From Surviving to Thriving: Creating a Viable Virtual Model of Music Therapy Internship in Private Practice During a Global Pandemic


  • Madison Michel, MM, MT-BC Music Therapy clinician and supervisor
  • Miranda Rex, MA, MT-BC
  • Annie Roberson, MT-BC



COVID-19 Pandemic, Intern Supervision, Virtual Music Therapy, Virtual Supervision


Though many music therapists pivoted to offer online clinical services during the COVID-19 pandemic, the methodology of music therapy internship sites that adapted to a virtual model of internship during this time is largely unknown. The private practice the authors work for, located in a large metropolitan area of the United States, has trained at least 11 interns using a virtual model of music therapy supervision created during the pandemic. The practice’s five internship supervisors use technology tools including Zoom, Google Drive, and Calendly as the basis for their virtual supervision program. Programming concepts for interns include online group supervision to discuss professional topics, intern social hours, intern study hall hours, and supplemental online resources for intern growth and reflection. Supervisor and intern feedback highlighted major challenges including clear communication, clinical skill development, and maintaining work-life balance during a virtual internship. The authors stress the need for vulnerable leadership and open communication in this model of internship. Advantages of a virtual model include decreased financial burden for interns, increased flexibility of programming, and increased accommodations available for interns. A partial or total online model of internship can be one strategy to meet the growing need for internship sites as the pandemic continues and society becomes increasingly technological.

Author Biographies

Madison Michel, MM, MT-BC, Music Therapy clinician and supervisor

Madison Michel, MM, MT-BC, Neonatal ICU Music Therapist, graduated from The University of Alabama with her BM in Music Therapy with a principle in voice in 2015, interned with Heart and Harmony Music Therapy. While working as a therapist for Heart and Harmony, she graduated with her MM in Music Therapy from Colorado State University (distance) in December 2020. In addition, she has been honored as a DFW Child Magazine Mom-Approved Therapist two years in a row (2019-2020). Madison has been supervising interns since July 2017 and is now the Heart and Harmony Education Director with a vision to create a dynamic, supportive, and challenging environment that pushes each intern and practicum student to develop into a passionate and competent professional.

Madison specializes in a neurodevelopmental sensory-based treatment approach that uses the puzzle pieces of music, research, and therapeutic experience to target the individual needs of each client. She believes in lifelong learning and is currently independently studying the neurodevelopmental impacts of stress.

In addition to her work at Heart and Harmony, Madison has presented at both regional and national music therapy conferences and enjoys presenting in her community. She has worked for Adam’s Camp Colorado and Adam’s Camp Alaska on a multidisciplinary therapy team for both children with ASD and genetic disorders. Madison is proud to be a third generation music therapist and is currently pursuing historical research on her grandfather, Dr. Donald E. Michel, a pioneer in music therapy who began practicing in 1950.

Miranda Rex, MA, MT-BC

Miranda Rex, MA, MT-BC completed her master’s degree in music therapy at Texas Woman’s University in 2018, and is currently pursuing an additional master’s degree in clinical mental health counseling to obtain a licensed professional counselor (LPC) designation.

Miranda’s primary passion is individuals across the lifespan with mental health concerns, but she enjoys engaging with persons of all ages with autism and intellectual and developmental disabilities as well. Miranda also cares deeply about health equity amongst marginalized populations, and is an advocate for racial, gender, and disability rights.

Miranda has served as a practicum supervisor for Heart and Harmony since 2019, and began supervising interns in 2020, working with universities and students across the U.S., both in person and virtually. In 2021, she and her co-workers presented at the SWAMTA regional conference with the presentation, What We Learned From a Year of Virtual Supervision.

In addition to this presentation, Miranda has worked in tandem with her co-workers to present at several other venues in the state of Texas, including the Gladney Center for Adoption and Sam Houston State University.

Annie Roberson, MT-BC

Annie Roberson, MT-BC, Neonatal ICU Music Therapist, Sound Birthing Music Therapy Assisted Childbirth Specialist, completed her music therapy coursework at the University of Alabama with a primary instrument of trumpet. Annie completed her internship with Heart and Harmony in the fall of 2018. She is a professional member of Autistic Self-Advocacy Network (ASAN).

Annie’s clinical experience includes NICU infants, children, teens, and adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities, children and teens with emotional and behavioral disorders, adults in oncology units, and adults with dementia in memory care units. Annie completed her Sound Birthing Music Therapy Assisted Childbirth Specialist in July 2019 and is excited to support parents and babies in the DFW area. Annie is also an internship and practicum supervisor.


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How to Cite

Michel, M., Rex, M., & Roberson, A. (2022). From Surviving to Thriving: Creating a Viable Virtual Model of Music Therapy Internship in Private Practice During a Global Pandemic. Dialogues in Music Therapy Education, 2(1), 28–53.