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Bev Foster Room 217 Canada

PODCAST [12] Bev Foster of Room 217, on using music to change the culture of care

In this episode, I’m talking with Bev Foster, Founding Director of Room 217, a Canadian social enterprise that uses music to change the culture of care. Bev started the organisation with her husband Rob, after experiencing first-hand the power of music for her dying father. It now provides music training for care staff as well as research-informed products like conversation cards, music books, and CDs, so that music can become an integral part of the day-to-day life of the home.

You can listen now below, or on Spotify (search for the name) and iTunes.

What’s in this episode?

We talk about:

  • Bev’s personal experience of music and end of life care
  • The two questions that inspired her to start Room 217
  • The initial creation of music tools  for carers
  • The importance of relationships and the move into training for care workers
  • The three-pronged training model: from building confidence to realising an initiative and becoming a music care advocate
  • Working in the UK with Derby-based Opus Music
  • Evaluating impact: anecdotes, statistically validation, standardised care assessments and cost benefit analysis
  • 217 resources for musicians and carers: free Music in Care webinars, training programme and online studio

And we finish with three tips to help carers begin to use music to support wellbeing and care.


Links for this episode

Room 217 story

Room 217 training

Room 217 webinars – past  Room 217 webinars – future

Room 217 videos


Power of Music in Health and Social Care, Nottingham University

Justine Schneider, Professor of Mental Health and Social Care

Organisations in the UK that support music in care:

Opus Music

Music for Dementia 2020


Live Music Now

About the music for education & wellbeing podcast

Listen in each month to get ideas, inspiration and practical advice from people involved in music education, community music, music therapy and more. Learn how you can break down barriers to music, through communications, advocacy and inclusive practice.

The music for the podcast was created by Otis Hynds, a young person working with Noise Solution.


Music for Education and Wellbeing podcast [12] TRANSCRIPT: Bev Foster  


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Need some help with a particular aspect of your communications, or your communications strategy? Contact me.

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