Canada

March is Musical Therapy Awareness Month in Vancouver

Pivoting from traditional event fundraisers, the new Turn Up for Music Therapy campaign was born

Jarnel Gill. Participant in the Ridge Meadows Association for Community Living music therapy. For Music Therapy Awareness Month.

Music Heals, the Vancouver-based non-profit charity which raises funds for music therapy programs across Canada, has declared March Music Therapy Awareness Month.

At a time when music is providing solace to so many impacted by the continuing pandemic, the idea is to raise awareness of how much music contributes to mental well-being in myriad ways. Pivoting from traditional event fundraisers, the new Turn Up for Music Therapy campaign was born.

From end of life care in children’s hospitals to driveway sessions for young adults with developmental disabilities who are presently housebound, such as Maroon5 fan Jarnel Gil (pictured) who works with therapist Birgit Giesser in the Ridge Meadows Association for Community Living, music therapists are yet another group of front line workers in the pandemic contributing to enhancing quality of life. Naturally, funding challenges are a constant and now more than ever.

Music Therapy Awareness Month aims to raise the profile of these hard-working folks in our community. The new campaign allows people to “adopt” a program and contribute at a time when it is most needed, whether that be services for children, youth, adults, seniors and families. Ages of participants in the Ridge Meadows Association for Community Living range from 21 to 51, with 50% identifying as male and 50% as female. All but two participants have a cognitive disability.

Music Heals believes that all of them — like the rest of us — benefit from the time they get to kick out the jams.

sderdeyn@postmedia.com

twitter.com/stuartderdeyn

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