Meet Rachael Finnerty, Music Therapist

by Bev Foster

****Music Care Conference 2011****

Registration now open

Please note Dr. Petra Kern, formally announced keynote speaker is not able to be with us due to unforeseen circumstances.

I have come to appreciate that there are a number of therapeutic practices that use music intrinsically in the work. Music therapy is one such scope of practice. Music therapists are trained in the skilful use of music within a therapeutic relationship. Music may be used as both a means and an end in this practice and there is vigorous academic training as well as supervised internships before practicing as a music therapist. Today, I interview Rachael Finnerty, current president of the Music Therapy Association of Ontario. To find a music therapist in your area and to learn more about MTAO, visit www.mtao.org.  To learn more about Rachael and her work, visit http://www.fermatamusictherapy.com. BF: What motivated you to become a music therapist? RF: I entered the field of psychology with a passion for people - and a desire to help others within health care. Music had always been something I pursued and studied but did not realize its impact upon health and well being until learning about music therapy. Upon researching music therapy, it became evident that this field combines my 2 biggest interests; people (of all ages and abilities/psychology) and music. BF: In what areas do you practice? RF: I currently oversee music therapy work in long term care facilities and within my private practice, Fermata Music Therapy. Clients within my private practice are all ages, but predominantly children and young adults, with diagnosis such as Austism, Down's syndrome, Acquired Brain Injury (ABI) and Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD). I also use my skills as a therapist within a Skills Link program that supports young adults with boundaries to employment in gaining the skills and experience needed to gain employment in health care. I practice as an educator, providing two courses about music therapy at McMaster University, and supervise music therapy interns for both Wilfrid Laurier and Windsor University. I love the diversity of working this way as a music therapist, and I find that each part of my works informs the other. [[{"type":"media","view_mode":"media_large","fid":"53","attributes":{"class":"media-image","typeof":"foaf:Image","height":"260","width":"316","style":""}}]] BF: What is the Ontario Music Therapy Association (MTAO)? RF: Music Therapy in Canada is self regulated and governed by the CAMT (Canadian Association for Music Therapy). The MTAO is a provincial chapter of the CAMT providing support to music therapists within Ontario and providing education to both the public and music therapists. The MTAO is an excellent resource for both music therapists and the public. BF: You have recently begun your term as President of the OMTA at a time when there are some significant changes ahead. What are your hopes and dreams for the organization? RF: I have become president of the MTAO at a particularly exciting time. Music therapy in Ontario is currently undergoing the process of becoming government regulated. The MTAO has played a significant role in representing the music therapy profession in this process. For more information visit www.collegeofpsychotherapists.on.ca/pages/home Although the CAMT was established in 1974, many music therapists find themselves explaining on a regular basis what music therapy is and how it works. It is my hope that through government regulation more awareness will be brought to music therapy and to the benefits of engaging in music therapy. The MTAO will need to continue to play a large role in the transfer of information during this process. As president of the MTAO, it is my hope to collaborate with fellow music therapists as well as like minded individuals in bringing greater awareness to the use of music in health care. . Thought you might be interested in these recent links: Meet Derek Paravincini – musical savant – this is incredible! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ak2jxmhCH1M&feature=player_embedded I’ve heard of mob choirs before, but a virtual choir of 2,000? Check it out with composer Eric Whitacre’s Sleep. http://www.youtube.com/user/EricWhitacresVrtlChr A new study conducted by University of Kansas researchers has discovered that older adults who took music lessons during their youth may actually have forged new kinds of brain connections that help them stay sharp during the golden years. Read more: http://www.retirementhomes.com/library/health-and-wellness/healthy-living/childhood-music-lessons-can-keep-a-mind-sharp-201104211750.html#ixzz1LPPAr5Lj