Music and the Aging Brain course launched at virtual learning studio

by Deb Bartlett

One of Room 217’s four pillars is education and training. Through the years, the Foundation has facilitated sharing information about using music in care in a number of ways; the annual Music Care Conference; our Music Care Training; Music Care Webinars; and now through the Virtual Learning Studio. We know that people have different learning styles, interests, budgets and time restraints.  One thing we hear frequently as we meet with stakeholder groups across the country is that attending training from a rural or remote area is a big problem when it comes to accessing continuing education and that’s part of the reason we launched the Virtual Learning Studio. We wanted to make learning accessible to everyone.

The first course we launched, taught by music therapist Sarah Pearson, is called Recruiting Musicians for Health and Social Care. If you’re an administrator or program leader, you’ll want to take a look at this course. It walks you through how to handle inquiries from musicians, how to create simple music programs for health care settings, how to recruit and screen musicians, manage the programs, and support the musicians you’ve recruited. There are eight modules to the course.

On Jan. 15 we launched the second Virtual Learning Studio course, Music and the Aging Brain. Music and health educator Chelsea Mackinnon teaches this course. She walks us through how sounds enters the nervous system and is interpreted by the brain, then talks about brain-based effects of music in four situations faced by many people as they age – dementia, Parkinson’s Disease, stroke, and pain. She includes links to reach out for more information and resources.

All modules have a quiz to ensure students are understanding what they’ve been taught, and certificates of completion are issued once the course has been successful finished. Some professionals may be able to use these as CEUs for their organizations.

Learning takes place on your schedule. You can start and stop the modules as you’d like, and work at your own pace. Register for a free account, then sign up and pay for the courses you want to take.


Deb Bartlett is a journalist by profession, with a particular interest in the health and education beats. As Room 217’s Resource Development Lead, her experience as a writer lends valuable communication and networking expertise within the wide range of Room 217 customers and media relations.  Contact Deb at [email protected]