Sharing A Meaningful Song

by Sarah Pearson

This is a monthly series on the Room 217 blog that asks the question: What is a song that is significant to you?                                

In Level 1 of the Music Care Certificate Program, one strategy we teach participants to use in their care relationships is called “Sharing a Meaningful Song.”

This is an incredibly simple strategy, and yet can be so profound.

It’s not uncommon, when wanting to make a musical connection with a person, to ask them “what is your favourite song?” This question however can often be trite and feel difficult to answer. Personally, I have far too complex and rich a relationship with music to be able to name a “favourite.”

But if we ask someone, “what is a song that is significant to you?” –we can get a wealth of stories.

If I’m running a workshop or teaching a MCCP course, I’ll usually use this question as an ice breaker. We’ll get into pairs and, in two minutes, each tell each other a story about a significant song in their lives. When we regroup, I’ll ask: “do you feel that you know this person in a deeper way now?” The emotional charge in the room, and the ineffable sense of connection shared, usually speaks for itself.

In 2016, we are asking this question to our Room 217 community:

What is a song that is significant to you?

Once a month, we’ll be featuring stories about how a particular song may have played a role in someone’s life. These stories can be open to anybody. If you have a story you would like to share about a song that has been significant in your life, we’d love to hear from you!

Some considerations for submitting a story:

  1. There are probably dozens of songs that have been significant to you. Pick just one and tell us about it.
  2. Please try to keep the story to 750 words or less.
  3. Send it in either MSWord or email form to [email protected] and we will respond to you within a week. If we can’t post it on the blog just yet, we may ask you if we can put it on Facebook along with a video of the song itself.


Sarah Pearson is a music therapist working in oncology and palliative care in Kitchener, ON . She is the Program Development Coordinator for the Room 217 Foundation and Lead Facilitator of the Music Care Certificate Program.