Junior, Heiskell, Tennessee
With her heart set on studying music therapy, Dixie Mitchell set out to find a university offering a program that would be the perfect fit for her. She quickly learned that finding a school that had everything she wanted in her home state of Tennessee was not as simple as she had hoped. When she began researching out-of-state schools, affordable tuition became a bigger priority. That was when she discovered Radford University.
“Since I’m from out of state, I didn’t know much about Radford,” she said. “I’m an outdoorsy kind of person, so once I visited here, I learned a lot about the university and the program, and I fell in love with the area.”
After applying and being offered admission, Mitchell quickly settled into campus life. She enjoys her classes, as well as spending time with her peers and faculty mentors who share her passion for music.
For a real-world experience and from a service-learning perspective, Mitchell conducts clinical work at a local elementary school under the supervision of a certified music therapist. There, she uses music activities to help establish customized learning plans for children.
“I have always worked very well with kids,” she says. “I have an energy level that matches them; I love how silly and creative they can be.”
In her spare time, Mitchell divides her attention between the Music Therapy Club and various sports and fitness activities. Previously a member of the Radford University Swim and Dive Team, Mitchell currently teaches an on-campus aerobics class once a week.
Inspired by her clinical studies, Mitchell would like to teach music therapy in a public school and focus her therapy programs on adolescents.
“Once you’ve seen music therapy in action, it is a strong motivator,” she said. “I think about how passionate I am about what I am doing, and how I've seen it affect peoples’ lives, and I’m reminded that it’s all worth it.”