June 16, 2023
Erika Einarson is a passionate music therapist at St.Amant whose journey into the field began during her university studies. Through her commitment to supporting others and using music to connect and grow, Erika has become an integral part of the St.Amant community, making a positive impression on the children and youth she works with.
While pursuing a degree in music therapy, Erika discovered Artists in Healthcare, where she had the opportunity to work as a recreational musician during the summers. This experience set her on her path to a career at St.Amant.
“I had a couple of experiences volunteering here when I was in eighth grade, so I had already had a bit of a familiarity, and then I did those summer jobs, even though it was only a couple of months, I just really enjoyed the community,” says Erika.
After graduating, Erika completed her music therapy internship at St.Amant, a comprehensive training program spanning approximately 1,000 hours. Shortly after becoming certified as a music therapist in the spring of 2022, Erika seized the opportunity to join St.Amant full-time when a job opening became available.
As part of the Clinical Services team, Erika works primarily with the students at St.Amant School. Erika’s day-to-day work involves a range of music-based interventions to convey non-music-related goals.
“I typically have between five or ten sessions a day, I take a cart up the ramp filled with all the instruments I need. I do sessions back-to-back, and then I’ll work with kids on their communication devices or for some people, I’m supporting them to regulate or manage their emotions or express themselves through music.”
One of the unique aspects of working at St.Amant that Erika appreciates is the interdisciplinary nature of the Clinical Services team. Collaborating with speech-language pathologists, physiotherapists, and occupational therapists, Erika finds the opportunity to learn from different professionals invaluable, enhancing her clinical skills and knowledge.
Outside of St.Amant, Erika remains actively involved in music. She is a member of a band called the Funky Miracles, playing congas and percussion. The band performs on Sunday nights at Park Alleys, offering Erika an outlet for funk music and improvisation.
“Growing up, I was always around piano, drum, or guitar teachers because my mom worked at a music lessons business. I was really inspired by a lot of the people there, and then I kept on playing instruments.”
Witnessing the progress and joy experienced by the students she works with inspires Erika. The close relationships formed through music and the ability to share these experiences with teachers, parents, and family members are among Erika’s favourite aspects of her work.
“I think you see a different side of people through playing music! One of my favourite things is telling teachers, parents, and family members some of the awesome things we do and these moments that we have,” reflects Erika.