A new non-profit in Melbourne is using music as a way of connecting young people who are experiencing a serious illness with recording artists and music therapists. And not only are they working with some fabulous musicians they are getting some fabulous results!
Aardvark – which stands for All About Really Determined Very Amazing Rocking Kids – was grown from within the music industry itself as a way of sharing the values of music with the wider community.
Along side trained music therapists, the young people work with musicians to write, record and perform their own music. This process helps them to deal with their health issues while expressing themselves creatively and developing their musical talents.
Having started only a few short years ago, Aardvark is managed by Melbourne-based songstress Sarah Giufre and program director, Bel Harper. Its signature program, The Aardvark Session, was launched in May 2009 and each year has produced an album with sales helping the organisation raise funds.
Check out this short video of the Aardvark Sessions from 2009.
Aardvark also offers monthly workshops, called Dig Days, where past participants can come together and collaborate musically, and just remain in touch. All reports from program participants, aka Aardvarkians, indicate the personal benefits are certainly worthwhile.
“My time with Aardvark has helped me learn many things about myself and others. The most pronounced is that my time with Aardvark has removed the feeling I had when I was sick that I was alone and different, and that is the greatest gift anyone could have given me.” – Tamaryn
This Thank You Thursday, we’d like to acknowledge Sarah, Bel and the team of musicians that have come together to help improve the lives of these seriously ill young people.
As Billy Joel once said, “I think music in itself is healing. It’s an explosive expression of humanity“.
See you in the pond,
The Fish Chick
P.S You can hear what number one selling artist, Gotye, has to say about his involvement with the program at their website here.