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#MusicMakesMe

by Zoe Peled

[ A variety of smiling people wear black MUSIC HEALS t-shirts while holding up signs that say "Music Heals"]
[ A variety of smiling people wear black MUSIC HEALS t-shirts while holding up signs that say "Music Heals"]  

We have a phrase at Music Heals that is comprised of three familiar words : Music Makes Me. #MusicMakesMe appears at our fundraisers, on our social channels, when we are out in the community doing outreach, and on the sheets of paper we have with us when we're at an event info booth on site. The concept of the campaign is simple : we hand you a sheet of paper that says #MusicMakesMe, and you fill in the rest. It might be words. It might be pictures or diagrams. It might be an abstract piece.

Our work and what we hope to bring to the community (locally, nationally, and worldwide) is based around some common knowledge points:

1. Music is something that everyone can relate to, in some capacity.
2. Music is something that everyone has an emotional connection to, of varying intensity and depth.
3. Music therapy has become a practice that everyone has a connection to, through a family member, friend, co-worker, or affiliate.

Music Heals does three things through our work : we advocate for music therapists, we raise awareness about music therapy in general, and we fund-raise to fund music therapy programs. We provide a service, a voice, and a platform for many demographics to engage with music therapy, engage with music in general, and explore their respective connections to it.

We have an obligation (and the great honour of) ensuring that Music Heals is present, and supporting every community that we can, both locally and nationally. A community partnership with the Vancouver Pride Society speaks directly to this notion.

The theme of "My Pride" encourages folks to explore what Pride means to them, and how it informs their lives. This is directly aligned with "Music Makes Me," as we engage folks to further explore what music means to them, and how it informs their lives. How have our separate experiences shaped our answers to these questions, and where do the two areas of discussion interact?

Pride is an event that celebrates, recognizes, advocates, and creates space for self expression, identification, and freedom. The presence of arts and music within times of self expression, and the presence of arts and music within times of growth, evolvement, and shifting of perception is crucial. It can represent our experiences, express our emotions when nothing else can, and carry us through the positive, negative, and in-between moments of life.

#MusicMakesMe and #MyPride create an opportunity for a wide background of lived experiences to inform the present. They recognize the difference in our histories and positioning, but welcome us to share and move forward simultaneously. We build community through acknowledging and observing both our similarities, and our differences.

#MusicMakesMe create, write, express, feel, protest, love, speak. What does it mean for you?

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