Like many other healthcare providers, music therapists have transitioned to virtual services during the coronavirus pandemic. Tele-music therapy allows music therapists to provide beneficial services to clients in a safe manner and provides both opportunities and challenges for student training. To help students learn how to successfully navigate teleservices, faculty and students in Florida State University’s music therapy degree program partnered with the ACE Transition Program, State of Florida Vocational Rehabilitation, Leon County Schools, KEYS (Keys to Exceptional Youth Success- keysbigbend.org) and Independence Landing to provide tele-music therapy services as part of the Summer Institute fellowship for students and young adults with disabilities.
Under the supervision of Lori Gooding, PhD, MT-BC, FSU music therapy students provided group music therapy services to participants enrolled in the program. Music therapy sessions occurred twice weekly in June and July and sessions focused on life, social, independence, and employability skills taught during the program. Music therapy sessions included live music, and Summer Institute participants had the opportunity to engage in active music making, movement to music, songwriting, and song discussion.
Cassie Ferrer, a rising FSU music therapy senior who participated in the program stated “ I think it’s an incredible alternative for in-person clinical hours, and that it really does work, both for us as students and for the clients. If anything, I feel like we gained a lot from doing this online, rather than losing anything. Before this, I was skeptical about tele-services, but now I understand that they can really help, and I could also see how using them even after the quarantine has ended could be beneficial to some clients, maybe to make music therapy more accessible to them.”