By Amy Dunlap, MusicWorx Intern
When I think back on my first three months as a MusicWorx intern, the word that seems most fitting to describe the experience is OPPORTUNITY. That shouldn’t come as a surprise to me, considering that I chose MusicWorx because of the many different opportunities for clinical experience. However, it was only after I started internship that I realized just how many more opportunities exist apart from the diverse clinical experiences.
One huge opportunity that I was not expecting was the chance to help prepare for and execute Resounding Joy’s annual Fiesta! fundraiser. I will admit that I was a little unenthusiastic to dig right in at first; after all, I came all this way from Ohio to do music therapy, not fundraising! I soon realized that without the success of Fiesta!, there would be much less therapy available for me to facilitate. Fiesta! was experience that I know I would not have had at a different internship. And now, I will leave my internship with a better understanding of marketing and fundraising. These are two skills that I now know to be a crucial element in a successful private practice, which is a business route that many music therapists take! That experience is now one that I really appreciate.
Another great opportunity has come in the variety of cultures present in San Diego: Latino peoples, military presence, Southeast Asian peoples, and a variety of religions and spiritual beliefs exist here. These are all cultures that are not as thoroughly represented in the Midwest, where most of my experiences thus far have occurred. This variety gives me the chance to utilize different treatment modalities within the framework of music therapy. For instance, I am learning musical distinctions between different regions of the world. I am also getting experience facilitating creative arts and toning interventions, which I thoroughly enjoy as alternatives to relaxation and creative expression.
I feel very grateful to have the chance to share this internship with so many other like-minded individuals. MusicWorx/Resounding Joy’s four employees are incredible therapists (and humans!) with unique experiences and approaches. Not only that, but in six months, each intern has the chance to work very closely with five other music therapy interns. Each intern has his or her own style, which we get to exercise in conjunction with other interns. We learn from each other, support each other and encourage each other. Most importantly, this community creates an environment brimming with excitement and passion for our field. It’s like being at a mini-music therapy conference every day of the week!

MusicWorx is so well established throughout San Diego that a myriad of other unexpected possibilities have presented themselves. These opportunities include: being on staff at two weekend-long bereavement camps for children, singing and playing music publicly with the other amazing and talented MusicWorx interns, helping a UCSD neuroscientist with a music and attention research project, speaking as part of the MusicWorx team at Mainly Mozart’s “Mozart and the Mind” event, pursuing novel therapy placements and projects, as well as many others. At MusicWorx, I truly feel inspired to explore any and all music therapy interests I may have. If an opportunity doesn’t already exist, we are encouraged to create the opportunity. To me, that is a special thing and has quickly become my favorite part of this internship experience.


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