Hometown: Originally Aberdeen but now living in Edinburgh.

 

Telling you about myself:

I am from Aberdeen and studied a joint undergraduate Masters in History of Art and Music there from when I left school till I started the MSc at QMU. I had worked in a community for Adults with special needs for the nine years before studying at QMU as well as regular gigging and working for several community music projects with a range of participants.

How did I come to choose this course and why QMU?

Essentially this is the only Music Therapy Course in Scotland and so the only viable option for me unless I moved outside the country which would require me to defer for a number of years to fund my study. I was also pulled by the positive things I'd heard from friends who had studied at QMU and the idea of living in Edinburgh.

Why did you choose to study in Edinburgh/Scotland?

I am Scottish myself and, not being much of a traveller, wasn't keen on going anywhere too far from my family in Aberdeen. I had always loved Edinburgh when I visited when I was younger, The city is beautiful with an incredibly good music scene. Besides there are few places in the world that can boast as high a reputation of further education as Scotland.

What did you hope the course would give you?...

I had known I wanted to be a Music Therapist since I was 13 and had intended to study at QMU for the reasons outlined above thus I had hoped the course would allow me to practice in the profession. I had also known that the course would require me to undergo both personal therapy and group therapy with my peers which I had hoped would allow me to perhaps understand myself a little better.

"I have always found the staff at the university incredibly supportive if I have had problems with the workload. I had to miss a week early in the course due to a personal reasons and will need to do so again at the end of this term and in both cases the staff have been incredibly helpful and understanding."
Sam Lowit

How did you find the workload? …

As one would expect with a postgraduate course, the workload is significant. But as all the readings and practical preparation is varied and fascinating, I am more than happy to do it all. Indeed I often find myself choosing to read and practice above and beyond the requirements of the course.

I have always found the staff at the university incredibly supportive if I have had problems with the workload. I had to miss a week early in the course due to a personal reasons and will need to do so again at the end of this term and in both cases the staff have been incredibly helpful and understanding.

Are you working during the course?

Yes, I found a job relatively quickly after moving into Edinburgh. I work with the Tinderbox Orchestra doing community outreach music projects around Edinburgh with adolescents and young adults. There is some crossover between community music and music therapy and, whilst the music therapy is always directed towards therapeutic outcomes in a way community music is not, I have found my MSc influencing my work. 

If applicable, if you have a scholarship or bursary how is it helping you with your studies?

I currently receive two bursaries, one from the Esme Stephen's trust and one from the Music Therapy Charity. The former was really crucial in enabling me to study this course and I had received it throughout my undergraduate as well. I was put forward for the bursary from the Music Therapy Charity by the academic staff without my knowledge so that was a huge and lovely surprise that has been incredibly helpful.

How do you think a QMU degree has equipped you …

The MSc in Music therapy has well established links with the profession throughout the UK and as it is the only Music therapy course in Scotland many prospective employers will have been trained here and know the quality of teaching first hand. Moreover, I feel that the way the course is delivered has equipped my for working as a music therapist. The course is delivered by a mixture of experiential learning; lectures and workshops by practising music therapists and other allied health professionals; and experience-led talks from a range of potential client groups. I feel this gives a good grounding in understanding the theory and practice of music therapy as well as a closer, more empathetic understanding of the issues experienced by our clients.

What Advice would you give prospective PG Students?

I would advise prospective postgrad students to make full use of the excellent and approachable teaching and support staff at QMU.

What are your Future Plans … ?

I plan on practising Music therapy for a number of years and, once I feel more established in my career I might go into research with a PhD

Music Therapy

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