Vanessa has tertiary degrees in Music Therapy & Clinical Psychology and is a professional pianist who feels fortunate and proud to combine her passions in Music and Psychology to bring you Music Therapy. On her mission to help and empower others, she shares her story.
A smiling Vanessa
What is Music Therapy?
Vanessa: Music Therapy is an evidence based, allied health profession wherein a registered music therapist actively supports people to improve their health, functioning and overall well-being using music, elements of music and various interventions. As a music therapist, I work with individuals or groups and a typical session could involve music improvisation, song writing, playing instruments together, singing, dance and movement, music listening, or even learning to play an instrument and record a song.
What inspired you to become a Music Therapist?
Vanessa: I believe that our purpose on earth is to live as a community by helping, uplifting and empowering others. When I studied Psychology, I found myself emphasising more on the diagnoses and “labels” that people came with. It was more about what you “can’t do” rather than what you “can do”. At the same time, I was pursuing music studies and training to be a pianist. There was a point in my life where I was stuck thinking about whether I should pursue Music or Psychology. It was my piano teacher at the time who told me about Music Therapy. I knew this was the career path for me. Merging my love for music, my training in the field of allied health, and my passion to help and reach out to people in need was the best thing that could happen and I decided to become a Music Therapist.
What path did you take to become a Music Therapist?
Vanessa: In India, I did my Post Graduate diploma in Music therapy under the guidance of Dr. Lucy Bolger (Melbourne University). Alongside this, I also hold qualifications in both Bachelors and Masters in Clinical Psychology which has immensely enhanced and complemented my applications in the field of music therapy. Apart from this, I am a professional pianist and have completed my grade examinations through Trinity Guildhall College, UK in Classical Piano studies, both practical and theory. I recently completed my Masters in Music Therapy at The University of Melbourne. I feel learning never ends, and am so glad to have a career in Music Therapy, which utilises all of my previous education and training years.
What motivates you as a Music Therapist?
Vanessa: I think it is a great privilege to combine two areas of education – mainly psychology and music – and convert that into a specialised profession called Music Therapy. Music IS therapy – It’s not just heard but also felt. I don’t think there has ever been a day where I regret being a music therapist. There is a different kind of satisfaction that comes when I see a client smile or sing a song with me. Music becomes a great tool to have a shared connection with someone and I am honoured to be able to enter a client’s world through their music. Being in such a multi-cultural Country like Australia, I get to learn so many songs of different languages and cultures. I take it as my responsibility to make sure that a client has access to music no matter what their diagnosis or need is.
"Music IS therapy – It’s not just heard but also felt."
If you would like Vanessa to assist you or your loved one with Music Therapy call us on 1800 236 762. Please note that Music Therapy is available in South Australia only.