Meet Marissa!

Marissa Gollogly, MT-BC

How did you find out about music therapy as a profession?

“Hi my name is Marissa! I am a hospice music therapist from Chicago. ☺

I truly believe we feel the most joy when we are contributing, when there is meaning in what we do. During high school, all I knew is that I wanted to dedicate my life to helping others. When I get asked  about how I found out about music therapy, it’s always tough to answer because so many things led me here! I knew I wanted to help, I knew I wanted to contribute but I was also passionate about music. It wasn’t until a friend in high school said why not both? This is where the path to researching and my introduction to music therapy began... but it didn’t really sink in and become a true goal of mine until my dad was diagnosed with a rare illness that left him paralyzed and hospitalized for 3 years. During that time in my life, I spent almost every weekend in a nursing facility. I would often think about how music would be a great tool to enhance my dads quality of life and all the other patients I would see in that facility. That is when my interest in working in a medical setting using music started and led me to wholeheartedly pursue music therapy."


What are your hopes for music therapy in terms of equity, diversity, and cultural humility?

"One of my favorite parts of being a music therapist is building connection - that therapeutic relationship. I’ve been tapping into and embracing both my Scottish and Mexican sides that allow me to reach my patients in a very unique way. 

There is so much beauty in diversity - one of the many reasons I love living in Chicago. This also means I have a WIDE range of cultural backgrounds when it comes to serving my patients. Aside from my own personal background, much of my learning of different cultural music and religions came during my internship and not from my undergrad. My hope is for more universities to include cultural appropriate classes to better prepare us so that we can BEST meet the needs of our patients and build that unique connection. 
I also hope to see music be accessible to EVERY single individual who is interested in learning an instrument. My heart breaks for anyone who is discouraged from not pursuing music due to financial difficulties. I say this from experience when I could not afford piano classes as a child. Luckily, it still led me to pursue music but I don’t want that struggle for anyone else. We could be missing out on an amazing future music therapist."


- Marissa Gollogly (@marelydiaa)

Submitted in March 2021


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