Charitable Choices: David Barnett of Music Heals Charitable Foundation

Music Heals Charitable Foundation increases access to music therapy for patients across Canada by raising awareness of the healing power of music and raising funds to support music therapy programs. We spoke with David Barnett, its Founder and Chair, to learn more about the organization and what they do.

Music Heals

Describe your charity/non-profit/volunteer work in a few sentences.

The Music Heals Charitable Foundation was formed to help raise awareness of the healing powers of music and to help fundraise for music therapy and related services across Canada.

Our mission is to support a wide range of music therapy services by providing ongoing funding for those agencies that develop and use music therapy. Music Heals is governed by a core belief that we are here to serve music therapists and respond to their needs. Music Heals directs funds to support programs that employ music therapists in hospitals, hospices, and in private homes across the country.

What problem does it aim to solve?

Music Therapy is the clinical & evidence-based use of music interventions to accomplish individualized goals within a therapeutic relationship by a credentialed professional.

Music therapy interventions can address a variety of healthcare & educational goals:

● Promote Wellness
● Manage Stress
● Alleviate Pain
● Express Feelings
● Enhance Memory
● Improve Communication
● Promote Physical Rehabilitation

When did you start/ join it?

Music Heals was started 10 years ago. During this time, Music Heals has donated over 3 million to support a wide range of music therapy services to communities in BC and across Canada. We increase access to music for patients in children’s hospitals, senior’s centres, palliative care, AIDS & HIV programs, at-risk youth, habilitation, and bereavement support.

What made you want to get involved?

I spent many years working in the music industry and as a fan. I wanted to start giving back to our local community. Music Therapy is not funded by the government. Canada has a diverse community of music therapy experts with insufficient funding. The role of Music Heals is to support and unite music therapists by funding staffing hours for accredited music therapists. We support established music therapy programs and incentivise them to continue to prioritize music therapy by providing matching funds and increased services. Our goal in each case is to pay for one extra day per week for a year. Each time we fund an additional day of music therapy in a facility, we increase access by an average of 400 additional patient visits.

What more needs to be done?

There continues to be a massive demand in the community for music therapy services. Raising awareness and raising money for therapists to work is our mission.

How can our readers help?

We could always use support through donating, following us online, and supporting the amazing programs and events that we produce every year to raise funds.

Do you have any events coming up?

A Benefit for Music Heals – Thursday, October 19th, Commodore Ballroom

An evening celebrating the power of music with Grammy and Juno Award-winning performance

Let Her Sing – Tuesday, March 5th, 2024 – Pacific Rim

Vancouver’s most influential women, thought leaders and changemakers, celebrating International Women’s Day sipping mimosas, shopping, and raising funds to provide access to music therapy for women who need it most

Where can we follow you?

Website | Instagram | Facebook | YouTube | Twitter | LinkedIn