Here’s a range of things that could be useful while preparing to study music therapy. It’s intended as an inspiration rather than a check-list, and they’re in no particular order:
- Practise – play your instruments regularly, improve technique, sing while playing (if possible).
- Improvise – play music to suit your mood, or think of a subject and make up music to fit that.
- Sight-read – find a sheet of any kind of music and play it straight away.
- Piano/Guitar – Get confident on both these instruments (at least the basics, so you can play some chords).
- Play by ear – jam along to the radio, CD player or online music.
- Play in a band – join a group of musicians and meet regularly, learn how to play tightly together.
- Sing in a choir – blend your voice with others, learn to sing harmony lines, enjoy the sound.
- Learn – pick up a new instrument, how about percussion or a single-line instrument?
- Teach – share your musical knowledge with someone else, one-to-one, find out how they learn.
- Care facility – volunteer, visit, get to know people who live and work there.
- School/nursery – volunteer to help with fun music sessions for classes.
- Community group – get involved in an existing music group, or start a new one!
- Dementia – find out more about this locally, get involved as a volunteer.
- Autism – learn about this, find out what is available to help people with autism near you.
- Read more – find books, magazines or journal articles about music therapy (here’s a few I’ve read for example…)
- Write a diary – keep a regular note of how you feel about what happens.
- Schedule – plan time slots for activities, and stick to them.
- Record audio – get familiar with techniques and equipment to record sound.
- Record video – borrow gear and learn how to record movies of music.
- Process footage – transfer, edit and export music and video files.
This list will grow, suggestions welcome.
Also, here’s a great list of tips for music therapy students from Rachel at Listen & Learn Music.