music therapy. voice, ukulele, guitar, piano.
70% water, 30% art, 100% human.
Hi! My name is Miranda Contreras-Peterson, I’m working on my bachelor’s in music therapy at SMU. I sing and play piano and ukulele, and I’ve really always loved working one on one with people. But as I was thinking about the future, I was so scared to go into performance or sociology because I know how many people do that and how risky it can be. Then, I discovered music therapy and I knew exactly what I wanted to do with my life.
I want to succeed. I want to learn how to help kids like my brother deal with their autism with the help of music. I want to make enough money to support myself and pay off college. I want to help my mom live the life she could never have, because she was to busy giving everything to the people she loved. I don’t want my parents to have to work. I want to make the most of what I am paying to attend this institution. I want to make my mima proud. I know she would be, and I wish she could have seen how far I’ve come. I want to help people with multiple sclerosis, because maybe, if there were more progress in that field, mima could have seen me. I want to make people proud and I want to change the world. that is my motivation.
I was raised by very giving, very philanthropic, very loving people. I grew up surrounded by expectations of respect and selflessness, and always keeping in mind the well-being of others.
My goal for a very long time is to touch peoples’ lives. I want people to be able to thank me for what I have done for them. I have entered a field which very well may allow me to do just that.
My values revolve around who my mother is. Everything that she has every done has been for others. Everything that woman does is in the best interest of her family, her loved ones, and her community. I believe that If you have the ability to share your gifts and privileges, then it is your God-given duty to share it.
I believe I was given a musical gift and a wonderful mother for the purpose of helping to heal the world. I value the betterment of my community and I value universal respect. I value seeking out opportunities to to as much good as possible.
In the words of John Wesley, founder of the Methodist movement,
“Do all the good you can. By all the means you can. In all the ways you can. In all the places you can. At all the times you can. To all the people you can. As long as ever you can.”
It seems as though a lot of “effective” work habits as described by others involve some variation of repetition and beating the information to death. They advise to associate the material with other things so it’s easier to remember, and to go over it as many times as necessary until it’s been branded into your brain.
This is true for me - at least for the most part. I do find that rereading and resurfacing previously attained information is very beneficial in mastering a subject; however, there comes a point where if I do it for too long, the material loses meaning and it’s harder for me to retain it.
I find that listening to music while studying or doing work does me a great deal of good. I’ll always listen to the same music when studying a certain subject until finally, I can listen to the music without the material in front of me and I have a better time of recollecting what I read.
I have a lot of trouble focusing initially, but once I’ve begun, it’s easy for me to continue writing or studying or doing whatever it is I need to do.
I like reward systems and they tend to work well for me. For example, I really was dreading writing my first blog. I finished my first paragraph and allowed myself to make a hot pocket. After my next two paragraphs with a steamy hot pocket staring at me, i allowed myself to take a bite. Then I wouldn’t finish it until I finished my blog.
Needless to say I finished my entry pretty quickly.
I come from a background of music. My mom did musical theatre and tv, and earned her Bachelor of Fine Arts, and molded me into the performer I am today. My father raised me in a household which seemed hollow and empty when there wasn’t music shaking our home. My sister possesses the incredible skill of being able to play any instrument she touches.
I’ve been singing for as long as I can remember. I began playing with our piano an indeterminable number of years ago, and have been playing for years and years simply for fun. I picked up ukulele when I was home sick one day sophomore year.
Music has always been a method of escape for me. I always look back at some of the first songs I ever wrote. In 6th grade, I wrote a song with a hook that went "Life comes at you fast, and you never know which moment will be your last; you can live for today or plan ahead, hope for what you want to happen or trust in fate instead." For a 12 year old, those were some deep lyrics.
The difficulty with which I am faced when trying to pinpoint the moment in my life where I began dedicating my life to music astounds me. I am always taken aback when I talk to people who haven’t been completely surrounded by music their entire life. I grew up listening to a vibrant spectrum, from the Beatles to Bob Marley to the White Stripes to the music from Into The Woods. I cannot imagine myself in any other field than one pursuing art.
Music is a beautiful gift that was given to be given. I wholeheartedly feel that any talented musician is talented for a reason. They have a God-given task to spread their ability and their passion and their love for music, and that’s what I plan to do. My lifelong goal is to touch the hearts and minds of as many people as I possibly can, and I can’t think of a better way to do that than to pursue a degree in music therapy. I’m happy where I am and my future looks bright, and I plan on keeping that light as bright as I can for as long as I can.