The Mississauga Living Arts Centre set the stage on Saturday, Nov. 7 for the eighth Music Care Conference.
This year’s conference, with a theme of Music and Rehabilitation, was presented by the Room 217 Foundation, University of Toronto Faculty of Music, Music and Health Research Collaboratory (MaHRC), Laurier Centre for Music in the community and Baycrest Hospital.
Attendees were able to take in sessions that included current research involving music’s effect in the treatment of brain tumours, fibromyalgia, and cardiac rehabilitation, how to facilitate teaching people in wheelchairs to dance at a session called Dancing with Parkinson’s, guided imagery and music, the Harmonica Exercise for Lungs Program, music and the path of bereavement, Soundbeam Sensory Resources, and the launch of Room 217 Foundation’s latest resource, Pathways Singing Program for memory care.
In development for four years, Pathways is an evidence-based, comprehensive singing program that helps people with dementia find their voice through song.
The conference kicked off with a keynote address by Allison Woyiwada and her husband Robert McMechan, about Woyiwada’s recovery from surgery to repair a brain aneurysm. Neurologic music therapist Cheryl Jones, who treated the Ottawa music teacher, discussed how she used music in the recovery.
Alvin Law wrapped up the conference with a presentation about the difference music has made in his life. Poignant and
funny, Law, a “thalidomide baby”, discussed how his musical aptitude led to the creations of a specially-designed frame to hold a trombone as a high school student. He also plays piano and drums, and demonstrated as part of his presentation.
Delegates come from a wide range of backgrounds. Healthcare professionals, volunteers, spiritual care providers, students and family members – all with an interest in integrating music into caregiving – were represented at Music Care Conference.
Room 217 Foundation is a registered, Canadian charity that has been creating resources designed for care and education for almost 10 years. For more information about the Foundation, visit www.room217.ca.