Emily joined the Greensleeves teaching team earlier this year with a degree in Music Education and current enrollment in a Master's in Music Therapy program. She hit the ground running and has steadily grown her student base throughout Chester County.
This summer Emily is doing clinical training at Valley Forge Medical Center and Hospital, helping to lead group music therapy sessions for adults who have addictions. She uses music and other expressive arts to help the patients relax, decrease physical pain, increase self-worth, and improve coping skills, among many other goals.
This coming fall she will be working with a music therapist at DuPont Children’s Hospital for her internship, which is the final piece of clinical training required for her graduate degree.
Emily enjoys performing when she gets the chance, whether it is vocals, piano, violin, guitar, or some combination of these. Lately performance has taken a backseat to teaching, attending classes, doing schoolwork and going to clinical training. However, sometimes special opportunities arise. Most recently, Emily was asked to provide music entertainment for a young girl’s birthday party and to use music that her and her friends can sing along and dance to. She says, “I am enjoying gathering ideas for this music experience, learning and practicing different pop music songs that I otherwise would not be playing or listening to.”
As a teacher, Emily says, “When it comes to my beginner students, I enjoy teaching classical music. I believe this is a good foundation. However, I also realize that my students come from many different cultural and ethnic backgrounds and that perhaps they might want to explore musical styles and composers who come from their own background. I think it’s important to go into a bit of the background of where our lesson repertoire is coming from. In school, as a black student, I was more interested in jazz than classical music because of the history and composers. I wanted to feel connected to what I was playing because making music is very spiritual for me. Luckily I had teachers who allowed me the space to at times, choose the music I wanted to learn. This is something I also do with my students.”
As for why she teaches, Emily says, “I teach for many reasons but mainly for the same reason I do music therapy: to spread the joy of music and be of service to others in a constructive, creative way. Every single one of my music teachers helped me to learn about music, to learn about myself, and acted as role models who I could trust and go to for help or in celebration. I want to give my students, especially young people, the same joy, passion, comfort and encouragement I have received from teachers in my own life.”