Sustaining the Experience

May 28, 2007 at 5:36 am (Karen, Trip 2007)

The seeds have been planted…the connections have been made…the music has been recorded and the extensive video footage documents both the process and the product. But now what? The trip was so short and condensed – can we put this in a bottle and take it home with us? Not really.

This experiential-immersion learning opportunity has complemented the academic studies and encouraged reflection – it gave the students a fresh look at themselves, their education and the world around them. What was profound for me was the student’s accelerated learning curve – in the final practicums in music therapy at Berklee, students are working in medical settings, primarily with children who are quite ill. Students learn to take musical risks, “embrace rejection” as a means to develop self awareness and the confidence to step into the unknown. Sometimes, it takes 2 semesters for the students to begin to understand the process.

For the students on this trip, it was almost immediate. They were ready and open and supported – internally and externally. Across from the PanAfric Hotel, where we are staying, there is a large building called ‘Integrity Centre’ – I think it is an office building, but it really doesn’t matter – these students are responsible, accountable and have much integrity. There has been plenty of opportunity to party and go out ‘clubbing’ but collectively they decided it would take away the focus of the work that is so important. I admire and respect each of them so much. They are leaders and will help set the agenda for music therapy in the future.

I dream of tomorrow, today…


  1. Katherine Walters said,


    It is so incredible in this world today with so many people trying to find their way, that you and the students with you have found such purpose and direction. Purpose is at the core of all we do and what we all strive to find in life and in these two short weeks your group has felt their own spirits rise up in so many personal ways to meet individual challenges and connect with a universal purpose.

    Thank you for all the sharing that your group has done with all of us “out here”. I can’t tell you how inspiration and motivating it has been for me. Sometimes challenges that start out as purpose for one begins to shine light on paths for others to follow. It makes me think of that wonderful saying, “Be the change you want to see happen.” All of you have been part of a something so grand.

    Can’t wait to see you and hug you and feel all the changes you have been through.

    Lots of love,

  2. Bruce Good said,


    How tremendously exciting. Would have written sooner but when Katherine sent the blog to me it got tagged as junk mail for some reason and languished out in email land somewhere. Didn’t believe it all until I saw you in the pictures.

    Very happy for and proud of you and your students for doing this. Hope we see you soon. Kathy and I may be back east in the fall.


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