Virtual Music Therapy: An Interview with Kate Lowen, MT-BC

Kate Lowen, board certified music therapist, was eager to provide virtual sessions to support her clients. In addition to her music therapy practice, she’s taught English online for almost two years and was already aware of how effective virtual work can be! Check out her interview below for more about her favorite moments and creative session ideas!

Image description: Kate Lowen, music therapist, is looking into the camera and smiling. She’s holding an acoustic guitar with her right hand resting on the strings.

What have you enjoyed most about virtual work?

My favorite moments are all about reconnecting with clients that I haven’t seen in a long time! I’m so grateful to provide them with support through a virtual medium. It’s also been exciting to explore the magic of technology together. Some of my clients are excited for extra screen time and others are impressed by how technology is bringing us together in an isolating time!

“I’m both surprised and amazed at the genuine interactions I’ve had with clients… I have witnessed true joy and felt a true connection when making music virtually.”

What creative ideas have you incorporated into your sessions?

In my sessions, I’ve been taking advantage of being at home by planning themed sessions with items I have in my house. I’ve shown clients my seashell and sand collection while we sang beach songs. Another example is that I’ve displayed my houseplants while we compose songs about planting seeds.

What would you say to someone uncertain about the virtual format?

Just give it a try! I’m both surprised and amazed at the genuine interactions I’ve had with clients, even those with little experience with technology. I have witnessed true joy and felt a true connection when making music with others virtually.

“Virtual sessions provide greater opportunities for independence for my clients… and deepen [their] connection with staff/caregivers.”

What unexpected benefits are you aware of in your virtual music therapy work?

A benefit I didn’t expect is how virtual sessions provide greater opportunities for independence for my clients. They can sit by themselves, make choices, and independently interact (or not interact if they choose!) with me onscreen. I’ve also witnessed how our sessions deepen the connection for clients with their staff/caregivers. I get a greater understanding of the clients’ larger communities and the client and caregivers get to interact with one another in music.