Music Therapy Internship Directors' Perspectives on the Importance of Emotional Intelligence
University of Kansas
Music Education & Music Therapy
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Emotional Intelligence is one’s ability to perceive and use emotional information in oneself and in others, and to make decisions based on this information. It is made up of emotional competencies, which encompass perceptions and expressions of the self, relational interactions, decision-making, as well as coping and regulation skills. To date, little information is available concerning the observation and assessment of the emotional competencies in music therapy students as they navigate the internship application process. This study investigated the extent to which a student’s Emotional Intelligence impacts National Roster Internship Directors’ decision-making processes for determining a student’s suitability to their internships. Specifically, it examined the importance of Emotional Intelligence in determining student suitability, the methods used during the internship application process to assess the emotional competencies, and the importance of Emotional Intelligence as compared with other skills typically assessed. Fifty-four National Roster Internship Directors completed an online survey. Responses were collapsed and examined using descriptive statistics. Internship Directors indicated that Emotional Intelligence is an important factor in selecting their interns. All respondents indicated that the emotional competency, Empathy, was either ‘important’ or ‘very important’ (on a Likert-type scale ranging from ‘very unimportant’ to ‘very important’) in determining a student’s suitability. The development of consistent language regarding Emotional Intelligence may provide cohesion between Internship Directors and Academic Program Directors and better prepare students to thrive in the music therapy profession.
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