Shawn Mendes is sharing the healing powers of music with his hometown of Toronto. The 24-year-old musician has announced the launch of the “Wonder of Music” program funded by the Shawn Mendes Foundation. The program, to which a $1 million commitment was made, will provide music therapy and education at the Hospital for Sick Children, known throughout the city as SickKids.
“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 shared in a statement.
“Wonder of Music” has been described as a “comprehensive music therapy program” that provides many infants and children with their first exposure to music. The program will feature lessons on songwriting, custom lullabies, music education, and creating original pieces of music using the rhythm of a patient’s heartbeat.
“Music has made such a profound impact in my life and is no doubt a form of therapy to me,” Mendes continued. “I can only hope the Wonder of Music Program will help SickKids patients, families, and staff benefit from its power as well.”
The singer was inspired to get involved after learning of the SickKids music therapy program which finds music therapists working with young children and infants to center music as a coping mechanism for hospitalization.
“We are so grateful to Shawn and The Shawn Mendes Foundation Canada for their incredible support of SickKids and the music therapy program,” said Carolyn Marshall, a certified music therapist at the hospital. “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.”
As part of the partnership, Mendes also created his own signature Martin guitar. The instruments, created with certified sustainable wood and recycled materials, were made available in limited quantities on the official Shawn Mendes website. A portion of the proceeds will benefit the “Wonder of Music” program.