Training for Hospice Workers in the Use of Music

Categories: Care.

The Room 217 Foundation provides resources and education for caregivers to use music in their care. From therapeutically-informed CDs to conferences on music care, our mandate is to make music available and accessible to caregivers when they need it most.  Our most formal and advanced educational program to date is the Music Care Certificate Program (MCCP).

Many of Room 217’s end-users are hospice workers. They have an inherent sense that music provides healing and comfort to patients and their families at the end of life. They just may not quite know where to start.

MCCP is designed for these workers. It is a three-level training program, focusing on both theory and practice of music care. In the two-day intensive Level 1, participants learn language around music and care, and they also learn practical strategies. They develop listening skills pertaining to sound environments of care spaces, they learn some fundamental principles of music, and are guided safely through singing exercises that help them build confidence in their voice as a caring instrument. Different practical strategies are explored and workshopped. They explore ways of using music for their own self-care, and discuss how music impacts the overall culture of the caregiving sector. Each participant also completes a proposal for a music program in their care practice.

Participants learn from and with each other; music is made, confidence is built up, and ideas are generated. “Inspirational: is one of the most common words participants use to describe the course.

Here are some additional comments from participants of the MCCP training:

  • “I became more conscious of the breath”
  • “MCCP has increased my confidence for advocacy of using music in care”
  • “I have expanded knowledge of physiological and spiritual impact of music”
  • “MCCP provided the perfect balance of theory, active hands-on learning, new material, creative practice and teamwork”
  • “much new information which was what I was looking for”

This program has been designed as a resource for professional, volunteer and family caregivers working alongside some of life’s most vulnerable moments. It’s built on the belief that music can reach everyone – caregiver and care-receiver alike – and provide comfort and meaning. For more information, and to sign up for a course near you, please visit:

Sarah Pearson is a music therapist in oncology and palliative care, and the program development coordinator at the Room 217 Foundation.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *