Rachel Tutko, MT-BC

Where do you work and who are your clients? A photo of Rachel Tutko

I work for Seasons Hospice and Palliative Care, but currently in the role as an Associate Team Director. I provide additional support in a leadership role to the team director, clinical director, and the staff of the IDG.  I worked in the field for Seasons for about 3 and a half years as a music therapist before transitioning into a new role. I loved my clients, working as a hospice music therapist, and especially my team. When this position became available to me, I took it as an opportunity to grow as a leader and to support a team of friends and professionals that I love. I utilize my clinical skills as a music therapist daily even in my current role. I often assist staff with challenging situations and help them to triage and troubleshoot. I am often supporting families with questions, concerns, and providing solutions over the phone and during patient/family meetings. With my experience as a field music therapist with Seasons, I serve as a mentor to the field staff so that they feel more supported in their work. 

What is your favorite part of your job?

My favorite part of my work is still the patients and families. Even though I’m not at the bedside, I still feel very connected to the field. I do enjoy providing guidance and solutions to patients and families calling in seeking support. I also enjoy being a mentor to the field staff because it ultimately means that they can better support our patients and families. A lot of what I do helps contribute to the efficiency of the organization which ultimately means things run more smoothly for the patients and families we serve. 

What inspired you to become a music therapist?

Music therapy is everything I believe music is and does for people. It reminds us of what it means to be human in healthcare. I always knew I wanted to serve people, but also work with music on a professional level. I was fortunate to have found out that the mother of a childhood friend of mine is a music therapist and took her up on the opportunity to observe her. I spent the whole day with her during her sessions and the rest is history!

What do you do for self-care?

Always take the opportunity to learn music for yourself. If there is a song that resonates with me for any particular reason, I take the opportunity to just learn it for myself. I’ve grown to learn and love A LOT of music working with my clients, but in my current role, I’m not learning music for someone else quite as often. Music has always been a therapeutic outlet for me and serves as a reminder of my “WHY”. 

What’s once piece of advice you have for students or new therapists in the field?

Be patient with yourself. Allow yourself room to grow. Take feedback seriously. You’ll never be able to do everything, know every song, or know all the answers, but don’t let that take away from the beauty and excitement of your journey. Also, you are never “JUST” a music therapist. You are a leader in healthcare and your clients/patients need you.