Levels 1, 2 of Music Care Training move online, taught in real time

by Deb Bartlett

For six years, Room 217’s Music Care Training has given care providers baseline training in the use of music in care, which enables them to confidently and knowledgeably introduce music into their scopes of practice.

Classes have typically been comprised of a mix of long-term care recreation staff, hospice staff, adult day program staff, volunteers, music teachers, social workers, nurses, speech pathologists, family caregivers, and more. We’ve offered courses across Canada and the U.K. and balked at providing the training online because of the rich, in-person experience provided by Music Care Training to students.

COVID-19 has put the Foundation in a Catch-22. The restrictions on social distancing and group gatherings means that Room 217 can’t hold Music Care Training in person with caregiving peers, yet at the same time, the very real conditions people feel as effects of isolation and loneliness can be addressed by using music intentionally.

We waited to see how soon (or not!) COVID restrictions were being lifted. We are also very aware that many of our customers and stakeholders work with people who are more vulnerable to coronavirus and who live in group settings; those staff and volunteers may be even less willing to gather for training.

As a result, Room 217 is moving its Music Care Training online, for Level 1 and Level 2. This means that our Music Care Training can be taken by anyone, anywhere!

Bev Foster, Room 217’s founder and executive director, is teaching the courses. Class size is being capped at 24, the same as in-person classes, so students won’t feel part of a mass training. Using the Zoom platform, students will be able to break into small groups, (just as they do in person) to do some of the work that makes the Music Care Training experience so intense.

Level 1, Fundamentals of Music Care: Theory and Context, teaches care providers about what music care is, how it can be applied to care settings, teaches 10 strategies for utilizing music care, and includes the development of a proposal for an initiative in a care setting. This is a two-day, 14-hour course.

Building on Level 1, Level 2 is called Effects of Music in Whole Person Care, and digs deeper into how music affects a person in specific contexts, how to implement programs into care settings, and the research that supports your learning. 

The classes tend not to be homogenous, which often result in the generation and sharing of ideas from others sectors that can be adapted for use in other settings and contexts. By taking Music Care Training virtually, we hope that new ideas and connections will be shared and built by care providers from across Canada - and beyond! Now geography does not impact someone’s ability to take the training. In fact, we have registrants signed up in classes from B.C., Alberta, Saskatchewan, and Nova Scotia already.

There is still space in the two Level 1 courses, scheduled for July 23-24, and Oct. 16-17. If you’ve wanted to take Level 2, but it’s been a little too far to travel, here’s your chance. Take it from your home or workplace. Level 2 is being held Nov. 20-21.

There are group discounts available for organizations that want to send 5 or more of their team to the training. For details or more information, contact Deb at [email protected]