Rooms Around the World

Author(s): Profiles hospices, hospitals, long term care facilities and people using or beginning to use music in therapeutic ways.

Submitted by Atlantic Institute on Aging (watch short video clip on impact of this program)

Initiated by Music & Memory, a non-profit organization based in New York, the Well-Tuned Pilot Project aims to understand how individualized music playlists can improve quality of life for nursing home residents. The Atlantic Institute on Aging, a Fredericton-based not-for-profit is one of 15 organizations that is part of the Well-Tuned pilot. The Institute is overseeing the implementation of the pilot across three New Brunswick nursing homes: York Care Centre (Fredericton, NB), Foyer-Notre-Dame St. Leoanrd (St. Leonard, NB), and Drew Nursing Home (Sackville, NB). These homes are the only Canadian homes participating in the pilot.

Together, the three nursing homes have 50 residents participating in the pilot project. An interdisciplinary team of nursing home staff are working together and with residents’ families to craft individualized playlists for each resident to listen to on an iPod. The songs are chosen according to residents’ preferences and include ones of sentimental or spiritual significance. Many of the participating residents are non-verbal or experience symptoms of dementia such as pain and rapidly changing emotional states. Already, only a few weeks into the project, nursing home staff are reporting that the iPod listening has improved the mood of some residents, has helped them cope with pain, and several have become more engaged as a result of iPod listening.

The Institute is working with the three nursing homes to track, record, and analyze how personalized playlist listening impacts the quality of life of nursing home residents and will present the pilot’s progress on June 4th at the 2012 Music Care Conference being held in Fredericton. (Info and registration for the Conference at As well, the results will be included a larger analysis undertaken by Music & Memory. For more information about Music & Memory and the Well-Tuned Pilot Project, please visit To learn more about how the Atlantic Institute on Aging, please visit, email, or phone 506-444-3337.

Health Arts Society

Bringing lively arts to audiences in health care

Submitted by Noreen Langdon

Health Arts Society (HAS) is a not-for profit organisation founded in the first days of 2006 to meet the clear need for live professional arts programmes for people isolated in health care. HAS was inspired by founder David Lemon’s observations of family and friends’ experiences of life in long-term residential care. The largest audiences in health care for arts programmes are found in residences for elders. Many of these people will be unable to access live music or theatre arts for the rest of their lives. Occupational therapy and recreation staff make valiant efforts to provide programmes but the cost of them is stripped from already pressed operating budgets. Health Arts Society wants to see this situation change and its Concerts in Care programme is an agent of that change.

Concerts in Care programmes are also presented in mental health sites. The neurological benefits of music are becoming better known. A research project has been undertaken with the participation of Health Arts Society by the Institute of Mental Health at the University of British Columbia and Provincial Health Services Authority. This research will help to identify and describe more precisely the outcomes of the Health Arts programme. The Health Arts Society is now a national programme represented coast-to-coast through a family of not-for-profit organisations. Since its inception in 2006 Health Arts Society and its sister societies have presented over 5,000 live concerts across Canada.

Health Arts Society (BC)
Health Arts Society of Alberta
Health Arts Society of Regina
Health Arts Society of Manitoba
Health Arts Society of Ontario
Société pour les Arts en Milieux de Santé (SAMS)
Health Arts Society of Atlantic Canada

Upcoming National Event
Thanks to a generous grant from BMO Financial Group, Health Arts Societies/SAMS will present a 400-concert coast-to-coast event in April/May 2012: BMO National Concerts in Care Spring Festival
David Lemon Founder, Health Arts Societies | 604.230.2732

Noreen Langdon Executive & Artistic Director, Health Arts Society of Atlantic Canada | 506.523.5395 / /