Music’s role in rehabilitation and motivation

by Deb Bartlett

The content of 2015’s Music Care Conference will be bookended by dramatic and inspiring addresses by Allison Woyiwada and Alvin Law.

To kick off this year’s conference, Allison, her husband, Robert McMechan, and music therapist Cheryl Jones will share the compelling story of a remarkable recovery from a brain aneurysm.

In 2012, Allison was diagnosed with an aneurysm that was repaired during a complicated, 12-hour surgery. When she came out of an induced coma, the teacher and member of a music and theatre community functioned like a toddler.

Music used in rehabilitation
When it was discovered that Allison could play sheet music (though still speaking gibberish), neurologic music therapist Cheryl Jones agreed to use melodic intonation therapy to bring back Allison’s speech. Allison is once again teaching piano, conducts an Ottawa music group and sings in choirs. 

Allison, Robert and Cheryl will share the story of her recovery and rehabilitation with music during the opening and welcome to the Music Care Conference.

Changing the status quo
Following a full day of exhibits, sessions and refreshments, the conference will wrap up with a presentation by Alvin Law, who says being born without arms is the best thing that’s ever happened to him. A “Thalidomide Baby” of the ‘60s, Alvin was given up for adoption. His foster family advocated for him to be treated like a “normal” kid. Alvin learned to use his feet as hands and bucked the trend of segregated education for people with disabilities.

Music and motivation
Alvin discovered his musical ability when a music teacher thought playing trombone would be manageable. It was. So is piano and drums! Alvin graduated from high school and college with honours. He is a trained broadcaster, fundraiser, professional speaker, award-winning musician and bestselling author. His spirit compels people to dream big.
We can’t wait for you to hear Alvin’s presentation on Music as Motivation for Success.

For more information and register for the 2015 Music Care Conference, click below.