Hamilton conference focuses on music across the lifespan

by Deb Bartlett

The focus of this year’s Music Care Conference is Music Across the Lifespan, with an array of presenters who will address the value of music from infancy to older adulthood, and everything in between. Room 217’s Education and Research Manager, Chelsea Mackinnon, has put together a full day of programming that will educate and inspire professional healthcare providers, family caregivers and others on not only the importance of music to people in various stages of life, but also how to bring music into caregiving settings.

Dr. Laurel Trainor, cognitive neuropsychologist, provides the opening plenary, The Importance of Music in Early Development. She will provide an overview of the research evidence, and describe the implications of early musical experience on social, cognitive and communicative development. The day’s second plenary session will be provided by music therapist Dr. Amy Clements-Cortes, on intergenerational music making. The session will feature three contexts in which intergeneration music making is having positive effects.

After lunch, delegates will have their choice of two of seven workshops. Choices include Intergenerational Drumming with Terri Segal, Music as a Coping Strategy Across the Lifespan with Dr. Elizabeth Mitchell, Communication Through Music with Melissa Tan, Ethnic Diversity in Music for Palliative Care with Aaron Lightstone, Using Music to Supercharge Your Older Adult Exercise Program with Margot Glatt, Hearing Through the Lifespan with Dr. Marshall Chasin, and Sing It Girls with Adrienne Pringle and Cathy Thompson.

As always the day wraps up with in inspiring presentation and performance by an industry musician (yet to be announced).

Woven between presentations are inspiring music care cameos, which will introduce the audience to programs and activities unique to the Hamilton area. Once again, Long and McQuade will be the on-site music store of Music Care Conference, so come ready to stock up.

Registration includes meals and refreshments, and a certificate of attendance can be issued, if required for continuing education purposes.

This year’s Music Care Conference takes place Friday, Nov. 8 at McMaster Innovation Park in Hamilton. Early bird registration ends Sept. 30, and as always we have a discounted rate for students and seniors. Room 217 also offers a group rate for five or more delegates from the same organization; contact Deb for more details.

Deb Bartlett is the resource lead for Room 217 Foundation. She’s always looking for music care stories to blog about in this space. If you’d like to share your story, contact her at 905-852-2499 or by email.