Defining the DNA of the Music Care Community

by Bev Foster

Welcome back as we continue exploring what a Music Care Community will look like.  The Room 217 Foundation team was thrilled to see how well the Music Care Blog was received and we are encouraged by your comments both on the blog site and via email.  Allow me to share my thoughts on key elements of the Music Care Community. The Music Care Community has three essential components:

  • IdentityWho are we? Individuals come to the music care community with a music background seeking to explore the therapeutic possibilities of our art OR with a caregiving background seeking to understand the hows and whys of  music as a therapeutic modality. We are people that believe music “works” and that it has a healing power.
  • CollectivityHow do we get together? We gathered in person for the first time at a conference in Waterloo ON in November 2010, and will get together again through conferences and workshops (stay tuned). We stay connected via the Music Care Blog.
  • Experience What do we do? We share our stories of how music makes a difference in the contexts where we live and work. With such a diverse and cross disciplinary constituency, the rich possibility for effective learning and meaningful interaction between all stakeholders in music care is tremendous.  For example, here is an amazing story of how music as a cultural intervention has been aimed at sustainable peace, security and global awareness. Dr. Michael Frishkopf, Associate Professor, Department of Music, University of Alberta and Associate Director, Canadian Centre for Ethnomusicology (CCE) writes:

Music of refugee camps isn’t founded upon social harmony. Rather music is a technique for harmonizing, a strategy for survival: transmitting social values, restoring individual and collective balance.   Music – expressing the inexpressible in human experience – is catharsis and consolation. Music creates connections, fosters reconciliations, builds communities transcending ethnic difference.  Music empowers, raising consciousness beyond necessities of subsistence.   Music helps people forget their pain, remember themselves and re-imagine their futures.  Music critiques power, protests injustice, instills hope and fortitude. Such music can be a progressive force for social change. Check out this University of Alberta  action research project “Giving Voice to Hope: Music of Liberian Refugees” centering on popular music produced by residents of Ghana’s Buduburam Refugee Camp. Giving Voice to Hope: Music of Liberian Refugees I anticipate that as we share expertise, experiences, and resourcefulness with each other, care for our loved ones, clients, residents, students and neighbourhoods will improve.  And my hope is that as musicians and carers we will feel supported, inspired and empowered in who we are and what we do. So let’s begin. Share today by posting a comment below or email me at [email protected] Bev Foster Executive Director Room 217 Foundation