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Rebecca Barnstaple

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  • Health

Rebecca Barnstaple


Pre­sen­ta­tion of Music and Health Resource 

Hi. I’m Rebec­ca Barn­sta­ple. I am the man­ag­er of Com­mu­ni­ty Ini­tia­tives Research and Inno­va­tion here at Chigamik Com­mu­ni­ty Health Cen­ter. I’m also a post-doc­tor­al research fel­low at The Inter­na­tion­al Insti­tute for Crit­i­cal Stud­ies in Impro­vi­sa­tion at the Uni­ver­si­ty of Guelph and I am very excit­ed to wel­come you to this music and Health Resource.

Like many of the peo­ple you’re going to see in these videos, I wear many hats, besides the two things I already shared with you. I’m also a dance ther­a­pist, and I work in the field of dance and health.

I have been offer­ing pro­grams here at Chigamik for almost eight years for peo­ple with Parkin­son’s and move­ment dis­or­ders. I was invit­ed to direct this resource based on my expe­ri­ence in the field of dance and health and as many of you prob­a­bly real­ize, dance and music are so in meshed and have long his­to­ries in many cul­tur­al prac­tices asso­ci­at­ed with health and well-being.

One of the things that you will also see through­out this resource is the idea of health itself is a very mul­ti-dimen­sion­al thing. Peo­ple will be talk­ing about not only phys­i­cal health but men­tal health and well-being, social con­nect­ed­ness. These ideas are real­ly dif­fi­cult to sep­a­rate and when we think about artis­tic and holis­tic prac­tices, these are ways that we can address health in a mul­ti-dimen­sion­al way. So music-based and arts-based resources are real­ly gain­ing vis­i­bil­i­ty and trac­tion as ways of approach­ing some of the most urgent health crises of our time.

You are going to see videos from peo­ple who are researchers, prac­ti­tion­ers, ther­a­pists, com­mu­ni­ty mem­bers, peo­ple who are doing com­mu­ni­ty engaged work. And you will see that many of the folks who are going to share with us do many of those things at the same time and also separately.

On Health, Social Pre­scrip­tion, and the Arts

More than just the absence of dis­ease or help­ing peo­ple med­ical­ly recov­er from ill­ness, health is more and more under­stood to be broad­ly defined as help­ing peo­ple access a sense of thriv­ing and well-being, and this is often con­nect­ed to find­ing mean­ing in the activ­i­ties that we engage in.

One of the things that we’ve start­ed doing here at Chigamik that is real­ly linked with a lot of these music and health ini­tia­tives is social pre­scrib­ing. Social pre­scrib­ing is a path­way for clin­i­cians, whether they’re doc­tors, nurs­es, social work­ers, men­tal health work­ers, to refer peo­ple to non-clin­i­cal ser­vices so it it cre­ates a path for peo­ple to access things in the com­mu­ni­ty that can help con­tribute to that sense of well-being thriv­ing and meaning.

Many of the best exam­ples of social pre­scrib­ing pro­grams are relat­ed to arts and health.

There’s a a won­der­ful pro­gram called “Arts on Pre­scrip­tion” and sev­er­al of the ini­tia­tives that you’ll hear about in this resource have a social pre­scrib­ing ele­ment. I’m very excit­ed because here at Chigamik, we’re actu­al­ly launch­ing into a part­ner­ship with SingWell which sev­er­al of the peo­ple that you’ll hear from are involved, in which is the cre­ation of a health choir for peo­ple with COPD and breath­ing dis­or­ders and their Care Partners.

The oth­er thing that’s excit­ing about that and sev­er­al of the oth­er ini­tia­tives that we’re shar­ing is not only the pro­vi­sion of a new pro­gram and ser­vice for peo­ple that can con­tribute to their sense of health and well­be­ing, there is a research com­po­nent attached to it so we’re able to bet­ter under­stand real­ly what are the impacts for peo­ple who are par­tic­i­pat­ing in these pro­grams. And also what are the best ways to facil­i­tate access, low­er bar­ri­ers for peo­ple to access these pro­grams in the community.

I am very excit­ed to share this resource with you. I have brought togeth­er many dif­fer­ent col­leagues who have also referred oth­er col­leagues to share with you a real sense of the diver­si­ty of prac­tices asso­ci­at­ed with music and health. A range of ways that peo­ple have got­ten into doing this work. I real­ly hope you find it as inspir­ing as I have. Thank you.

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