A new music therapy clinic opened at SRU for the Music Therapy Program for current students to work with community members who have special needs.
On September 27, the clinic will officially be named the Sue Shuttleworth Music Therapy Clinic, in honor of the retired assistant professor and founder of the Music Therapy Program at Slippery Rock University.
Susan Hadley, director of the Music Therapy Program and a board certified music therapist, stated that the clinic would give students a hands-on experience right here on campus. All music therapy students must complete 200 pre-internship clinical hours as part of their degree requirements.
Students are able to work with music therapists working in facilities in the surrounding areas, but time constraints and distance necessary to travel sometimes can make this difficult. Now they will also have the chance to complete many of their pre-internship hours on campus.
“It is a win-win situation,” Hadley said. “The students get hands on experience under our close supervision, and people in the area have the opportunity to engage in music therapy.”
“The Music Therapy Program is one of our main degree programs here at Slippery Rock University,” Hadley explained. ”The student learns ways of working with people with disabilities through engaging in musical experiences. We help our clients meet their non-musical goals in a way that they will truly enjoy.”
The new music therapy clinic is equipped with new technology. Some of that technology includes an omnidirectional condenser microphone and a video camera to record the MT sessions straight onto an iMac computer in the adjoining room behind a one-way mirror.
The finished product, located inside the Swope Music Building, is taking the place of two previous classrooms. Room 103 is now both a state-of-the-art classroom space and music therapy studio for the students to enjoy, while room 102 is an observation room that houses the iMac computer.
“Parents, observers, and other therapists can watch patients without causing any distraction,” Hadley said. “The microphone in room 103 allows people to not only observe the therapy, but to also hear it as well.”
A few additional add-ons to the clinic include a white noise maker located outside the room to keep it more private for the people working inside the clinic. The inclusion of incandescent lighting allows a more relaxing atmosphere and is important for clients who have sensitivity to lighting.
Funding for the clinic came from the Provost’s Office and was recommended by the national accrediting agency, the National Association of Schools of Music.
“I am very excited to see this being used by our students,” Hadley said. “Not many universities in the United States have there own on-site clinic, so the fact that Slippery Rock was fortunate enough to create one is truly amazing.”