Tag Archives: students

Making the Move

It’s coming closer to the time when students have to start thinking about what’s next. Those words can be terrifying, petrifying, but liberating.  What’s next? But, what if there’s more to it than that? What if it’s not just what’s next, but where to next 

Moving overseas can seem daunting, but thousands have done it before you, so it can’t be so bad, right? The thing is, one needs to plan well and figure out all the possibilities on offer. Talk to people. Read about others’ testimonials. Read old newspaper articles which talk about the place you’re researching. Open your ears and your heart to new possibilities and new people. Read a blog about a course you’re interested in…

So, practically speaking, what are some things you need to know when applying to the course?

Here is a short list of FAQs that you can peruse and leave a comment if you have more questions! Pass on this information to those you think might be interested in music therapy or work in the field and let us know what you think about the possibility of studying music therapy, studying with like-minded and open people and living and studying in the Land of a Thousand Lakes!

Thinking of applying for the next Music Therapy Master’s Programme at Jyväskylä? Here are some FAQ that might help you make your decision! 

1) What are the requirements for entry? 

Language requirements: English is the working language, so if you do not have English as a native language, you must have an equivalent to a TOEFL score of 580 – paper based – or 237 – computer based – or 92 – internet based. Also the IELTS score is acceptable – the score should be 6.5 or above. 
It helps to have a background in Music, Psychology or Therapy but one does not need to have a full working knowledge of therapeutic approaches or methods to be able to apply or complete the course. 

2) What is the atmosphere like within the programme/city of Jyväskylä?

The course is quite small for a MA – everyone is friendly and helpful and the overall atmosphere of the university is very pleasant. The city may have 80,000 inhabitants, but it has a very close-knit, compact feel and all amenities are within a short distance of each other. 

3) What is the clinical training like in the course?

The clinical training is comprised of two sections- Internship I and II. The first is 12 sessions and the second 20. The second is organised in the student’s own time whereas the first is done within class time and scheduled by the class teachers. 

4) What is the public transport like?

As of now, each single journey on the bus costs €3.30. It is possible to get a card that lasts for longer e.g. a 6 month card which costs €50 or a card that entitles the holder to 40 trips. This can be quite expensive. Most students cycle. The city is small enough to be able to get everywhere within quite a short time and there are always second-hand bicycles available for new students. For more information on second-hand items in Jyväskylä, visit the FB page Foreigners in Jyväskylä or Second-hand items in Jyväskylä. You may find someone from your own country who can tell you how they find it living in Finland  

5) Language courses.

For the MA course, all foreign students must take two Finnish language courses – Suomi 1 and Suomi 2. It is possible to continue these studies as a side course. 

6) Information on accommodation can be found here:https://www.jyu.fi/en/study/services/accommodation_degree_students 

7) How easy is it to make friends in Jyväskylä?

There is a strong international culture here because there are so many exchange students. If you would like to get to know a few before coming here, try the ESN FB page, where all the erasmus students currently living in Jyväskylä will be! There are a lot of activities one can do to get to know people such as choirs, orchestras, art clubs, other types of music groups, sports courses offered at the sports centre/university sports organisation as well as potential flatmates. All international students are “in the same boat” when they arrive here, and there are lots of events/parties/trips to Lapland/Russia/Stockholm, so plently of opportunites to meet new people!!

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All Hocus Pocus or Miracle Treatment?

These days it’s difficult to say whether the methods we employ to increase our well-being are scams by drug companies or life-saving practices. Honestly, I’d rather believe that the power to heal myself lies largely in my own hands and without the use of dangerous and addictive drugs. So, if drugs are not the answer, then what is?

People have been searching for alternative methods of dealing with stress, pain, bereavement, learning difficulties, during palliative care (end of life) and simply as a way of getting to know oneself. Therapy is, of course, one common method of addressing these factors but how does one know what type of therapy is suitable? Allow me to be precocious and lead you gently down the path towards the world of music therapy.

There are many reasons why one would choose to participate in music therapy. The effects of this art form vary incredibly; music helps to lower stress hormones, boost endorphins, stimulate neural connections, aid with social bonding, helps nurture a deeper understanding of oneself and one’s surroundings… The list is endless. (Of course, this is not to say that music therapy trumps all other types of therapy and healing – it is simply one approach).

Perhaps it’s difficult to imagine that music – something which is so common and present in our everyday lives – can have such an impact on our lives? How is it that there is pain, suffering, upset in the world when people listen to music constantly? If music is so effective, how come it isn’t used world wide as a way of treating depression? How is there any illness at all if music exists?

The answer is simple. Relationships. Connections. The difference between everyday music listening/playing and music created in  therapy is the relationship between client and therapist. It is true; anyone can sit in a chair and listen to music or play an instrument, yet it is the bond between therapist and client which acts as a catalyst for comprehension and understanding. The therapist is the pillar of support for the client yet the music enables emotional and social development. The bond between therapist and client is essential, yet music acts as the glue between them and helps initially to build a trusting relationship between the two.

The power of music and its influence on us is not a modern concept. As far back as Plato, music was assigned huge importance and was viewed as something supreme, almost omnipotent. Indeed, Plato refers to music as having the capability of healing:

Music gives a soul to the universe, wings to the mind, light to the imagination, a charm to sadness and life to everything.

If music was viewed in such a light in the 5th century BC with little knowledge of the physiological effects, knowledge of how it can transform our lives today holds – if possible – even stronger.

Moral of the story: utilise every chance to get to know yourself; utilise every chance to get to know others; utilise every chance you get to enjoy the magic of music. Even if music therapy is not a miracle treatment, neither is it hocus pocus. Don’t miss out on the chance to use a mighty art to transform how you see yourself and the world.