By Laura Ferreiro
Music can fuel dance parties, fill stadiums and make our rush-hour commutes much more bearable, but many studies confirm that music does much more. It can help heal numerous physical and mental conditions and ailments, ease pain and elevate spirits.
Putting these studies into practice, the Children’s Music Fund (CMF) provides music therapy to children and young adults who suffer from chronic conditions and life-altering illnesses. The non-profit finds ways to bring music into hospitals where the children are being treated, as well as into their homes to help expedite their healing processes. It also conducts research to measure the impact music has on children to help ensure its programs are as effective and meaningful as they can be.
Renowned singer Shana Halligan – former lead vocalist for Bitter:Sweet who’s now working as a solo artist – recently became a spokesperson for CMF and will perform at a benefit concert for the organization on June 25 at the Teragram Ballroom in Los Angeles.
“I was invited to perform at one of [CMF’s] fundraisers by a friend of mine and it was there that I learned about what incredible things they do,” Halligan tells Music for Good. “Over the past year we stayed in touch. I consistently asked how I could help, and a few months later they asked me to be their spokesperson!”
Halligan was drawn to the organization because she knows first-hand how powerful music can be. “We all know how music can change your mood in a moment,” she says. “It is the purest and most authentic wave you can sail on. There is no greater joy for me than being able to give through music. The idea that I can do what I love, bring people together in one room and help raise awareness and financial support for such an incredible organization is so inspiring.”
As a new parent, this cause had an even greater impact on Halligan. “Having recently given birth to a baby boy of my own, I have an even deeper connection with children,” she explains. “Looking into the eyes of my sweet, perfect little guy, I can’t even begin to imagine the heartbreak that other, less fortunate parents and children must feel when faced with these life-altering diseases.”
Halligan has witnessed the tremendous impact that music has on these children’s lives and believes in its potential to ease many conditions. “In pain management, music provides a distraction and cognitive imagery to aid in relaxation,” she explains. “Music releases endorphins which feel good! It can also help restore lost abilities such as speech or motor skills that may have been lost due to a brain injury. It improves the quality of life and confidence in these children and gives them a sense of purpose. They play, sing, write, listen, feel, and get lost in the natural healing abilities of song.”
The singer looks forward to spending time working and creating with the children when she visits them in the hospital this summer. Meanwhile, she’s excited about the CMF benefit concert and promoting her soulful and sultry new album, Back To Me. She’s also collaborating with Thievery Corporation on a new album and has several other projects in the works.
Grab your tickets for the all-ages CMF benefit concert featuring Halligan here.