Spirit of Giving

Leave a comment

Music has the power to soothe and heal.

MoeMusic has the power to soothe and heal. For many individuals, music helps them cope with difficult situations and can often provide an outlet for stress and discomfort. The Music Therapy program as part of the IWK Child Life Program, uses music as the main avenue for working of health care and quality of life goals with patients and their families. Music therapy sessions involve music making, listening to music, and finding creative ways to incorporate music into a patient’s healing process – often without the patient or family having a musical background.

Studies have shown that through musical therapy patients’ stress levels are reduced, sensory and cognitive skills are developed, and there is an increase in self-confidence and self-esteem.

Thanks to the support of organizations like Long & McQuade, patients and families at the IWK have benefitted first hand from Darrel Cameron, the IWK Health Centre’s Music Therapist Accredited (MTA)”.

“We have truly enjoyed the music therapy with Darrel,” says dad Moe, whose son Andrew is currently being treated as an inpatient. Together, Darrel, Andrew and his dad often “jam” with Darrel and dad on the guitar and Andrew on a small drum or simulated drum kit.

“Andrew has several musical instruments at home and loves many types of music,” said dad. “This was very exciting and therapeutic for our son along with the rest of the family. Along with Darrel, we also wrote a song with several other family members which I truly found was a turning point for Andrew, as he got his joy back. Music therapy is a very worthwhile component of our son’s healing.”

Long & McQuade also believes in the power of music. Until Dec 31, Maritimers can donate $1 to the IWK through Long & McQuade’s website and receive a $5 rental coupon in return.

Your support will go a long way to help patients and families at the IWK.


Leave a comment

The gift of music

IWK Musical Therapist Darrel Cameron with Abby Ross and WIlliam Ainscough

IWK Musical Therapist Darrel Cameron with Abby Ross and WIlliam Ainscough

Hello! We are William Ainscough and Abby Ross. Since September of this year, we have been calling Halifax “home” as we film a TV Series called Seed.

When we arrived in beautiful Nova Scotia, we were overwhelmed by the beauty of the province and the kindness and generosity of the people who live in this tremendous city. Both have inspired us to want to do something to give back.

We both love music and it plays a big part in our lives. We both sing in our school choirs and play instruments in our free time. Our entire crew is also very musical; several crew members have band they play in on the weekends, and our whole cast loves to sing! Thanks to the generosity of our fantastic cast and crew, we were able to raise some money and decided to give it to the IWK, and specifically to the Music Therapy Program. It is our hope that the gift of music may brightened the day and make it a little easier for some of the children going through treatments at the IWK.


William and Abby

Make a gift to the IWK Health Centre Foundation.

1 Comment

The power of music.

This fall, thanks to Long & McQuade’s Annual Music Therapy Fundraising Drive, the IWK Health Centre and Child Life Services welcomed Darrel Cameron as a part-time music therapist.

Music plays a huge role in our culture.  We use it for fun and enjoyment, to learn new skills, for motivation to exercise, to help us relax.  We find avenues for emotional expression, social interaction and spiritual meaning through music, whether we simply listen or whether we are involved in making music ourselves.  I also believe that music has a huge role to play in a hospital setting by turning these uses of music into potentials for health related goals.

Darrel Cameral, Musical Therapist at the IWK Health Centre in Halifax, Nova Scotia.

As a Music Therapist Accredited (MTA), that’s just what I do; I use music as the main avenue for working on health care and quality of life goals with patients and their families.  If you happen to come by when I’m working with a patient, you might see us singing and playing instruments, making up a song, improvising music or working on a recording project.  Who knows? The patient may even hand you a drum and ask you to join in!  Though it looks like we are simply having fun with music (which is not a bad thing!), we are intentionally creating opportunities for patients to engage in their health experience as an active, creative person with control and choice.

Children and adolescents can develop new skills, achieve developmental milestones, identify and express emotions, practice more effective coping strategies, and have positive social interactions through music therapy.  And that’s just the beginning.  Whatever goals we are working on as part of the interdisciplinary care team, music therapists use their skill, training and creativity to tailor musical interventions that will work towards those goals.

This year I have the tremendous opportunity to conduct a music therapy pilot with Child Life Services at the IWK Health Centre.  Through the ongoing generous fundraising of Long and McQuade music stores, the pilot will run until October 2013 at 0.4 FTE on the Pediatric Medical Unit (PMU) and the Inpatient Psychiatry Unit  (4 South).  This work is powerful.  Accompanying patients and families through these difficult times and seeing them respond with creativity through music is such a privilege and I see much potential when I look ahead at developing the Music Therapy role here at the IWK.  My hope for this pilot is to see patients engage with music in ways that are meaningful to them as they go through the experience of being in hospital.

Darrel Cameron, Music Therapist Accredited, has a Bachelor of Music Therapy degree from Capilano University in BC, and has been working full time as a music therapist in healthcare in HRM since 2006.

For more information about Music Therapy at the IWK or to provide feedback about the role, please contact Darrel Cameron at darrel.cameron@iwk.nshealth.ca or 470-3931 or Chantal LeBlanc, Interim Professional Practice Chief for Child Life at chantal.leblanc@iwk.nshealth.ca. 

For more about Music Therapy, please visit: www.atlanticmusictherapy.ca.