Summer Shorts 31: Care through Music – Room 217

Since July 2012, I have written what I call “some quick musings, my blog “summer shorts”, for the few opening weeks of the lazy hazy days of summer. So here we go, in what is a hot and humid, first week of July 2018.

In contrast, on a very cold evening this past January I attended a presentation at the Sheridan Centre for Elder Research titled Spotlight on the Arts: Impact on Business, Health and Well-being. One of the people in the room that night was Bev Foster, co-founder and Executive Director of the Room 217 Foundation, which is, as described on their website – “a social enterprise that uses music to change the culture of care.”

If I can play on words here, this struck a chord with me, for music has always been a central part of my life since early childhood. Without going into a personal long story on that and my eclectic tastes in music, I will say that I believe that the expressive influence of music has, above all other languages, the most power to communicate and make you think, create and feel better.

Speaking with Bev Foster some weeks later, I learned more about why and how Room 217 has brought music in particular to the care environments of older adults. This inspirational business model, told in their well-articulated new website, has been active since 2005 and has developed into a comprehensive experience that offers a wide range of opportunity for health care teams and caregivers to integrate music into their care box as it were.

A great Canadian story, Room 217 is a Conference Partner and Exhibitor at the International Federation on Ageing Conference, August 8 -10 in Toronto. And in what sounds like an added value proposition, the latest e-news from Room 217 says they will be performing at the conference. Looking forward to that. Over the years to come, I think we should be hearing more about how the arts contribute to our well-being not just in later life or end of life but through our whole life course.


1 comment on “Summer Shorts 31: Care through Music – Room 217”

  1. Elaine Froese Reply

    [* Shield plugin marked this comment as “0”. Reason: Human SPAM filter found “great post” in “comment_content” *]
    Hi Mark,
    Great post. It was a treat to meet you in Halifax at CIFPS. I will share this post with my speaker friend Jennifer Buchanan in Calgary who is a music therapist.
    Have a wonderful summer.

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