Interview with MSc Music Therapy graduate, Cieran House
Cieran House, 28, from Selkirk in the Scottish Borders, is an MSc Music Therapy graduate from QMU. He graduated in 2017.
Before coming to study at QMU, Cieran had studied music for his undergraduate degree at Newcastle University. He had also studied learning disability nursing for one year prior to starting the music therapy programme at QMU. Over the years, Cieran has had several different jobs working with children and young people, including with Aberlour Childcare Trust.
Why did you choose to study MSc Music Therapy at QMU?
“I heard about Music Therapy while I was studying for my undergraduate degree at Newcastle University. When I graduated from Newcastle, I wasn’t in a position to apply for the course at QMU, so I spent a really worthwhile year as a student nurse. Then my circumstances changed - I knew that Music Therapy was what I wanted to do, so I went for it!
“I definitely wanted to find a career path that would allow me to bring together my love of music and my desire to work creatively with others.”
How did you find the workload? Did you feel supported?
“The workload was challenging, especially in the first year as I also worked part time, but it was manageable.
“Support at QMU was fantastic throughout, every staff member I interacted with was helpful and knowledgeable. The teaching staff on the MSc Music Therapy are all experienced professionals who helped me to reflect on my own practice.”
How do you think your QMU degree has equipped you with the skills/knowledge to develop your career?
“I found that the balance of teaching, research, and placement experience on the MSc Music Therapy programme gave me a well-rounded introduction to the work of a music therapist.
“Regular supervision gave me the opportunity to reflect on my own practice in a way that, I believe, has given me the tools to continue this reflective approach in my work post qualification.”
What top tips would you give future MSc Music Therapy students based on your own personal experience?
“Make the most of the learning resources around you, especially the knowledge and experience of teaching staff. And if you have a dissertation to write, start early on refining your research question once the process has begun.”
What obstacles did you encounter (if any) during your studies and how did you overcome them?
“Studying to be a Music Therapist therapist was one of the most challenging and rewarding experiences of my life. I don’t think I’d anticipated how much the course and the personal therapy I undertook alongside it would challenge some long held assumptions I’d made about myself and my abilities. Having the right people around me for support was important.”
What have you been doing since graduating from QMU?
“After graduating I quickly secured a new role as a Music Therapist, working part time over four days per week, self employed, as an associate of Inscape Therapies Scotland. I’m continuing to look for other opportunities as a Music Therapist, and I’m also working on some creative projects in my own time.
“I’m very thankful to be where I am and to be able to pursue the kind of career I’ve always wanted.”
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