Hi, I'm Laura. I'm (now) a sophomore music therapy major at Western Illinois University. I'm totally blind and have been since about eighteen months old due to a genetic condition which I will spare you all from the long drawn out name. The acronym for the condition is FEVR and there's actually a FEVR.net website out there devoted to the condition. It's staange though cuz I've never met anyone else with it except for the people in my family.
So I've just finished my first year in college as a music therapy student, and I'm loving it! It's amazing and challenging and amazing and did I mention amazing? At first it was rough starting out because I don't like performing all that much (at least back last semester it gave me something close to panick atacks). Now my nerves have gotten much better and I've learned to accept all of the requirements of being a music major. I don't read braille music all that well, and basically I'm learning as I go. When we learn about a new topic in theory class I'd pull out my book of braille music symbols another bklind music major loned me and looked it up. I performed in our concert choir both semesters this past year, and I joined our steel drum band this spring. I had to struggle through reading a lot of music for steel band, and it was my most challenging and musically intensive class I had even though it was an ensemble. I learned a ton for it, and in the end I was immensely glad I did it. I also came in to college with ilttle music training beyond a tiny bit of piano and what vocal techniques I'd learned from being in choir since 6th grade. I started private lessons in college. I'm happy to say that my vocal technique and ability has improved a ton! I'm amazed at the improvement I notice from this time last year at my audition.
I began field experience in usic therapy during the spring semester. Our college starts us pretty early in field experience which is what I love about our program. I know at some colleges you don't start until junior year with music therapy.experience. Anyways, I met with a client (the same one) for about 2wenty minutes each week. I planned and implemented a session each week, though my professor observed and gave input when necessary. Sadly my amazingly awesome professor is also retiring thi year, and we'll have a new professor in to run the program next year. Needless to say there'll be lots of changes. Bruce (current prof) has worked with another blind person in the program in the past and has developed some ways around visual things. I'm sure this new lady will be resourceful and accomodating, but it's a little daunting to have to start over with someone new when I was jsut getting used to and trusting of my current prof. Plus this new lady is a bit intimidating.
Hmm... nothing else really. I love music and music therapy. I fully believe in te healing powers of music, and I could never express in words how perfectly right music therapy feels for me.
This community was a great idea, and I can't wait to hear about other experiences!