August 10, 2022

Soon after John Yore ’23 set off for Barcelona to begin his summer internship with the Catalan Music Therapy Association, he discovered his Spanish skills weren’t as strong as he thought they were. He quickly realized, though, that music is “a universal language.”

“It was a fun challenge to try to connect more through music rather than just a spoken language,” Yore said.

A psychology major with a minor in piano performance, Yore sought out the internship opportunity because it combined his major and minor into an occupation that helps improve the well-being of others.

Catalan is a nonprofit organization that promotes the use, research and dissemination of music as therapy. Music therapists introduce interventions that can help people attain a variety of healthcare and educational goals, from promoting wellness and managing stress to enhancing memory and promoting physical rehabilitation.

“The main type of work was assisting the therapist in a variety of activities with children,” Yore explained. “The internship was centered around children who have special needs, so activity varied from patient to patient.”

Yore conducted his internship as part of his GO Your Way experience. In addition to his psychology coursework, Yore said the prep course he was required to take before leaving for Barcelona also prepared him for his time abroad. Though SU offers 100 GO programs in 55 countries, students can participate in another short-term program or design their own through GO Your Way. A GO Your Way program must be at least two weeks long during a summer or winter break and include an internship, volunteer experience or academic study program.

Yore hopes his internship will prepare him for his postgraduate ambitions, either a job in a field similar to music therapy or graduate school.

“It was a step out of my comfort zone for sure, especially with the language barrier,” he said. “I think having experience like that was a good challenge for me and will help me overcome any future obstacles I may come across.”