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Christmas family and music-related story ideas: Queen's University expert


Here are some experts from Queen’s University who can talk about Christmas family and music-related issues.

The joys (and sorrows) of Christmas music
Queen’s University School of Music director Margaret Walker studies music and human culture and can talk about how music can evoke a variety of feelings during the Christmas season.
“On one hand, hearing and especially singing Christmas carols can bring a flood of nostalgic feelings, evoking the best memories of childhood magic. On the other, the constant sonic wall of Christmas music in public spaces can feel invasive and anything but magical.”
Dr. Walker feels participation in holiday music making and choosing times and places to listen actively to music can help us find that special feeling again.
Please note Dr. Walker is only available for phone interviews.


Forgiveness and reconciliation during the holidays
Languages, Literatures & Cultures professor Jill Scott studies forgiveness and reconciliation and can talk about the difficulty of settling disputes during the holidays.
"The holidays are an intensely emotional time. We often have high hopes that we can reconcile past disputes and maybe even forgive those who we have hurt us. But because we step out of our normal routines and spend more time with family, this is often the most difficult time to heal wounds and settle disagreements," says Dr. Scott, the author of A Poetics of Forgiveness: Cultural Responses to Loss and Wrongdoing. "It is helpful to set reasonable goals. Preparing a list of coping strategies is a first step in avoiding potentially harmful situations."


Holiday planning for separated, divorced and blended families
Family law expert Nick Bala can discuss issues associated with custody, access and parenting arrangements at this time of year. With the holiday season approaching lawyers, mediators, counselors and judges see a flood of separating and divorced parents attempting to settle a range of issues related to parenting over the holidays.
According to Professor Bala, the parents in front of a judge are those who have the most difficulty co-operating; questions may be asked whether they thinking most about their children or themselves? What steps should separated parents take to deal with issues around the holidays, to increase their children's happiness and reduce stress on themselves? On a systemic level, should Canadians be adopting new concepts and approaches to better resolve issues between separated parents?
Please note Professor Bala is available only after Dec. 12.




The dangers of shoveling snow
Queen’s University cardiology professor Adrian Baranchuk recently completed research into snow shoveling and the risks associated with this winter chore. He discovered a significant number of patients who visited the hospital with heart problems started experiencing symptoms while shoveling. He is available to comment on the risks of shoveling for people in all age categories and why it is classified as a high-risk physical activity.
Please note Dr. Baranchuk can conduct interviews in both English and Spanish.


Staying healthy/overeating during the holidays
The holidays are a time of year when indulging in Christmas treats should be offset by exercise and healthy eating. Queen’s University kinesiology and health studies professor Robert Ross can provide comments on how to achieve that balance. Dr. Ross is an expert on childhood and adult obesity, and he is currently leading a $1.8-million study funded by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) on the effects of exercise on excess abdominal fat and the risk of cardiovascular disease.
Please note Dr. Ross is only available until Dec. 21 (and not available on Dec. 14 and Dec. 17).


To arrange an interview, please contact communication officers Michael Onesi (office: 613.533.6000 ext. 77513, michael.onesi@queensu.ca) or Anne Craig (office: 613-533-2877, Anne.Craig@queensu.ca) at Queen’s University News and Media Services Department in Kingston, Ont., Canada.

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Last updated at 4:55 pm EDT, Wed August 27, 2014
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