Navigating an Internship at a Residential Education and Medical Centre in Rural Kenya

Reflections of a Music Therapy Student


  • Mufu Luvai Matumaini Rehabilitation Centre, Molo, Kenya



music therapy; internship; mental health; rural Kenya


Little has been written from the perspective of a Kenyan student completing a music therapy internship at a mental rehabilitation institution in rural Kenya. At the time of writing this essay, music therapy was still not recognized as a profession in Kenya. This observation inspired me to fill a knowledge gap, encourage students to share their own experiences, and in the process, encourage aspiring music therapist students pioneering in other parts of Africa. I have divided my learnings into five themes based on my reflexive notes: (1) Mindset: Something out of nothing, (2) A staggered internship, (3) Transferring theory to practice, (4) Navigating workplace culture, and (5) Cultural sensitivity and musical multicultural competence. I advise the reader to take into conside­ration that these are my thoughts as a student undergoing a transformation. The essay not only describes my journey as an intern, but also provides me with a template for further reflections in my work as a music therapist. Compiling this essay has taught me that words on paper carry significant weight and have the ability to bring resolution to a problem or propagate it further. Through the internship, I came to learn that it is the role of music therapists to see beyond adversity; ignite hope where there is despair, and hold on to a future of possibilities.

Author Biography

Mufu Luvai, Matumaini Rehabilitation Centre, Molo, Kenya

Mufu Luvai, is an alumnus of Maseno University in Kenya. She completed a pre-master in Music Therapy at ArtEZ University of the Arts, the Netherlands. She is currently working as a music therapist in Kenyan schools, exploring music therapy within a multicultural environment. Her main interest is in the neurodiverse population as well as music therapy research within the African context.

Photo of author Mufu Luvai




How to Cite

Luvai, M. (2023). Navigating an Internship at a Residential Education and Medical Centre in Rural Kenya: Reflections of a Music Therapy Student . Voices: A World Forum for Music Therapy, 23(2).