Freddy Perkins, MT-BC

Freddy Perkins, MT-BC, has been a board-certified music therapist at Voices Together since 2013. Freddy utilizes his infectious personality, strong counseling skills, and musicality to create safe spaces to promote positive change for his clients. He specializes in working with adolescents in crisis and LGBTQ* youth.

Q:  What are the qualifications for becoming a music therapist and how did you attain them?

A: The music therapy degree is a professional music degree which requires an audition for acceptance into the school of music, whose degree programs are approved by the American Music Therapy Association (AMTA).

The degree is four or more years in length and includes 1200 hours of clinical training, which is a combination of fieldwork experience embedded in music therapy courses and an internship after the completion of all coursework. The music therapy degree is designed to impart professional competencies in three main areas: music, music therapy, and related coursework in science and psychology. Knowledge and skills are developed through coursework and clinical training, which cover the theory and practical application of music therapy procedures and techniques. The education and training culminate with in-depth supervised clinical training in the internship.

Upon successful completion of the music therapy bachelor’s degree, an individual is eligible to sit for the national certification exam to obtain the credential Music Therapist-Board Certified (MT-BC) which is necessary for professional practice.

I received my Bachelor’s of Music in Music Therapy from Appalachian State University in Boone, NC and later interned at Bethany Children’s Home in Womelsdorf, PA. There I served children and adolescents who’d experienced various forms of trauma. I’m currently pursuing my Masters of Music Therapy through Slippery Rock University’s distance program, with the hopes of gaining both my MMT and LPC.

Q: How long have you been a board-certified music therapist?

A:  I’ve been a board-certified music therapist for over 3.5 years.

Q:  What do you love about music therapy?

A:  The thing that I love most about music therapy is working together with my clients to create something that is uniquely theirs and seeing how this expressive arts modality can encourage and facilitate change. I get the most satisfaction when one of my clients is able to overcome a challenge in their life through music therapy.

Q: Do you have a preferred population in music therapy?

A: My passion in music therapy has and will always be working with adolescents with emotional/behavioral disorders, who’ve experienced trauma, and who identify on the LGBTQ* spectrum. So often, these populations get overlooked when it comes to receiving mental health services, and I’ve seen first hand the impact that music therapy can have on them. My dream is to lead the charge in providing more research and literature that supports the use of music therapy with these clients.

Q:  What do you enjoy about working at Voices Together?

A:  I love seeing the joy on the faces of both my clients and their families when they do something new or meet their goal for the first time, whether it’s speaking their first full sentence or independently interacting with a peer. In those moments I believe that they realize how capable they are and that they are much more than a diagnosis. Seeing how proud they are of themselves makes what I do worthwhile and meaningful.

Q:  Have you had any inspirational moments while working at Voices Together?

A:  I’ve had quite a few inspirational moments at Voices Together, but the one the sticks out to me took place in one of our elementary school classrooms. It was my very last session of the school year, and I had invited parents to come and observe. During the goodbye song, one of my clients, who is diagnosed with autism, was able to independently say “Goodbye, Mr. Freddy,” with no verbal prompting. Myself, the teacher, and his mother were stunned. Before working with me, this student had never intentionally initiated a conversation. Words couldn’t describe how proud I was of him at that moment and I just remember crying in front of everyone. These are the moments that validate me.

Q:  What other interest do you have outside of music therapy?

A:  With me, the music continues even when I’m off the clock. Whether it’s performing in musical theatre productions around the Raleigh area or singing with my a capella group Spectrum Vocals, I’m always finding an excuse to sing and express myself musically. You can also find me teaching beginning piano, clarinet, and saxophone lessons in the Chapel Hill area. In addition to music, I try to keep active and stay in shape. I participate in Stonewall Sports – Raleigh, where I play kickball and dodgeball. I enjoy running and working out at Orangetheory Fitness.

When I’m not out and about, I love just staying inside and spending time with my friends and family. My roommate and I often throw small get-togethers for our friends, hosting board game nights, soup parties, award show viewing parties, and holiday events throughout the year. I guess you could say there’s never really dull moment.

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