Thursday, December 13, 2007

Creative Responses to Death and Bereavement , University of Western Ontario, Registration for Spring 08

Creative Responses to Death and Bereavement

University of Western Ontario, London, Ontario
May, 2008

Cheryl McLean

Plans are currently underway to offer the University of Western Ontario course "Creative Responses to Death and Bereavement" on line by May 08 through University of Western Ontario, Continuing Studies. I will be working with UWO helping to adapt new programming and materials for the on line WEB CT OWL version of the program so that the course will be widely accessible and interactive for registrants who frequently include nurse educators, therapists, teachers, social workers, those working in aging and health, caregivers and others with an interest in bereavement counselling and education. Professionals will have an opportunity to learn about the interplay of the arts such as writing, narrative, drama, poetry and ritual in death and bereavement work.

I will also be available to teach the "in class" Creative Responses to Death and Bereavement course which will be offered at King's University College, University of Western Ontario, London, Ontario, Monday evenings starting in early May and running to July from 7:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. Register before March l, 2008. This course will be offered as part of the "Grief and Bereavement Studies" program at The University of Western Ontario.

Application deadline: March 1, 2008

For full program details see:
See green bottom rt. sidebar "Grief and Bereavement"

Other information:

King's University College Centre for Education about Grief and Bereavement, UWO

See video clips #1 C. McLean, Introduction, Creative Arts in Bereavement
Presentation, King's University College, University of Western Ontario

video clip #2 Arts approaches in health, training and education gaining momentum, King's University College, University of Western Ontario

"The study of death is truly life enhancing."
Dr. John (Jack) Morgan

Saturday, December 8, 2007

Choral Singing Beneficial for Body and Soul

Cheryl McLean

It's been reported in research that choral singing is beneficial for both body and soul.

In one study, a health educator and music professor teamed up for a study published in England’s Journal of the Royal Society for the Promotion of Health, in which they reported choral singing promoted not just physical health, but offered emotional and spiritual benefits as well. Using their own choir as a basis for their study, Dr. Stephen Clift and Grenville Hancox developed questionnaires to document physical and emotional feelings while singing. Singers reported improved lung capacity, high energy, relieved asthma, better posture, and enhanced feelings of relaxation, mood, and confidence. In a follow-up questionnaire, 89 percent of the singers reported intense happiness while singing, 79 percent felt less stressed, and 75 percent experienced heightened adrenaline and wakefulness.

From Chorus America

Music today is playing an increasingly important role in many professional education programs. Dalhousie University Medical School, for example, has several performing choirs and choral groups.

Excerpt below from the website at

"medical students, physicians, professors, alumni and friends of the medical school are united by a common love of music and a desire to make our medical lives a little more rewarding, our grand adventure in life-long learning a little lighter, and the community in which we live, work and study a little better for our efforts. ....up to 25% of medical students in the first three years of their undergraduate medical training are registered in one of these performance groups. In addition, we have members who work in the fields of medical education, endocrinology, general surgery, paediatrics, orthopaedics, obstetrics and gynaecology, emergency medicine, biochemistry, ENT, pathology, family medicine, and laboratory sciences."

It's not surprising that more medical schools and schools of business are incorporating music into their professional programs. Choral singing is a highly disciplined and creative team activity. Harmonizing with others in community fills the heart with a renewed sense of promise and optimism. In the rehearsal hall every voice offers something invaluable to the whole. Simply put, singing is good for the soul.

P.S. I know of what I speak. It had been a very busy year at the office here and we had experienced a major move. With deadlines looming and changes underway I was feeling I needed a positive outlet for my "nervous" energy. I joined The Canadian Celtic Choir this September.


"If I cannot fly,
Let me sing. "

STEPHEN SONDHEIM from "Sweeney Todd"

Other related posts: "Jazz Brings Creativity to Business"

Music, Medicine and Arts/video

Front row seats at Youtube

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Graduate Studies, Drama, University of Toronto Applications

Graduate Centre for Study of Drama, MA & PhD Programs 2008/09‏

The Graduate Centre for Study of Drama, University of Toronto, is currently accepting applications for both the M.A. and Ph.D for 2008/2009.

Deadline for applications is February 1, 2008

The programs comprise of courses given within the Centre and drama courses offered by other graduate units. Their intent is to further the academic study of drama and theatre at an advanced level in the fields of theatre history and historiography, dramatic theory, and dramaturgy.

Within these parameters, the Centre supports research in such areas as performance theory and analysis; feminist theatre; and Canadian, American and post-colonial drama and theatre.

Theatre practice is an integral part of graduate work in the Centre and takes place, for the most part, in the context of workshops and productions at the Robert Gill and Studio Theatres.

For more information on the programs visit the website at:

While on the subject of theatre, drama and research I would like to inform blog visitors the deadline for proposals for papers or panels to be presented at the 2008 conference of the Canadian Association for Theatre Research (CATR), taking place at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, May 31-June 3, has been extended to December 15.

Send proposals to Jerry Wasserman, Conference Chair, at
Papers may be on any subject involving theatre or performance but Canadian topics will be given some priority. Graduate students are encouraged to submit proposals.
Note that all presenters must be members of CATR (Canadian Association for Theatre Research)

Jazz Brings Creativity to Business

Photo George Laidlaw on sax plays with his jazz band for students at UWO's Ivey School of Business (MORRIS LAMONT/Sun Media)

Fostering Creativity with Jazz in the Business School
The Business of Creativity and All That’s Jazz
"...welcome to the future of business -- where an ability to innovate and improvise is deemed as valuable as an ability to understand double-entry bookkeeping." Ian Gillespie, London Free Press

Today we are seeing the arts in many forms applied across disciplines in health, education and in business to help offer new forms of communication and self expression as well as fostering and inspiring experimentation and innovative thinking.
There was an interesting article in the Wednesday, December 5, "London Free Press" written by Ian Gillespie, reporting on a progressive new seminar held recently at The Richard Ivey School of Business, University of Western Ontario.

This jazz/business session offered a new approach to fostering creativity and learning about improvisation, adaptability and flexibility in life and work with help from The George Laidlaw Quartet... Bob Hughes, on drums, George Laidlaw saxophonist, Alan Ogborne, pianist and John Griffiths, bassist. The musicians performed and talked about jazz and its connections to creative business thinking in a session for about 100 graduate students

“These students know how to do process and structure. What they need to add is the capability to adapt and be ok with the challenge of not knowing where they are going.”
Michael Sider, Assistant Professor, Ivey Business School.

"Never play a thing the same way twice."- Louis Armstrong