We all know music is therapeutic, right?
Whether we’re listening to it, singing it, playing it, writing it–music can help us work out emotions, manage depression, and even find meaning in our lives.
That’s exactly why Jenny Plume and Tom Fouce came up with the Everybody Has a Story project at the Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt.
Plume, the music therapist for the hospital’s music therapy program, favors songwriting as a music therapy technique because children can use it as both a form of expression and a way to enhance their self-esteem. When some of her patients’ songs started coming out “fantastic,” she had the idea to create the Everybody Has a Story CD.
At first, Plume thought she’d just record the songs on her computer, but then she remembered she was in Nashville, Tennessee–Music City itself!
So, she teamed up with independent recording engineer Tom Fouce. Tom and his wife Maria launched the Julian T. Founce Fund in memory of their son, a musician and former patient who passed away in 2005. The Fund supports the hospital’s music therapy program, and Fouce’s connections to the music industry meant he and Plume could get some BIG names to perform the children’s songs!
Amy Grant, Vince Gill, Alison Krauss, Faith Hill–I mean we’re talking some SERIOUS STAR POWER here!
One of the children, Gigi Pasley, is a four-time cancer patient who considers herself “a pro at the hospital game.” She sums up what songwriting and the project has done for her:
I like writing music because it helps me get out my emotions and stuff that’s hard sometimes, ‘cause I can’t always do things like normal kids.
Pasley also explains why having the Nashville stars sing her songs means so much to her:
Someone famous is singing it, so it must be real!
The kids weren’t the only ones to benefit from the project:
It was just so nice to be a part of something bigger than yourself. It was nice to help a story, to help a song come to life—especially a song that came from such a pure place.–Johnny Reid
Obviously, Everybody Has a Story has touched everyone involved. To listen for yourself, head over to Everybody Has a Story. You can grab a copy of the CD yourself at the hospital’s The Friend’s Shop as well as Amazon, Barnes & Noble, iTunes, FYE, and Walmart.
How has music or songwriting (or both!) helped you get through a difficult time? Let us know in the comments below!
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Last reviewed: 2 Jul 2013