones through two creative tasks. These group experiences will allow space for us to identify the roles we tend to play in groups, as well as how we can utilize our strengths and find support for our limitations to achieve balance in group settings and within ourselves.


Katelyn Sable (Junior) teamed up with Anna Maria alumni Cacia King and Mary Reinsch to give their Music Therapists’ Perspective on Adam’s Camp New England. Adam’s Camp New England is a non-profit organization that provides intensive therapeutic programs and integrated recreational activities for children and young adults with special needs, and support programs for their families. We bring 3 different perspectives on Adam’s Camp to this presentation, one of returning therapist, a new professional, and a student volunteer. We will explore what interdisciplinary work is like for a music therapist, including the challenges that can occur and the importance of advocacy.


Sonya DiPietro (Junior) presented In Tune with our Senses: The Psychological Basis of Music Therapy. This presentation explores key facets of music therapy that set it apart from other treatment methods. We see music touch people every day, whether it be while singing our favorite song in the car, getting the chills at a concert, or witnessing a pre-verbal client sing for the first time. Information in this presentation will examine just how music touches human beings, and why it plays such a critical role in therapy and lifestyle.


Liz Hastings (Junior) focused on student self-care in a discussion forum, Singing Off Key as part of Learning the Song. This presentation explores the music therapist’s personal relationship to voice, self-care, personal identity, and how that affects our professionalism. The typical stigma around therapists is that we are emotionally invincible. However, it is okay not to be okay. Discussion topics will include strategies for self-care, advocacy, and professionalism.

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