Meet your Music Therapist – Kristin Sjoberg

Kristin hikingHow did you get involved in music therapy?

My parents are both music educators and when my father was in school for his master’s, he had a class on music therapy. My dad told me I should look into music therapy, but being a preteen, I had to go my own way first. After finishing my undergraduate degree in Music Performance and Psychology, I volunteered with AmeriCorps and worked with inner city youth. One of my duties was teaching a music class, and as I observed how music created new avenues for self-expression, communication and cognitive development, I decided it was time to seriously think about my father’s suggestion. I returned to school and completed my masters in Music Therapy at the University of Iowa. I’ve been a therapist here in Colorado ever since!

 

Tell us about a favorite music therapy moment:

One of my clients is a young girl with a myriad of diagnoses, including autism. When we started working together, she did not have any means of communication other than screaming. Over time, we built up her signs. Concurrently, I would sing to her and have her feel my face as I formed different sounds. We made all sorts of silly faces together! Then, seemly out of nowhere, she started vocalizing. A month after this started, she greeted me at the door with a “Hi!” As I stared at her mom in shock, her mother just laughed, and then we all laughed together. Sometimes goals can seem far out of reach, or frustratingly difficult. Working as a music therapist has taught me that with patience and perseverance, the only limitations that exist are the limitations we put on ourselves. I am extremely thankful for each of my clients and their determined drive to grow.

Fill in the blank…….

When I was a kid, I used to love: Tromping through the woods and pretending I was all alone in the wilderness, hiding in trees and gathering berries to survive.

I feel relaxed when: I am flying down a ski hill on a sunny day, with the wind in my face.

You might not know that…Uff-da, well I love to cook and you betcha I make darn good krumkake (Norwegian cookies, doncha know?) I may also be a Scandinavian from Minnesota.

My friends would say that my best qualities are: Loyalty, honesty, and energy

One thing that shaped my personal philosophy is: I grew up with a large extended family, and in a small town. Through this, I learned the value of interdependence. I truly believe that we are all connected, and by assisting others in developing their strengths, society as a whole becomes richer.