March is Music Therapy Awareness Month – today, March 1, is World Music Therapy Day – and there are many ways to get involved, to help, to fund research and programs and to incorporate the healing power of music into treatment for those who need it most.
First, there’s an initiative called Join the Band. There are two ways to participate: Either start your own “band” of fundraisers or join with Music Heals. The overall goal is to raise $75,000 by the end of March.
Participants are encouraged to spread the word and bring more people in to join the fun as fundraisers or donors. Bonus: Each dollar donated by the end of March will be matched, up to $25,000, by an anonymous donor, all of which will stay in Canada to help musical therapy efforts.
Of course, membership in the “band” has its perks: Raise $500, get a t-shirt. Raise $1,000? Get a shirt and a pair of Skull Candy headphones. Bring in $2,500 and you’ll get a gold record with your “band” name. If you’re a hall of famer and raise $5,000 or more, you’ll receive the gold record and two tickets to the Strike a Chord gala.
“Music therapy is the skillful use of music to promote, maintain and restore an individual’s physical and mental health. It can create transformational results for individuals of diverse ages and abilities,” Music Heals says.
Looking for another, more immediate way to help? Go out for a beer on March 2.
That’s the annual Night Out for Music Heals, where more than 100 venues will be making donations to Music Heals and asking people to share photos and stories using #NightOut4MH. Some places are chipping in a portion of their cover fees while others are making a flat donation. Some are donating partial proceeds from every pint of Steam Whistle pilsner ordered that night. If you’re going to go out anyway, why not pick one of these places and raise a glass while raising a little cash?
And if you’re deep in the winter blues and need something to look forward to that’s on the more adventurous and outdoorsy side? There are early bird tickets available for the Music Therapy Ride in August. It will involve a trip to and through Vancouver!