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Wednesday, May 16, 2018

A master’s degree that’s more than something to sing about | Health & Medicine - Harvard Gazette

This is one in a series of profiles showcasing some of Harvard’s stellar graduates.

"González-Alverio hopes her musical talents can remedy pain from physical to psychic, even to prematurity" says Edward Mason, Harvard Correspondent.

Already the master of 10 instruments and four languages, Jeniris González-Alverio wanted to earn a degree that she could use to help children and adults recover from injuries and overcome disabilities.
Photo: Jon Chase/Harvard Staff Photographer

A person who sings, plays many instruments, and is fluent in four languages can garner so many opportunities it’s hard to focus. What to make of one’s mastery?
Jeniris González-Alverio, 29, decided on music therapy, using the power of music and song to help children and adults recover from injuries and overcome disabilities.
“If there’s one thing my life is focused on, it’s using my skills and resources to change the world for the better. I want to be of service,” said González-Alverio, Ed.M. ’18.

Her parents weren’t musical, but González-Alverio was a natural singer and musician from an early age. She can play “at least” 10 instruments, including piano, guitar, ukulele, drums, bass guitar, flute, and piccolo. Languages have come easily too. She’s fluent in English, Spanish, Italian, and American Sign Language.

González-Alverio was a teenager when she first thought about music therapy: She noticed while singing lullabies to a baby cousin that the sound of her voice calmed him.
Music therapy is the therapeutic use of music to address individuals’ physical, emotional, cognitive, and/or social needs, according to the American Music Therapy Association.

Becoming a music therapist did not come as easily as learning to play all those instruments. González-Alverio spent several years singing and playing with touring bands across Puerto Rico to save money for college. She first attended the University of Puerto Rico, then transferred to Berklee College of Music, where she graduated summa cum laude in 2013 with a degree in music therapy and psychology.

Recommended Reading

Howard Gardner
Photo: Stephanie Mitchell/Harvard Staff Photographer
‘The greatest gift you can have is a good education, one that isn’t strictly professional’ by Liz Mineo, Harvard Staff Writer.
"In a life of multiple pursuits, Howard Gardner has remained a student above all else." 

Source: Harvard Gazette