Music Heals passes $1 million mark in donations to music therapy programs

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      Music Heals announced today that, in its first five years of operation, the Vancouver-based charitable foundation has donated over $1.1 million to fund music-therapy hours in facilities across the country, including children's hospitals and seniors homes.

      In an interview in October, Music Heals cofounder David Barnett—discussing the organization's annual gala fundraiser, Strike a Chord—told the Straight:

      We know we can’t get a thousand people into a hospital to show them music therapy working. That’s why we have the gala, and why we put videos on. The more people see how it’s being used in all different spectrums, the more they understand. You’ll get a child with a birth defect in the hospital where their heart rate is not where it needs to be, and music gets them back on track. We’ve met so many people with really heavy stories where music therapy has helped, whether it’s autism, palliative care in a seniors’ centre, or heart-and-stroke patients. The great thing is that more and more people are believing.

      “The Music Heals money makes all the difference to the Canuck Place music therapy program,” according to Siobhan Aspinall, Director of Fundraising at Canuck Place Children’s Hospice, quoted in a Music Heals news release. “We can offer it to the 715 children and families on our program. It gives kids with no voice a voice. They can record memories when they say goodbye to their parents.”

      Looking to do a bit of good this holiday season? You could always give the Gift of Music at, and send an e-card to someone on your list, notifying them of your purchase of an hour of music therapy in their name.