Pioneer Profile

Anthony Tirrell '20

Major: Music Therapy

What made you choose this major?

In high school I was diagnosed with OCD and since then I have been fascinated by the brain and mental disorders. Since elementary school I had always been involved in music. I have been playing the saxophone for about eight years now, and have always thought about keeping music in my life in some way. My love and passion for the brain and how it works is what made me want to be a psychotherapist, but I didn’t want to stop playing music. Carroll gave me the perfect option, which was to continue in both fields by choosing music therapy as my major.

How has what you’ve learned prepared you for your future?

Being a music therapy major has helped me improve my musical ability as well as better understand the theory of music, which I didn’t know I could understand so easily. My instrumental lessons have helped build my performance skills and have helped me grow as a musician. Music therapy classes have helped me learn about the different types of therapeutic music techniques and music therapy fields I can go to into the future. Through these classes I get more and more excited about becoming a music therapist.

What opportunities have you had to work closely with a faculty member and what impact has that had on your education?

The small class sizes are perfect. I am able to connect with my teacher and have real discussions with them. They also take the time to help me understand concepts I’m not able to grasp right away. Because of the connections I have been able to develop with one of my professors, he was able to recognize my music abilities and recommend me for performance opportunities. This has helped me get my name out for other performance opportunities while also being able to represent the school and show everyone what I love to do.

What’s one unique experience you’ve had relating to the coursework for your major?

As of now the most unique experience I have had would be from my music theory class. We have been learning a lot of different rules and theories for writing music and how to analyze it. The professor had us pick any poem and write music for it. This project may have been difficult, but it was really fun to see how all of my knowledge came together to create a unique song.

How has Carroll enriched your growth as a person outside of the skills you’re learning in the classroom?

Music therapy feels like a double major already. We are under the music program so we are music majors but we are also learning to become therapists so it’s like we are psychology majors too. Despite this, I am still able to be a part of groups and clubs on campus, like the pep band and the campus radio, without being overwhelmed.

Why did you choose to attend Carroll University?

I am extremely happy that I chose to attend Carroll. The size of the campus is perfect so I don’t ever feel lost. The class room sizes are small enough that the teachers can get to know me personally instead of knowing me as a body in their classroom. Carroll is also close enough to my home that if I need to, I can travel home for the weekend.

Learn more about the Music Therapy program

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