Danae: Music therapy practicums integral to my experience

By Alexa Ganzeveld ’22

At Wartburg, Danae Taylor ’22 can pursue a career in music therapy while getting meaningful, hands-on experience in the field.

“Music has always been a passion of mine. I started playing the piano when I was in first grade, and since then I’ve continued to learn more instruments, including the guitar, violin, and mandolin,” said Taylor, of Ossian.

One of Taylor’s first classes, Music Therapy Foundations, is still a favorite. In addition to fundamental skills she will utilize as a music therapist, like how to facilitate a therapeutic drum circle, she also learned how to play the ukulele, q-chord, and autoharp.

At Wartburg, music therapy students have the opportunity to begin clinical experiences in their second semester. By the time they graduate, students will have completed up to six practicum experiences at several of the 30 partner sites in and around the Waverly community.

“I am currently on my fourth practicum. Each one has been eye-opening and educational, but it has also made it hard to decide which population I want to work with in the future,” Taylor said. “This last practicum experience has made me passionate about working in a hospital or intensive care unit.”

Students in the music therapy degree program also must complete a six-month internship, a requirement established by the American Music Therapy Association, before sitting for the board certification exam. Taylor hopes to find an internship in the medical community.

Danae Taylor, a member of the college's clay target sports team, is learning more about her major through music therapy practicums.

On campus, she is involved in several music ensembles, including Castle Singers, Rosenchor, and Hope Overflow, and is a member of the college’s clay target sports team.

“I really missed shooting and being a part of a team. It’s a hobby that’s totally different from music and academics. Plus, I got to meet new people, which was also really awesome,” said Taylor, who shot trap for three years in high school. “After joining the Wartburg team, I had to learn skeet, five-stand, and sporting clays. I was nervous at first because they were more challenging, but I found that I enjoy them more than trap shooting. Coach (Chad) Wood is dedicated to the success of the team. He helps us figure out what we’re doing wrong and how to fix it, which makes us better shooters.”

Though Taylor worried she wouldn’t have the time needed to play a sport at the collegiate level, she said Wood has helped her find the best way to make her schedule work to ensure she has time for academics and athletics. Now, she encourages others, regardless of the skill level, to give clay target sports a try.

“When we go to meets we kind of forget that we have to shoot because we’re socializing, and we just enjoy hanging out together. Don’t be stressed out about being the best shooter. We will accept you no matter how you shoot,” she said.