Maya Story

Music Therapy and Avatars: Reflections on Virtual Learning Environments for Music Therapy Students

Kristin Maya Story


Music therapy students have expressed concerns regarding their general preparedness for practicum and working with new populations. Simulations in the immersive virtual world, Second Life, may provide a platform to assist in training music therapy students and enhance preparedness. This project examined the feasibility of utilizing Second Life to assist in training music therapists. Music therapy practicum students enrolled in a music therapy equivalency program participated in weekly one hour virtual class meetings in Second Life, which included 5 sessions of music therapy simulations. At the end of the semester, students were interviewed in relation to their experiences, and interviews were analyzed qualitatively. Common themes among students were limitations of Second Life software, student’s knowledge of software, emotional reactions (both positive and negative), and distance learning.  


Music Therapy Education; technology; Online education; Second Life

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Voices: A World Forum for Music Therapy (ISSN 1504-1611)