Stephanie An (Thuy Quynh), BMus, MA (Candidate)
How did you find out about music therapy as a profession?
“I originally discovered the profession of music therapy back in grade 10 in my civics and careers class through a “careers quiz” we did. I always thought the idea of music therapy was cool but it didn’t really cross my mind as something I wanted to do until my second year of undergrad. When it came time to apply to university, I had no idea what I wanted to do. I knew I wanted to work within healthcare, thus I ended up going into university as a gerontology major. Within my first year, I had dropped music like it was nothing. After the endless amount of years I put into my craft, I knew I had to keep it up somehow. As much as I loved gerontology, I ended switching into music and started all over again. This is when I took the introduction to music therapy course at my school and that memory from grade 10 popped up in my head. Fast forward 4 years later, I graduated from my undergrad in April 2020, where I obtained an Honours Bachelor of Music with a Minor in Mental Health, Addiction."
What are your hopes for music therapy in terms of equity, diversity, and cultural humility?
"As I am constantly educating myself with the research done within the field of mental health and the arts, majority of the research published within these fields are done on the “WEIRD” (Western, educated, industrialized, rich and democratic) population. Unfortunately, this makes it difficult for others to have a voice in research and academia. As for music therapy as a whole, I would love to see more diversity in not just the music that is used but as well as within the research done in the field. This can allow different ways on how a music therapist can approach a more diverse population, with the understanding of cultural morals and communities. While I focus on mental health, I think that a cross-cultural view of music therapy is needed to understand that mental health is not the same in all cultures. In fact, it is still taboo in so many cultures. How can music allow others to dive into this conversation that is needed?”
- Stephanie (@stephanieanmusic)
Submitted in November 2020