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November 6, 2010

John Aird Centre @ the Faculty of Music
Wilfrid Laurier University 
75 University Avenue West
Waterloo, ON N2L 3C5


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Registration Fee

$100 CDN + HST - Early Registration
$125 CDN + HST - Registration after Sept. 15
$75 CDN + HST   - Students and Seniors (65 yrs+)

Cancellations will be accepted up to October15, 2010 with a full refund, less a $25 administration fee. Refunds will not be provided after October 15, 2010.

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Carolyn Simpson
Room 217 Foundation

The first of its kind in Canada, this one day conference will bring together a cross section of community stakeholders in music and care to provide both information and inspiration that will have far reaching and prolonged impact on how the effective therapeutic use of music can make a difference to quality of life and well-being. The capacity to care is the thing that gives life its deepest meaning and significance. The Room 217 Music Care Conference is an opportunity to transform the way we care for one another in our neighbourhoods.

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Breakout Sessions

Each Breakout Session will be held in both the morning and afternoon, unless otherwise indicated. 

  • Rhythm Integration,  Kathy Armstrong, MMus 

African drumming and movement/singing can be a wonderful physical metaphor for exploring themes of team building, change and transition, and unity and diversity, among others. This workshop is hands on and will use rhythms, movement and song from Ghana, West Africa to develop musical skills, engage in active listening, and work on community-building concepts.  Traditional instruments will be provided but your own drums also welcome! 

Kathy Armstrong, MMus, is an educator and performer in Ottawa. She has shared her passion for African music throughout North America and Europe for over twenty years. Her commitment to community development and cross-cultural understanding informs and strengthens the inherent power of this art form.  

  • Engaging the Creative Spirit: The Improvisational Music Experience for Growth and Healing, Carolyn Arnason, DA, MTA 

This workshop with introduce improvisation and give participants the experience of creating music improvisations. The workshop will include simple and creative warm ups, time for exploring instruments and voice, listening to improvisations, and dialogue about the musical process.   Spiritual dimensions of Improvisational music therapy will be illustrated by case examples.  Participants will be introduced to the the Helen Bonny Method of Guided Imagery and Music (BMGIM), a music-centred psychotherapeutic approach that explores levels of consciousness through listening to Western Classical music, imagery and mandala drawing. Connections between improvisation and the BMGIM approach to growth and healing will be explored.

 Carolyn Arnason, DA, MTA, holds degrees in piano performance, social work and music therapy. She teaches clinical improvisation, arts-based research and performs improvisation concerts. She is in advanced music psychotherapy training for the Helen Bonny Method of Guided Imagery and Music. Her life includes a composer husband and four cats.   

  • Why Does Music Work: A Neuroscience Perspective, Lee Bartel, PhD

This session will examine music as cultural meaning as well as  music as sonic information in some ways isomorphic with body and brain. It will then explore how mind and body can be affected by music and sound with specific examples. The neurological basis for how sound can influence healing and “spiritual experience” will be examined. The potential for specific music for specific clinical applications will be considered. Discussion of questions, ideas and possibilities will be included. 

Lee Bartel, PhD, -----Twenty five years ago Bartel, Professor of Music at University of Toronto, began studying emotional and intellectual response to music and has since been involved in studies in music therapy and music medicine including attention, anxiety, cochlear implants, and pain. He is known for 24 brain-wave entrainment recordings for health.  

  • Music: The Path to Enhancing End-of-life Care,  Amy Clements-Cortes, PhD, MusM, MTA

The role of music and music therapy in enhancing end-of-life care will be presented. Participants will learn practical ways of implementing music in their lives and the lives of those they are caring for. Common goals of music therapy in palliative care will be discussed alongside support from research highlights found in the literature.  Participants will have the opportunity to participate in one experiential music and imagery exercise, and will listen to highlights of a case study of music therapy in palliative care. Participants will also learn about “legacy gifts” and their significance. 

Amy Clements-CortÚs, PhD, MusM, MTA, is the senior music therapist for Baycrest Centre in Toronto, Canada and a sessional instructor in music therapy at the University of Windsor. She is the owner and director of the Notes By Amy Music Studio and a freelance performer. 

  • Enabling Cognitive Abilities,  Rachael Finnerty, MTA, MMT, MA

This workshop will look at music teaching methods for children with special needs within an educational setting, as well as methods for reaching educational goals within music therapy sessions. Music teaching examples will be focused around learning how to play the piano.  Reading, writing and comprehension will be the highlight of the educational goals. The importance of collaboration with other professionals will be discussed, as well as how to implement information from other professionals. 

Rachael Finnerty, MTA, MMT, MA, graduated with a Masters Music Therapy in 2001, She began a private practise (Fermata Music Therapy), focusing on young children, while working at Sunnybrook Hospital in Toronto, where her work was centred around the eldery. In 2007, Rachael moved to Hamilton, where she established the NoBounds music education program, continues her private practise, supervises music therapy interns, and teaches an intro to music therapy course at McMaster University.  

  • Music and Eldercare, Melissa Jessop, BMT, MMT, MTA

This presentation is designed to inspire new insights into understanding and working with older adults.  A brief overview of music therapy in dementia care will be presented, in addition to a model for musical self-actualization which was the result of a Master’s research study.   This presentation will be informative to all attendees, and especially music therapists, as it addresses concepts that may be embraced in most clinical settings. Clinical excerpts and experiential components will also be incorporated.    

Melissa Jessop, BMT, MMT, MTA, obtained her undergraduate and graduate music therapy degrees from Wilfrid Laurier University (1994, 2003).  She is an active clinician, and specializes in the area of music therapy and dementias.  She is an internship and university practicum supervisor.  Melissa operates Music Therapy Affects, a business which provides professional music therapy services to long term care homes within Waterloo Region.   

