West Texas A&M Music Therapy Students Build Community Awareness in Amarillo

AMARILLO, Texas (KFDA) – Live music and pre-recorded work are being shared by music therapy students at West Texas A&M with the public.

The Amarillo Hispanic Chamber of Commerce gave them that platform to expose others to what students can do.

“You reach out to those in need who didn’t know they needed it, especially within the Hispanic community who sometimes don’t know what’s available to them to see how they can benefit,” said Jennifer Anguiano, executive director of the Amarillo Hispanic Chamber of Commerce.

This is the first large group presentation the students have done in the West Texas A&M music therapy department.

The outreach goal is to create job opportunities in Amarillo so they stay put and don’t leave to find job opportunities elsewhere.

“The course they are taking now prepares them for an internship or a job,” said Dr. Edward Kahler, director of music therapy at West Texas A&M. “We do it through mock interviews, we take over building, so it’s really in line with what they’re learning in this class to sell themselves to become professionals.”

To benefit those with mental health needs, physical disabilities, and learning disabilities, students complete their internships at Amarillo ISD, Northwest Texas Health System, assisted living facilities, and practices private.

“Music therapy is necessary in my opinion because of the fact that it’s so accessible to everyone,” said senior music therapy student Charlie Romo. “We listen to music every day, we can play instruments, and the great thing about music therapy is that we can provide a welcoming, non-threatening environment in which we can play music.”

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