The music therapists are back

The music therapists are back

By Rhonda Dredge

Orientation Week was cancelled this year because of lingering fears that the COVID virus was once again taking off.

There was no free food, live music nor smoke ceremonies at the Victorian College of the Arts (VCA) to welcome new students.

“I heard that someone got something for free,” Hannah Murphy, a music therapy student, said.

There were events on line but these don’t pack the punch of a gathering of like minds on the lawns of the country’s premier arts faculty.

But Hannah doesn’t care. She is back with her mates, sitting a regulation distance apart, in full view of academics.

The University of Melbourne has opened and they’re due for a lecture so there isn’t much time for lingering.

The four second-year students are studying for a Masters of Music Therapy. They spent almost the entire first year of the course at home.

“We were at uni for two weeks,” Hannah said. “It was hard collaborating on Zoom.”

In music therapy techniques such improvisation and songwriting are used to achieve non-musical aims, she said. “It’s not easy working with a client on-line.”

At least the group of Masters students invented a new word while at home – “comfortability”.

“I’m sitting in it,” Hiliary Baxter said. “You can just be comfy at home. You don’t have to go to uni. You can still be in your PJs.”

Now they are back and ready to begin improvising again •


Caption: From left: Hiliary Baxter, Siena Verity, Nick Murray and Hannah Murphy on the lawns of the VCA.

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