Turn Up for Music Therapy!
By Music Heals December 1, 2020
In a year that turned our worlds upside down, rocked it, devastated it, and forever changed the life we know; we are humbled by how many of you have raised your hand to save life-changing music therapy programs in need.
When COVID-19 first hit us all with the lockdown back in March, our hardworking team worked diligently from home, doing our best to stay positive through long hours, Zoom meetings, phone calls, and research on adjusting to a world full of uncertainty. Due to cancellations, rule changes, and the prominence of staying at home to keep others safe for an indefinite amount of time; there were many moments we worried about the future of the programs we support.
But in this very historic year, humans have shown how resilient we all really are, and how quickly we can embrace change in the face of adversity. Certified Music Therapists stepped up for their participants – investing in PPE, creating engaging virtual music therapy sessions, and continuing to share music for those who need it most. And our donors turned up when we needed them most, allowing us to continue supporting programs that work tirelessly to reach isolated seniors, ease the fears of children in hospitals, and support the mental health of adults in our communities.
As the holiday season approaches and we reflect on what has been an unprecedented year for Music Heals, we are eternally grateful to the donors that have adopted music therapy programs like these to keep them running through 2021.
Semiahmoo House Society
Adopted by MNP
Semiahmoo House Society provides quality services and support for people with disabilities and their families in Surrey and White Rock. Their music therapy program focusses on community integration and providing creative programming for their clients. It is rare to find an activity that can accommodate different needs, likes and abilities, but Music Therapy is able to let everyone shine – whether they are verbal or non-verbal, are in a wheelchair or have full mobility, or if they usually interact with their peers or not. Music Therapy has really become the common denominator not only between participants and staff but also peer to peer interactions. A big need for the clients of Semiahmoo House Society are social needs. How can we engage and connect? How do we draw them out of their inner world? The answer more often than not has been the use of music through music therapy.
Columbia View Lodge embodies a resident-centered philosophy designed to support residents’ choices, help people function at their highest level, and provide the best quality of life possible. Two unique programs serve specific populations: Gentle Music is designed for residents with low verbal and cognitive skills and the Ukulele Club provides music therapy to the general CVL population and the Bridges Adult Day Program.
“The Gentle Music Program is such a valuable tool for enhancing the quality of life, easing anxiety and agitation and providing a means for verbal/non-verbal communication of the participating residents. Smiles, toe and finger tapping, eye contact, body movement is all captured by our music therapist. This program is such a valuable resource. As for the Ukulele Club, the laughing and conversation, concentration and learning experience has been fantastic.” – Margot Wright, Recreation Therapist
Little Mountain Place is a residential care home in East Vancouver, providing support and housing to 116 individuals. The residents at Little Mountain Place have diverse complex physical and/or mental health needs and music therapy is used to connect with residents who are socially isolated due to language barriers or personal health. The music therapist builds relationship and trust with the residents.
Due to COVID-19 safety precautions, entertainers, volunteers, and family are unable to be in close proximity for the sake of the safety of the residents. The music therapist seeks to address these desires by providing similar experiences and opportunities with a focus on sensory stimulation, cultural empowerment, positive social relationships and the experience of joy.
Victoria Brain Injury Society
Adopted by STRAND
The Victoria Brain Injury Society’s music therapy program is focused on improvisational music therapy and one-on-one song-writing and performance. The program is fully accessible to clients who use a wheelchair, walker or cane, as well as to those clients who are non-verbal or have speech impairments.
Recently, all programs at VBIS moved to virtual platforms due to COVID-19. For those in the music therapy program, being able to connect, even virtually, has been a saving grace as many are living in isolation.
“Many people with brain injury lose the ability to articulate thoughts, feelings and to self-regulate. Improvisation teaches these interpersonal communication skills in a nonverbal and nonthreatening way. The body has the innate ability to feel rhythm and express it with our body, voice, hands, and feet. (Clients) are excited and proud of what they can do, not what they have lost or can’t do.” – Program Manager
Thanks to donations directly made to Music Heals throughout the year, we are able to partially support many music therapy programs in 2021. Supporters with specific donations have also adopted these programs to keep spreading the healing power of music therapy to those who need it most:
- Surrey Memorial Hospital NICU (Adopted by LARK Group)
- Canuck Place Children’s Hospice (Partially adopted by Pemberton Haven Farms)
- Camp Kerry (Adopted by Shirley Barnett)
- Royal Oak Alternative School (Adopted by ZLC Financial)
- Rhythm & Word Mountainside Secondary School (Partially adopted by Stratawest Management Ltd.)
- St. Paul’s Hospital Palliative Care Unit (Adopted by David & Jonathan Barnett & Families)
- Strive Living Society (Adopted by ZLC Financial)
- Charlford House Society for Women (Adopted by participants of Let Her Sing)
- Wish Drop-In Society (Adopted by participants of Let Her Sing)
- Vancouver Hospice (Partially adopted by The Meehan Family)
- Ronald McDonald House (RMH BC) (Partially adopted by GED Foundation, at Vancouver Foundation)
We can only achieve our goals when we are supported by people like you, and we are humbled by the generosity of those who believe so strongly in the power of music.
Now, we are asking YOU to Turn Up for Music Heals in whatever way you can by making a donation today. No contribution is too small!
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