- Capilano University—Bachelor of Music Therapy (B.MT), Bachelor of Music in Jazz Studies
- Accredited with Canadian Association of Music Therapists.
- MT-BC (US Accreditation for Music Therapists)
Populations you specialize with: Long-term care (seniors)
Special Skills /Related Training: Some first aid, some basic French, Spanish and Italian.
Personal History: Born and raised and currently based in North Vancouver, I’ve been singing in choirs since before I can remember, starting with a preschooler’s choir out of Highlands United Church. I currently sing with their adults choir with my whole family; growing up in/around that community has largely informed the demographics I’ve known most, as there is a large contingent of young children, and lots of senior members. I also sing with Chor Leoni Men’s Choir, alongside my twin brother and my dad! I’ve had family members diagnosed with such things as Alzheimer’s and Depression, and seeing how Music Therapy and musical engagement made a difference for them is one of my main inspirations for entering the field of Music Therapy.
Professional History: I’m just beginning my career as an MT—most of my work has been with seniors and those in long-term care, in and around the Vancouver area at various locations. I had practicum experience as well with children with developmental disabilities, as well as one long-term care facility, centred around mental health rather than strictly seniors and dementia.
Work Philosophy: First and foremost, one of my main goals right off the bat is to make sure that each person I work with feels acknowledged, and their presence appreciated. One of the things that I like to try to do first is work on building a rapport with the people I work with; putting them at ease and bringing them out, encouraging them to have fun while I get a sense of the music they like and what their personality is. Usually, this gets them more comfortable and, if verbal, they are more likely to tell personal stories and background, so that we can go deeper and explore more personalized activities. If non-verbal, eye contact (if not contraindicated) and encouragement of instrumental use become primary methods of connection. I tend to lean towards folk songs and music, but I enjoy asking people what their favourites are in order to learn new music that I can then turn around and use to connect more. I tend toward voice, guitar, and piano most often.
Personal Life Philosophy: I like to believe that the world, while complicated and frequently stressful, is full of people who are generally trying to do their best. I feel music is one of the great connectors in the world and is one of the rare things in the world where everyone has a preference; it’s just a matter of finding what their personal preference is. I love the fact that people who speak different languages will still recognize a familiar melody, and that in a world where people are pushing themselves so hard to make a living and often becoming more isolated to do so, that music is a thing that simply and innately brings people together and encourages interconnectedness.
“Do not wish to be anything but what you are—and try to be that perfectly”-Sir Francis de Sales
“Ah, music—a magic beyond all we do here”—Albus Dumbledore