Berklee Blogs

First-hand accounts of the Berklee experience

Tag: Music Therapy (Page 1 of 3)

Music Therapy


Music Transcends Language and Culture Barriers in Chiang Mai, Thailand

By Leah Weigel

Leah Thailand 4Sawatdi Kah! I am currently in Chiang Mai, Thailand, spending two months of the summer working as an intern at a Child Development Institute with a team of Expressive Arts Therapists. It is already week 3, and I have been so busy working with the children, and exploring Chiang Mai, that I want to take a moment to share what I have been learning!

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A Vision for Music Therapy in Ghana

Ellie Foster HeadshotIn January 2016, the nonprofit MusicXchange, founded by Berklee student Federico Masetti, organized a two-week service trip to Ghana to build strategic partnerships and raise awareness about the organization. The following post was written by Ellie Foster, one of the trip’s participants. Read a post by fellow participant Apiwe Bubu.

By Ellie Foster

Among the many meetings we had in Kumasi, Ghana, on January 7, none was quite so preliminarily daunting–and ultimately fruitful–as our appointment with Dr. Baffour Awuah. Dr. Awuah, medical director of Komfo Anyoke Teaching Hospital, sits on the board of HopeXChange Medical Center and agreed to meet with us at the request of fellow board member Riccardo Masetti—noted oncologist and father of our trip’s leader, Federico. As we sat in his waiting room, I couldn’t help but feel nervous about pitching the concept of music therapy to him.

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yoshieYoshie Nakayama, from Tokyo, is a Contemporary Writing and Production major, 6th semester. She studies arranging, recording/mixing with ProTools, playing trombone for concerts/recordings, and singing in vocal ensembles. She graduated Kunitachi College of Music in Tokyo with Bachelor of Music from Music Education major, Music Education minor, with a license of teaching music in japanese Junior high/senior high schools.



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Music Therapy Students Share Their Experience Doing Community Outreach in Panama

Berklee Music Therapy students traveled to Panama this past summer where they worked at Fundación Danilo Perez , Hospital del Niño, FANLYC, UDELAS and other local organizations. Students got the opportunity to share their Berklee knowledge and experience first hand by healing through music. Patricia Zarate, Berklee Alumna from the first Music Therapy graduating class, was the program leader and mentor for the students during this trip.

Emma Byrd, Piano, USA

DSC_0113 (1)The Music Therapy Service and Learning trip to Panama was, without a doubt, the most profound experience of my training thus far. During our week in Panama, I was challenged in ways I could not have been challenged in a classroom or practicum setting. At the same time, I was exposed to people and situations, which inspired and touched me greatly. It would be impossible to over-stress the impact this trip has had on me personally and professionally.

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Professor Karen Wacks Brings Music Therapy to Uganda

In May of 2007, music therapy professor Karen Wacks, traveled with eight Berklee students to Kenya on a service learning trip sponsored by Musicians for World Harmony (MWH), a nonprofit group created by former Ugandan refugee, Samite Mulondo. Since that time, the relationship with MWH has continued and professor Wacks is currently with Mulondo in Uganda, developing a feasibility study on using music performance and therapy for the Lord’s Resistance Army’s (LRA) ex-child soldiers to address post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

Children between the ages of 5 to 17 are still forcefully abducted, forced to kill, and be trained as rebel fighters or commanders’ wives. In addition to physical disabilities or even death, less perceptible but important psychosocial damage is inflicted upon children by armed conflict and violence. Music has been proven to provide the safety, comfort, and connection so needed for a child’s mental, emotional, and spiritual development. 

The following post was written by professor Wacks. 

I have been in Uganda since last Saturday afternoon and now it is a week later. This is some of the most intense work I have done thus far in my career as a music therapist.   There is no comparison to any other population or life situation.

When thinking of building this trip in the future, it will take a very special type of individual who can handle witnessing the level of suffering and pain that all of North Uganda is experiencing. Every family has been touched in some way by the killings, the abductions and the residual effects of the war.

Music therapy professor Karen Wacks visits Uganda


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