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Alumni Interview: Theresa Camilli, #31

Theresa Camilli, #31

Interviewed by Kristen McSorley, Current Intern #124

Theresa Camilli went on to receive her doctorate in piano pedagogy and is now an assistant professor at the University of Northern Iowa. Although her focus is no longer on music therapy, she continues to advocate the field to her students. During this interview, she recalls how the MusicWorx internship reconnected her to music therapy and the importance of the director’s (Dr. Barbara Reuer) guidance on her professional development. She reminds current and future interns to make sure they take time for themselves, saying “take advantage of the beach!”

Enjoy Theresa’s answers to the interview questions below:

1. What is your current job?

Assistant professor of piano pedagogy and music education at the University of Northern Iowa.

2. Would you say MusicWorx helped you get to where you are today?

Absolutely. Barbara inspired me to continue my education and pursue a master’s degree in music therapy. Although I did not stay in the field and chose to pursue piano pedagogy for my doctorate, it was an important step for me.
3. What drew you to the MusicWorx internship?

Location: my brother was living in San Diego and it was financially convenient for me. Working with Barbara: not only is she held with high respect in the music therapy community, but also she had great flexibility and was interested in me as an individual. Diversity: I loved getting a taste of so many populations.

4. What was your favorite moment of your MusicWorx experience?

Meeting my husband! I also experienced a renewal in my passion for music therapy. I originally planned on leaving music therapy post-internship, but the amazing experiences inspired me to stay in it for a master’s. I also really loved working at McDonald [now Scripps Drug & Alcohol Treatment Program]. I loved the group work and considered staying in the field after internship to pursue this type of work.

5. What aspects of what you learned at the MusicWorx internship prepared you for your career today?

Business management: how to represent and market yourself. I also learned how to be a well-rounded musician. At my current job, I teach functional group piano to music students. The students are always baffled at how I pull this off, but as a music therapist, it’s second nature to me!

6. What was one of your biggest challenges during your internship?

Both time management and balancing my finances were a great stress to me.

7. What was your biggest “aha” moment for your professional and/or personal growth?

When I realized that I wanted to stay with music therapy and pursue it in my graduate work.

8. What would be your one piece of advice to future MusicWorx interns?

Keep a journal so you remember those “a-ha” moments and can reflect back on them later in life. See the internship as a life experience: enjoy it and take advantage of all opportunities! Try to effectively balance your time and take time for your personal and social needs. Take advantage of being at the beach! Take advantage of having Barbara around. She’s an incredible person that we can learn so much from. Learn from her experience and seek her guidance when needed. I appreciated every opportunity I had to speak with her.

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