Music Therapy Provides a Path to Healing for Kids in Adoption or Foster Care

Melanie Barrier personally experienced the therapeutic value of music and as an adult created an organization, Music That Reclaims. It is an organization that takes children who have been adopted or in foster care to music shows or concerts.

Melanie experienced firsthand how important music can be in a person’s life. Melanie was placed in foster care as an infant and had twenty different foster families before being adopted at age 10. In all of the chaos and instability, her one constant was music. She traveled with her music; it was the only thing that did not change and that she could control.  It was the only consistency she had for a large period of her childhood. Melanie stated in the article, “I had this little red radio and that that little red radio delivered the music. And that became my constant companion.”

Knowing the impact of music in her life, she founded Music That Reclaims. It is a program that brings an awareness of music to foster and adopted children.  The children are offered an opportunity to attend musical events. Melanie describes how she loves to see a child light up when they hear their favorite song or even go backstage to meet one of their favorite performers. Her goal is for the children to see a life outside of their chaos, even if only for a short period of time.

Music is proven to help attachment and relationships issues. According to the British Association for Music Therapy, music is something that affects everyone emotionally. “It can help develop and facilitate communication skills, improve self-confidence and independence, enhance self-awareness and awareness of others, and improve concentration and attention skills.”

Music therapy involves using instruments, singing, and different music styles. It helps someone express their emotions, which can lead to attachment and bonding between family members or between someone and a therapist.

Most children who have been adopted or in foster care have experienced some form of trauma. It is very important to have outlets, such as music, through which they can express their feelings.