Music is an important part of so many college students’ lives, and many people look to their favorite songs or artists as a way to deal with pain or hardship. Rowan University’s Music Therapy Club is a student-run organization on campus devoted to educating and teaching students about music therapy and its many benefits.
The club uses different activities and strategies in their meetings to make music and mental health come together.
“This semester our theme is self-care and we had people write on sticky notes describing things like…some stressors in their life,” said Music Therapy Club President Maia Morales, a junior at Rowan.
“Someone was… being open about how they had, I think it was ADHD, and obviously we don’t know who that is but… when people come into our meetings… sometimes people are shy they don’t want to vocalize what they’re going through,” said Morales. “For our meetings, someone who may be going through that or even if it’s depression or anxiety, and not vocal about it… come in and learn these things and take them away for themselves.”
Some of the techniques they use to tackle stress are dancing activities, drawing with music, sing-alongs, and, in the past, they have even created their own instruments.
The club can also be a way for music therapy majors to learn more about the field and practice their skills.
“It’s a great way to kind of relearn a few things that you’ve learned in class maybe, or you learn new techniques and games that you can use in the field or in a class,” said Morales.
This Friday, Dec. 2, the club will host an Open Mic event in Wilson Hall, Room 107 from 5 to 7 p.m. The entry fee is $3 and there will be a bake sale during the event to help raise money for the club. The money will go towards supporting the club and will help send students to a Mid-Atlantic Region of the American Music Therapy Association conference in Niagara Falls.
“If we can fundraise enough money hopefully, from now to the spring, that would be cool to send a few more people over if we could,” said Morales.
The conference allows students to network, attend Keynote presentations and learn more about careers in the field. Morales attended the conference last year when it was held in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.
“I wanted to work with elderly patients with dementia, so I was able to go to a Keynote speaker about that and learn more about the field and how it is working with individuals like that, and I found that so eye-opening,” said Morales.
The club makes an effort each week to make members happy and to leave them feeling a little better than they did when they came in.
“It’s been rewarding to see how many people leave with smiles after our meetings and just have fun,” said Morales.
The club is open to students of all majors, not just music therapy students. They meet every other Friday from 5 to 6 p.m. in Wilson Hall, Room 107. There are roughly two meetings per month, and students are always welcome to attend.
“To see our numbers go up and up and up is what I really would love to see happen in the future,” Morales said.
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