The Sandra and Alain Bouchard Foundation funds The Children’s Music Therapy Program with a $1 million donation
The Children's Foundation has amazing news to share! First, we are most grateful to the Sandra and Alain Bouchard Foundation for supporting The Children’s Hospital’s Music Therapy Program to the tune of $1 million.
Also, we are so excited to announce that in addition to being one of The Foundation's Ambassadors, singer-songwriter and performer Charlotte Cardin is the Special Ambassador of our Music Therapy Program.
The Children’s Music Therapy Program is an integral part of a child’s or adolescent’s medical care whether the challenges faced are physical or psychological.
The beat goes on!
Thanks to the donation from the Sandra and Alain Bouchard Foundation, the future of The Children’s music therapy program is secure for several years. This ensures all three music therapists can continue to offer numerous activities, including songwriting, singing, creating custom lullabies, and even the creation of original pieces of music set to the sounds of a patient’s heartbeat.
“Supporting the arts and helping people reach their full potential are two of the raisons d’étre of the Sandra and Alain Bouchard Foundation. The Children’s Music Therapy Program is a harmonious marriage of both goals,” said Sandra Chartrand, President of the Sandra and Alain Bouchard Foundation. “I was particularly glad to hear music therapy is offered to adolescents receiving care in the Psychiatry Department. Music therapist Julien Peyrin works with children and teens to help them cope with their emotions by using music as a means of expression or by composing lyrics. The Sandra and Alain Bouchard Foundation is proud to support this important therapeutic program that helps so many Quebec children heal.”
Charlotte Cardin lends her voice to the Music Therapy Program
During a tour of The Children’s last November, Montreal-native Charlotte Cardin came upon Pascal Comeau, a Children’s music therapist strumming his guitar for a toddler confined to a crib while undergoing dialysis. Intrigued, Charlotte stopped to watch and listen. She asked a lot of questions about the program and its benefits to the health and well-being of The Children's patients. This was the birth of the idea she be named the Special Ambassador of The Children’s Music Therapy Program to help spread the word about the value and benefits of music therapy.
As Special Ambassador, Charlotte will participate in music therapy sessions at The Children’s, particularly those tailored to teens struggling with mental health issues. Charlotte confides music was an outlet that helped her cope with the ups and downs of her teenage years.
“My visit to The Children’s stirred many emotions in me. When I discovered the Music Therapy Program, I knew exactly how I could help the sick children of Quebec,” said Charlotte. “Today so many preteens and teens struggle with mental health issues. I can relate to what they are going through. For me, music is the most wholesome way I've found of letting go, drowning out the noise and staying grounded in truth. I am honoured to be named Special Ambassador of The Children’s Music Therapy Program. I look forward to sharing the gift of music with the kids."
Music therapy rocks
A 2022 systematic review of music therapy research showed music (listening to music, singing, and music therapy) can create significant improvements in mental health and physical health.
The Children’s three music therapists are certified by the Canadian Association of Music Therapy. The program they offer throughout the Hospital helps:
- Soothe critically ill newborns in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit – The soft strum of a guitar helps regulate an infant's heart rate and breathing. Music helps relieve pain by releasing "happiness hormones" like serotonin and activating the brain regions associated with pleasure.
- Children with physical disabilities improve their motor skills by playing musical instruments or moving to the rhythm of the music.
- Adolescents with anxiety issues learn to cope with their emotions by using music as a means of expression by composing lyrics and recording their songs or musical performances and by selecting music to calm them or even help them release their excess energy.
“Music therapy is just one of the many programs that make The Children’s a leader in creating a special healing environment for the sick children of Quebec,” said Renée Vézina, President of The Montreal Children’s Hospital Foundation. “The program, like many at The Children’s, is donor funded. We are so very grateful to the Sandra and Alain Bouchard Foundation for allowing us to continue offering this invaluable program for many years to come. Plus, we are thrilled Charlotte has agreed to be the program’s Special Ambassador. She will have a positive influence on so many of our young patients. Thank you!"