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SOMETIMES WORDS ARE NOT ENOUGH – Music for your Mental Health

In many healthcare settings across Canada, Music Therapists have created a safe setting, a communication bridge, to help individuals express and process their greatest life challenges, stressful transitions, and at times, unexpected health crisis.

Music Therapists are sensitive to the needs of all people and work with some of society’s most vulnerable including youth at risk, individuals with brain injury, mental health issues, or learning challenges, as well as those in palliative care, long-term care and dementia care. They also work with professionals, educators and corporations to ensure the stressed public can access this unique service as needed.

This presentation will include the results from a 2008 survey in Alberta that validated the use of Music Therapy in mental health settings, coupled with research and clinical evidence that has proven that Music Therapy is very effective when addressing issues related to emotion while fostering changes in mood, memory and engagement.

DO-GOODERS: Building a Sustainable Business that Does Good

This inspirational and trailblazing story reveals how Jennifer built a successful social purpose business despite being told it was impossible. Based on over 25 years of owning and operating an award-winning company, Jennifer uses her most moving stories to convey the following key strategies to help you build greater impact and meaning into your business, regardless if you are an emerging solopreneur or the leader of a small company:

  • Share the dream and lead with legacy in mind
  • Foster a spirit of equity  and build on your team’s strengths
  • Make incremental steps towards your blisspoint 
  • Invest in self-care for yourself and your team

Jennifer imparts her front-line experience and infectious energy, speaking directly to every member in the audience. She brings her real-world experience of starting her company with just one client and scaling it to maximize community impact. Her first accountant said the market would never buy in…..over a quarter of a century later (and with a new accountant), Jennifer has built a company that proves good work can still make money and make a difference.

STAND BY ME: Introduction to Music Therapy for All Ages and Abilities

Music Therapy is regularly discussed in mainstream media and considered a conventional treatment, however it is still considered a fringe service for many.  For Jennifer Buchanan, Music Therapy is not a secondary business… it is where her experience, training, and passions lie.  It is what she does – and has been doing for 25 years.  There have been many studies on the effects of music and development. The parts of the brain associated with music making results in heightened interest and response, learning and creativity, feelings of acceptance and increased happiness. Learn:

  • the difference between music entertainment and Music Therapy
  • how the areas of the brain react to music and why this matters
  • how persons with neurologic impairment can still respond to music regardless of where the impairment resides
  • how music can reduce and eliminate stress and anxiety when used with intention
  • how Music Therapy benefits all ages

MAXIMIZE YOUR MUSIC: Boost your Productivity and Performance

Jennifer Buchanan is a Music Therapist with a career spanning over 25 years, a speaker and educator on the intentional use of music, and is also the owner of the largest Music Therapy company in North America.

Many have witnessed the benefits of playing music to enhance performance — for the employer, it may be improving engagement, boosting efficiency, expediting projects, or working with greater enthusiasm. For the staff member it may be sparking creativity, or help for working through a barrier in a project. For others it may be feeling better connected to others or to get motivated for their next half marathon.

Spotify suggests the most popular motivation genres are chart music (34 per cent) and rock (29 per cent), followed by indie (22 per cent) but there is so much more science to it than this  and along with a Music Therapist as your coach you will learn to intentionally use music to help elevate your productivity and performance.

A SOUND CONNECTION: Creativity and Aging Well

Explore the science, interventions, and perspectives of using music throughout our later life. Music memory is deep seated in the brain and is protected from many signs of aging, including significant neurological changes. Through the use of stories and demonstrations you will gain knowledge and strategies for using music for greater wellness at home, in retirement communities, and long term care.

​Music has the capacity to overcome physical and cognitive limitations and encourage engagement and interaction, offering a new form of communication to those who, either gradually or suddenly, are overcome by an unwelcome and disruptive challenges.

​Music Therapy is proven to be effective even for people who have not responded or are resistant to other treatment approaches. Music calms and soothes the mind and enhances cognitive processes.​ Overall, ​Music Therapy can help a everyone an opportunity to maintain or improve their physical, mental, cognitive and psychological functions.


For teenagers, music frequently provides a means to identify and label emotions. In music with lyrics, teenagers express happiness and sadness, frustrations and relief. Music helps to express issues arising from relationships with family or friends. When teenagers use music as a mood-modifier, it can be used to reinforce and perpetuate negative emotions as well as positive emotions.  Learn how to:

  • use songs with lyrics to explore current topics, trends and experiences.
  • use music to help an anxious teen relax.
  • discuss the benefits and harmful attributes of some music – yes, music can harm.
  • incorporate music in the classroom to set the tone of an assignment, or time of day.
  • write new lyrics to an existing song to explore creative writing and to uncover the educational experiences within it.

YOUR LIFE’S SOUNDTRACK : Creating Purposeful Playlists for Health and Well-Being

Many have witnessed the benefits of music to enhance performance, improve mood or to ease stress.  Spotify suggests the most popular motivation genres are chart music (34 per cent) and rock (29 per cent), followed by indie (22 per cent) but there is so much more science to it than this and along with a Music Therapist as your coach you will learn to intentionally use music to help elevate your productivity and performance while decreasing stress.

During this presentation you will learn about one helpful strategy for your work and life – Creating Purposeful Playlists. As we all know technology has changed enough over the last decade to allow us to take our entire music library with us and to arrange it into playlists for particular goals. Because music can now be “on demand,” –  it makes the creation of purposeful playlists accessible and simple and if done right….helpful to our health and well-being

For some, generating playlists can seem quite daunting, especially when people see the endeavor as one that takes time and money. However, although it does take both those things – time and money – the benefits absolutely far outweigh the costs.