The final transition of the graduate school experience may not be the passing of a thesis or dissertation defense, but rather figuring out what happens next. My conversations with fellow graduate students at this stage in their degree often centers around job possibilities, job interviews, and professional scuttlebutt about who is moving into what position.
This topic has certainly been looming in my mind, especially given that my options are limited due to family and spousal commitments (it’s not easy to uproot a family and the complexity only increases when your significant other is also an academic).
For the past several years I have envisioned that my career would encompass a diversity of “jobs” and areas of interests—establishing a part-time clinical practice, collaborating on research when possible, perhaps doing some adjunct teaching through an online degree program, and continuing my blogging as well as my advocacy work with CBMT.
However, there was a part of me that was a little sad that I had to put a hold on entering academia myself. I applied for a PhD program because I craved the intellectual rigor associated with graduate learning. And I haven’t been disappointed. The coursework, research, idea exploration, and stimulating conversations have deepened my curiosity, understanding, and fascination of music therapy. This degree also marked the first time I had the opportunity to study and practice the art of teaching and of supervision. It surprised me, not only in how much I enjoyed watching students develop musically, clinically, and intellectually, but also in how much I benefited from the process. Serving as an instructor, mentor, and supervisor is not about “teaching” concepts and skills, but more about walking with the student on a path of discovery as you foster and encourage their emerging understanding. It’s mutually beneficial if one is open to the process.
Thus you can imagine my incredible excitement in sharing with you some news that I’ve kept under wraps for most of this spring—I have accepted a music therapy faculty position at the University of Miami! Beginning in August 2014 I will serve as an Assistant Professor-in-Practice of Music Therapy in the Frost School of Music. I will be joining an incredibly talented faculty and am excited and humbled to have the opportunity to teach our future music therapy clinicians, administrators, educators, and advocates.
As with previous life transitions I have made, I look forward to continuing our conversations and this mutual path of discovery as I share with you this next chapter: my life in academia.