  • Vocal Health: Freedom in Singing, Debbie Lou Ludolph, BMus, MTS (morning session)  

The key to longevity, and resonance and freedom in the vocal sound, is a healthy instrument. In this workshop, Debbie Lou will focus on the care of the voice. This will include some basic understanding of the vocal instrument and how it works, practices that encourage or impair healthy vocal use, and healthy vocal routines that nurture freedom in singing for individuals and for groups.  This session will especially appeal to: musicians, students, educators, community members, anyone interested in having a healthy voice!


    Singing with Inshallah: The Gift of Global Song,  Debbie Lou Ludolph, BMus, MTS (afternoon session)

The act of singing global songs of faith together has turned a 20 voice choir into a 70 voice choir in three short years. Choral members report their experience of singing with Inshallah to include deep joy and prayer, a changed worldview, a sense of purpose and call to action, and personal renewal.  In this workshop, Debbie Lou, the director, shares her ethnographic study of Inshallah and leads participants in the singing of the global song repertoire with the choir. 

Debbie Lou Ludolph, MTS, BMus, combines a love of vocal pedagogy, a passion for community singing, and a link between faith and justice in her work with Inshallah.  Debbie Lou is currently a vocal teacher at Laurier, Dean of Chapel and director of the Kanata Centre for Worship and Global Song at Waterloo Lutheran Seminary which is home to Inshallah.   

  • Music, Grieving and Loss, Ruth Roberts, MMT, MTA (morning session)

This workshop will explore the power of music in eliciting, accompanying and bringing healing through the grief and various dimensions of loss.  The presenter will draw on her experience as a music therapist in pediatric oncology, pediatric palliative care, care of elderly , and facilitator of grief support workshops for children and teens. Included will be stories, self- reflection, group discussion and experiential. 

Ruth Roberts, MMT, MTA, has been a music therapist at Sick Kids Hospital, Toronto  for 11 years where she works with children and families living with cancer and initiated music therapy in palliative care and bereavement service for several years. Ruth also worked as a Registered Nurse in Canada and the US. She has a private music therapy practice where she facilitates grief support groups for children and teens through Hospice Peterborough, provides music therapy for the elderly and for adults with special needs.  She currently serves as Ethics Chair for the Music Therapy Association of Ontario and gives presentations in Canada and abroad.


Music, Grieving and Loss, Syd Birrell (afternoon session)

A professional classical musician discovers music all over again after the loss of his own young son to cancer.  What role does music play in the grief journey? How is it that singing can play such a powerful role in healing shattered lives? Stories of choral singing touching the lives of those who are hurting, bringing light to those trapped in darkness, instilling hope and confidence in the brokenhearted. The workshop will include a discussion time and opportunity to share personal stories.

Syd Birrell, FRCO, GRSM, ARCM is a classically trained musician living in Peterborough, Ontario. Syd is the founder and conductor of the Peterborough Singers, one of Canada’s top-ranked choral groups, and organist at Lakefield College School. Syd and his wife Pamela, herself a cancer survivor, launched the James Fund for Neuroblastoma Research at Sick Kids Hospital in Toronto while their son James was still fighting cancer. Since James’ death, the James Fund has become a major force in the global search for a cure for neuroblastoma, in great part due to the drive and commitment Syd pours into the Fund as an ongoing testament to the courageous life of his son. These days Syd is a tireless advocate for the James Fund and for families whose lives are turned upside down by the life threatening illnesses of their children.  He is also a sought after speaker, known for inspirational talks on embracing life, regardless of its challenges, and seeking the joy and adventure in each day.  Syd is the author of “Ya Can’t Let Cancer Ruin Your Day”

  • (King) David – Simply a Skilled Musician or an Accomplished Music Therapist? Carolyn Williams, MMT, MTA

This workshop is a narrative exploration of a music therapist’s journey to becoming a music therapist, juxtaposed over the life of (King) David in the Holy Bible.  Using the scriptural references from the Holy Bible, this workshop will explore key elements of music therapy, characteristics of a music therapist and how these and other facets influence the role of music, the music therapist and the music therapy process as a whole. Through the use of creative writing and personal anecdotes, this workshop invites its participants along for a historical and faith-filled voyage; marrying music, therapy and calling. 

Carolyn Williams, MMT, MTA , has a Bachelor of Music Therapy degree from the University of Windsor and a Masters of Music Therapy degree from Wilfrid Laurier University. Prior to her graduate studies, Carolyn worked with individuals of varying ability.  A lover of choral singing, Carolyn is a soprano with the Nathaniel Dett Chorale and a Worship leader in her local ministry.   

  • Musical Meditation: Renewal, Reflection and Inspiration with Gerard Yun, PhD, MA, BSc

A ritual of renewal, reflection, and inspiration based in the meditation practice of suizen (blowing meditation) and zazen (sitting meditation) in a contemporary interactive performance format. Dr. Gerard Yun will facilitate a session immersing you in the living tradition of meditation using the Zen Buddhist shakuhachi (bamboo, vertical flute), Lakota (Native American) Flute, and the voice. 

Gerard Yun, PhD, MA, BSc, Conductor, composer, and global music specialist, Dr. Gerard Yun is deeply trained in musics of the West and that of several other traditions. In Canada he teaches courses in music education, global music, conducting, and choral music at McMaster University, Wilfrid Laurier University, and Conrad Grebel College. He performs on a number of global music instruments including the Australian didgeridoo, the Native American (Lakota) Flute, and especially the Japanese shakuhachi (Zen Buddhist Bamboo Flute). He maintains a busy schedule as conductor, composer, teacher, scholar, and performer.

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