Conservatory student discovers way to play music, help others

William Peralta ’20 followed his dual passions to University of the Pacific and soon he will be honing his skills as a music therapist at Children’s Hospital of Los Angeles in its Mark Taper-Johnny Mercer Artists Program.

Conservatory student discovers way to play music, help others

William Peralta ’20 followed his dual passions for music and helping others to University of the Pacific and discovered his purpose of being a music therapist. Soon he will be honing those skills at Children’s Hospital of Los Angeles in its Mark Taper-Johnny Mercer Artists Program.

Peralta grew up in a music-oriented household and always felt most accomplished and fulfilled when helping people. He initially enrolled in Pacific’s Conservatory of Music as a double bass performance major, but also had thoughts of attending nursing school or finding some other way to help people.

In the middle of his freshmen year, he learned about Pacific’s music therapy program, which allowed his two worlds to be combined. He knew he wanted to help people through music. 

“It seemed like the perfect fit of my love for music and my drive to help people in any beneficial way that I can,” Peralta said. “As I went through the music therapy program, I continued to fall in love with the possibilities that this profession can bring to various populations in several settings.”

Later, Peralta added a psychology minor to broaden his knowledge of human development.

Peralta believes Pacific has been vital in his success and presented many opportunities for him professionally, socially and academically. His professors cared about him and had a genuine interest in his success as a music therapist. He met with Career Services advisers who helped him through the process of applying for internships. He also received help with interview preparation, his resume and application essays. 

“Career Services will work around your schedule, sit with you as many times as you need, make sure you leave the office equipped and prepared for your future career endeavors, and feeling confident in your abilities as a future professional in your respective field,” said Peralta. 

Now he is on his way to the Children’s Hospital of Los Angeles as an intern in the Mark Taper-Johnny Mercer Artists Program. The program has expressive arts therapists and music therapists, among many other non-traditional art and recreation programs. Peralta will play the piano, guitar and sing to children receiving pediatric health care.

After he finishes this program, next stop for Peralta will be graduate school. He wants to continue his education and expand on his knowledge of music therapy to continue helping those in need.