Class of 2022: Graduate living her music therapy dream
Story developed by University Communications. Photo Credit: Nicole Young.
C aroline Miller from Suwanee, Georgia is completing her Master of Music Therapy this December. The double Bobcat worked in the Georgia College & State University (GCSU) Music Therapy Clinic as a graduate assistant since graduating with her Bachelor’s of Music Therapy in December 2020.
While there, she’s served about 80 children a week in eight special education classrooms, as well as individual clients.
“I’ve watched so many of my kids make immense progress over the years that I have been treating them, and it is so incredibly rewarding,” Miller said. “To watch a student who is typically non-verbal sing along to our goodbye song, or light up when they play the guitar, is truly one of the greatest joys. I feel so grateful to go to work every day and get to make music with my clients.”
Q: What motivated you to complete your graduate degree?
A: I'm motivated to complete my graduate degree because I have loved expanding my knowledge of music therapy and how to become the best clinician I can be during my program. I have been very fortunate to have an incredible, supportive and encouraging group of professors who push me and inspire me to work hard. I eventually want to pursue a PhD and become a music therapy professor, because of how fantastic my teachers have been. I want to be able to take what they've taught me, and the passion for music therapy and their students, and pass that on to students in the future.
Q: Tell me about some of your favorite experiences from the Music Therapy Clinic.
A: Through the Music Therapy Clinic, my biggest contract was the Baldwin County Schools Program for Exceptional Children. I see them each week, and then at the end of the semester we put on a big performance for the students' families and administration to come and watch them. My kids love to perform and are so proud of themselves. It is my favorite day of each semester to perform with my kids and watch how proud of themselves they are, and give them an opportunity to truly shine.
Q: What got you started on this journey through music therapy?
A: When I was younger, I went to a music camp every summer. When I was 10, a GCSU-educated, sign language teacher and music therapist told me about her profession at campus. I had always loved music and wanted to work with special needs kids, so I felt like music therapy was the perfect combination of my two passions! I went home from camp that summer and told my mom I wanted to be a music therapist—now, almost 15 years later, that's what I'm doing!
Q: Who has informed your dream to be a professor?
A: Katie Whipple, Dr. Laurie Peebles, and Susan Craig have definitely informed my wanting to be a professor in the future. They have impacted me, and who I am as a music therapist, so strongly, and I am so grateful for them. They care so much about their students and always go way above and beyond for every music therapy student—helping them succeed and encouraging them. I want to, one day, be for music therapy students what they have been for me. I have loved getting to work closely with music therapy students, and I think I would really enjoy working with students in the capacity of being a professor.