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Campfire Classics

Intended Audience

All members including people living with cancer, family members and significant caregivers. Also open to the public.

Program Description

At Campfire Classics, members are invited to join together in a big circle and sing and play favourite and often familiar old songs once a week. Participants are provided with songbooks, chords and lyrics that have been carefully selected and compiled by other members.  Those who play, plays at their own level of expertise, and some choose to join without an instrument and simply sing along rather than play. People who are new to the program sometimes begin by listening, but they quickly join in at whatever their comfort level is, listening, singing and/or playing. This is a safe, relaxed, friendly place where beginners, established musicians, and everyone in between, is welcome. There is no criticism or judgment, just a friendly gathering where members get swept up in the comfort and joy of music and community.

Benefits and Impact

Music has been shown to play an important role in the lives of people living with cancer. Recent studies find that art- and music-based therapies can have a broad range of beneficial outcomes for cancer survivors, including pain relief, reduced anxiety, decreased fatigue, and improved quality of life (Bosman et al., 2021; Bradt et al., 2016; Köhler et al., 2020; Wood et al., 2011). One study from 2017 found that even simply listening to music may reduce the incidence of pain, anxiety, and drowsiness (Bilgiç & Acaroğlu, 2017). 

What to Expect at a Session

Members gather and set up for the song circle.  Songs alternate with relaxed discussion, storytelling and laughter. Any instruments are welcome, from voice to percussion to instruments such as ukulele, guitar, flute, mandolin and more.  This is a member-driven program and participants are free to bring songs to the circle, which are added to the song lists collected in binders, showing words and chords.  Discussion varies from conversations about the music, the instruments, the songs and their history, as well as personal experiences and connections with the music.

Program Details



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