Alumni Interview: Tony Ollerton, #44

Tony Ollerton, Intern #44

May 2004 – October 2004

Tony Ollerton is currently living in Utah. She was Intern #44 and is now training her own interns as well! She works as both an internship director at Primary Children’s Hospital and as the Director of Expressive Therapies Utah.

  1. What is your current job?

Right now I have two different ones: Primary Children’s Hospital, where I am the Music Therapy Coordinator/Internship Director, and the second as Director of Expressive Therapies Utah.

  1. Would you say MW helped you get to where you are today?

Yes, with 100% accuracy. Absolutely!  There’s not a day that goes by where I don’t think about what I learned there.

  1. What drew you to the MW internship?

I wanted to go for the best internship I could. One of my Utah professors encouraged me to go out of state. I saw the table at conference; I discovered that music therapists that I admired went there …  along with all of the different populations and the experience Barbara had. Going to MusicWorx has completely changed my life.

  1. What was your favorite moment of your MW experience?

My favorite experiences were at the McDonald Recovery program (for those struggling with addictions).  I was really drawn to that population.  Other than that, I enjoyed hanging out with the interns and Barbara. She knows how to unwind. That is important part about self-care. It made our sessions better, too.

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

  • What didn’t?

  • Hard work, the expectation of hard work, and strong clinical musicianship.

  • Getting the opportunity to watch Julie Guy and Angela Neve. Working with different therapists and different styles.

  • The mentoring of Barbara.

  • The freedom we had to create! I don’t remember hearing “No” a lot. Instead, it was, “If you can think it, you can make it happen.”

  1. What was one of your biggest challenges during your internship? (Gas money and lack of time aren’t valid responses!)

Confidence, initially! I remember being so anxious with those large crazy groups (25-30 people). I remember thinking, “I can’t do it; I can’t do it.”  But everyone was so patient.

Another challenge was having small children, but Barbara was beyond helpful and beyond understanding and helping me be able to handle that (personal family situation). It was the place I needed to be in order to learn how to take care of my family.

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

I have “aha” moments all day.  As much as we try to prepare ourselves, there is still so much I just don’t know.  “Oh!  Barbara is the bomb.”  [Everyone already new that one.]

  1. What would be your one piece of advice to future MW interns?

Go for it all. Trust your gut and try to listen to it. Don’t walk away from a session thinking, “I really wanted to try this thing but I was afraid.”   You only have SIX months before you’re ready for entry level. Take advantage of all the professionals around you. Ask questions! Be bold!  I can’t say enough things. It’s a great internship.


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