Music To Our Ears

Shawn Mendes Commits $1 Million To Music Therapy For Hospitalized Kids

‘The Wonder of Music’ will provide patients with musical therapy activities at the Hospital for Sick Children in his hometown of Toronto.

Shawn Mendes poses with a patient at SickKids. He just announced a $1 million music therapy program ...
SickKids / Twitter

Shawn Mendes is sharing his love of music with kids who need it the most. The singer just revealed a $1 million commitment from his Shawn Mendes Foundation to help launch the “Wonder of Music” program,” a “comprehensive music therapy program” a the Hospital for Sick Children (SickKids) in Toronto, Canada. The program is set to include a variety of musical therapy activities like songwriting, music education, and even the ability to create original pieces of music set to the sounds of a patient’s heartbeat.

The decision was an easy one for Mendes. "SickKids is a very special place to me and my hometown of Toronto, and I'm so honored to support such an important program," Mendes, 24, said in a press release.

"Music has made such a profound impact in my life and is no doubt a form of therapy to me. I can only hope the Wonder of Music Program will help SickKids patients, families, and staff benefit from its power as well,” the “When You’re Gone” singer concluded. Music therapists will work with patients through both individual and group classes to help them cope with mental health impacts of being hospitalized for a prolonged period.

“We are so grateful to Shawn and The Shawn Mendes Foundation Canada for their incredible support of SickKids and the music therapy program,” Carolyn Marshall, a certified music therapist at the hospital, told Billboard.

“For many children and families in the hospital, music therapy is an opportunity to express and process a complex range of emotions – such as anger, hurt, happiness, fear or hope – in a creative way. This generous gift will allow us to continue to support our patients through music.”

Mendes has been a vocal proponent of mental health for some time. Back in July, he canceled his Wonder Tour due to ongoing mental health struggles.

“After speaking with my team and working with an incredible group of health professionals, it has become more clear that I need to take the time I’ve never taken personally, to ground myself and come back stronger,” the artist said in an Instagram post, saying that he had to “put his health first” and adding that he couldn’t wait to see fans and play live in the future.

“The truth is that I’m overwhelmed and overstimulated,” he concluded. “The truth is also that I’m okay. I’m just tryna tell and be the truth.”