It’s been known for some time now that music has the power to heal- but just how powerful is it? Music has the ability to affect our emotions- if we’re listening to heavy rock, we may feel anxious, while classical music may calm us. Through music, we also experience the power of storytelling, which can tug on our heartstrings, or give us great joy. 

When one creates music, they experience the same effect- but in some cases, it may be even more healing to create your own music than simply listen. Because music acts as a way for people to express themselves and tell stories of their own personal experiences and emotions, many people experience great relief in putting their feelings into words and creating something beautiful to share with others. 

Consider foster children. Many foster children go through so many things in their lives- traumatic, scary, saddening, confusing. Often times, foster kids are too young to begin to understand their situation, and don’t have the opportunity to work through them in a healthy way. They grow up in a state of confusion, unsure of how to feel or how to express it. Songwriting gives them a healthy way to do so. 

The Real Life Real Music Foundation, our sister non-profit, hosts ‘Songwriter Experience’ camps every summer, where children are mentored throughout the week and learn to write, record and perform their very own songs. A few summers ago, they even hosted a special camp specifically for children staying at the Settlement Home in Austin, as well as children who have been fostered or adopted through DePelchin Houston. 

“The songwriter camp was a powerfully healing experience for our kids. We serve adolescent girls who have experienced severe emotional trauma, abuse, and neglect. The songwriting experience allowed each girl to tell her story in her own unique way, which was empowering and cathartic. The girls were courageous and proud of their work.” – Darcie DeShazo, Executive Director – The Settlement Home for Children

Not only can songwriting act as therapy for foster kids, but it also encourages creativity, and empowers kids by teaching them they can do anything they set their mind to. Besides, it’s fun! See what your foster kids can create!