GRAMMY nominated, singer-songwriter Shawn Mendes announced a million-dollar commitment from the Shawn Mendes Foundation Canada to help launch “Wonder of Music,” a comprehensive music therapy program, at The Hospital for Sick Children (SickKids) in Toronto on Wednesday. The program will support various music therapy activities including songwriting, custom lullabies, music education, and even the creation of original pieces of music set to the sounds of a patient’s heartbeat.
Mendes was moved to commit this amount on behalf of his Foundation after hearing more about SickKids’ music therapy program, compelling him to help launch a program that expands further on the hospital’s current practices. Music therapists work with infants, children and youth at SickKids through individualized music sessions, and songwriting designed to help patients cope with their time in the hospital.
The “Wonder of Music” program will also serve as many infants’ and children’s first exposure to music. For some children and families, music is a way to soothe, and others use it as a bonding experience –especially when parents are unable to hold their young children.
“We are so grateful to Shawn and The Shawn Mendes Foundation Canada for their incredible support of SickKids and the music therapy program,” said Carolyn Marshall, Certified Music Therapist, The Hospital for Sick Children. “For many children and families in the hospital, music therapy is an opportunity to express and process a complex range of emotions – such as anger, hurt, happiness, fear or hope – in a creative way. This generous gift will allow us to continue to support our patients through music.”
For information about The Shawn Mendes Foundation Canada, including how Canadian residents can donate, visit ShawnMendesFoundation.org.