Alumni Interview: Julie Guy #24

By Brianna Larsen

Julie Guy is Co-founder of the Music Therapy Center of California in San Diego in 2004.  She is currently the vice-president and internship director.  She wanted a career in which she could combine her two passions in life; working with people and sharing music with others.   Julie first discovered music therapy while flipping through file folders on different career descriptions. Find out what she is doing today!


1. What is your current job?

Co-founder, co-director and vice-president of The Music Therapy Center of CA

Board member, Banding Together

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

YES!!! Definitely

3. What drew you to the MusicWorx internship?

It was the team experience, variety of settings/populations, flexibility, private practice, Barbara (great mentor) and the expectation that it would be hard work because she only accepted the best of the best.  Not to mention that San Diego had a better climate than Cleveland or Florida where I also interviewed.

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

The end of the internship party! In all seriousness there are many moments that I still remember and it’s hard to pick just one. One day when I remember the 4 of us interns jamming together at the beach in the middle of a beautiful day–I don’t remember why/how we ended up there. Some of the moments that stick out most for me were with Barbara when she complimented me on something that I’d done– which helped me learn what I did well as a therapist and where my strengths were. I also really enjoyed working with the team where we could collaborate and all pull from what we did best–all jamming together to create great musical experiences in the hospital setting. Working in the Polster breast cancer group and doing improvisations and songwriting, working with Dr. Green at Scripps Green Hospital and making Dee smile were my other favorite moments.

5. Are there any aspects of what you learned at MW internship that best prepared you for your career today?

Everything. I’m constantly telling stories to all of our interns about what we learned in our internship at MusicWorx. It prepared me for the hectic work pace, life style and realities of owning a business. You’re the Boss, while a lot of work, was invaluable in starting me on the path of opening my own private practice. It improved my ability to be flexible, create on the spot, think fast, the ability to supervise/give constructive feedback and self-evaluate. Some of the books we read for symposium made a lasting impression and I still refer to them in life often: “Rich Dad Poor Dad,” “Eat that Frog,” and “Whale Done.”

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

Learning personal and professional boundaries! In my experience, it was terminating a client, particularly my case study who I followed from Scripps Hospital to his home. The first day I arrived for a session he wanted me to go run errands with him. This required me to step out of my comfort zone and effectively communicate in this situation. 

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

You do realize that this was 11 years ago?? For me I feel like it was a slow gradual change in learning more about myself in all areas of life both personal and professional. Learning how to use my flute as a therapeutic tool was big; this wasn’t something I used much when I was in practicums.  I still frequently use it in sessions. Just getting out and into the profession and experiencing music therapy was validating and affirming that I might the right career choice.

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

Never say no to a movie or free food when offered. In all seriousness, I wish I had pushed myself even more to get out of my comfort zone and been less hesitant to jump in. I definitely needed some pushing. So my advice is go for it and learn from your mistakes!


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