Building a Music Care Community

by Bev Foster

I’m pumped that the awaited Music Care Blog is now up and running. It seems like yesterday we were together at the Music Care Conference (MCC) in Waterloo. As we begin the Music Care blog, my question is this: what will a music care community look like? Last week I presented a Music Care workshop in Newmarket to a group called PalCare. What I loved about it was that a variety of caregivers - rec. therapists from long term care, nursing students, musicians, thanatologists, hospice volunteers, PSWs and family caregivers—gathered to understand why and how music may be used in palliative care.  Two things struck me – the  unique perspectives represented in the group’s mix and that they all loved music. There was a genuine desire to explore how music could be used more effectively in their context. Those interested in music care come from a variety of experiences and approaches as we saw at the conference.  Some may be professional music carers (i.e. music therapists, harp therapists, expressive arts therapists),  musicians who know the healing power of their art, music enthusiasts, or caregivers who intuitively understand that music makes a difference in the context of healing and wellness. While this list is not comprehensive, here are a number of practices where music is used in the context of healing and wellness.

  • Music therapy (music used skillfully by a certified music therapist in a therapeutic relationship i.e. in geriatric care, mental health, physical disabilities)
  • Music medicine (music used as an adjunct i.e. dentist’s office)
  • Voice therapy (management of voice disorders)
  • Listening therapy (filtered music used to correct listening dysfunction)
  • Performing arts medicine (study and treatment of music-related illnesses)
  • Music thanatology (music used at end of life)
  • Certified music practitioners, harp therapists, clinical musicians (bedside musicians)
  • Sound practitioners (practices using music as healing content i.e. crystal bowls, tuning forks, drums)
  • Creative/Expressive Arts (therapy emphasizing creative process with many art forms including music)

So here we go!  What will a music care community look like?  I’d love to hear your thoughts on this. Bev Foster Executive Director Room 217 Foundation P.S.  Check out the wonderful article and tribute to one of our MCC speakers, Ruth Roberts, music therapist at Sick Kids in Toronto! The Toronto Star - Music Helps Kids Heal Faster

Music Helps Kids Heal Faster