Before I came to the School of Music, I was a clinical psychologist in my home country, Taiwan (R.O.C.), and I tried to combine musical elements with psychotherapy as part of my hospital work. Whilst at Leeds, I followed the MA Applied Psychology of Music programme. During the academic year, I conducted a vast amount of research on the links between musical preferences, personality traits and relaxing effects. This provided me with a great opportunity expand on my knowledge of music-induced relaxation. This experience has most definitely strengthened my confidence in helping people in a clinical setting.
Another exciting experience I had was the opportunity to undertake an applied performance project. As an enthusiastic pianist, it was wonderful to be able to work on my craft whilst developing collaborative skills within an ensemble environment. This project gave me an opportunity to reconsider the common values represented by folk music from both Eastern and Western cultures. More importantly, it provided me with new insight as to how I can manage and develop group psychotherapy in the future and enable easier communication and rapport between group members and therapists by transferring skills I developed within the musical ensemble into my work.
As an international student, I am extremely glad that I chose to study at Leeds. In addition to expanding my knowledge, I met many great people, students and staff alike – one of the best things about my time in the UK!