The Healing Power of Music

We all go through a number of appliances throughout our lives. Every few years, we get a new computer, a new TV, or a new stereo, often because we simply want a flashy new one, even though the old one still works fine. What happens to these items we replace? Some are sold, some are stored away, and some are simply forgotten.

Vancouver musician Dominique Fricot, who you’ve likely heard on local rock/alternative radio in recent years, is at the forefront of an innovative approach to what people can do with their used digital music players. “I thought to myself that there must be tons of old mp3 players and iPod Nanos and Shuffles that sit around unused on shelves and in drawers.” Fricot spearheaded a week-long initiative (October 15th to 19th) that encouraged people to send in their old devices to various partner businesses in Victoria, Vancouver, Kamloops and the Okanagan. The music players all end up with the Music Heals Charitable Foundation, which raises awareness of the healing powers of music and fundraises for music therapy and related services across Canada. Their mission is to unite music therapy-related charitable initiatives, and increase patient accessibility to music therapy in children’s hospitals, seniors’ homes, palliative care facilities, at-risk youth programs and more.

Music therapy is a technique of complementary medicine that uses music prescribed in a skilled manner by trained therapists. Programs are designed to help patients overcome physical, emotional, intellectual, and social challenges. Applications range from improving the well-being of geriatric patients in nursing homes to lowering the stress level and pain of women in labor. Music therapy is used in many settings, including schools, rehabilitation centers, hospitals, hospices, nursing homes, community centers, and sometimes even in the home.1

When asked to shed some light on how the whole idea came about, Fricot explains – “Initially it was because one of the challenges for each of the [Peak Performance Project] artists was to do a collaboration or come up with a fundraising concept with a certain charitable foundation of your choice, and I knew Chris Brandt because he was the professor of a good friend of mine at Nimbus School of Arts. […] We just sat down and I asked him about what Music Heals did and how they supported music therapy programs and music therapists, and basically just sitting down with him one day during the summer, I had a light bulb go off in my head. We started talking about how a very simple tool that music therapists use which they don’t have funding for is iPods. It just came to me, the idea.”

For those of you who may have missed the official donation week, you can still send in your music players to Music Heals (see below). Hurry up and send them in! Fricot is giving away a free house concert by drawing a name from all those who donate their devices in October.

You can ship your digital music players to:

Attn: iPod Pharmacy
Music Heals Charitable Foundation
Suite 400 – 1788 W. 5th Ave.
Vancouver, BC V6J 1P2