Why the Foundation Supports Music Therapy

Eric, Bryn, Julee, Jeff and Kort Peterson

Since starting our blog almost a year ago we have gone over topics ranging from the power of music therapy to its history, but the one thing we have yet to share is our ‘why,’ the reason the Peterson Family Foundation loves this therapy option and chose to support it and become global advocates.

A Life Changing Diagnoses

The Petersons’ passion for music therapy blossomed when Eric and Kort were children; they were both diagnosed with conditions that would forever alter the lives of the family. They discovered Kort had type 1 diabetes, and 6 months later that Eric was fighting Childhood Leukemia. With so much time spent in the hospital, they knew exactly what life was like for patients and their families. It gave the family a personal look at how much joy music brought to children and set the path for what would later become this foundation.

A Foundation Was Born

Once Eric was cancer-free, the family would often go back to the hospital during the holidays to volunteer their time and bring gifts for the children and staff. What started as a donation of 2 iPads and some headphones to the music therapy program turned into the foundation’s focus; the Peterson’s realized that with their support they could help the hospital provide a therapeutic outlet to children that they wished were available to them during their time of need.

A Life Improved

The mission of the Peterson Family Foundation is to provide children and their families with the chance to heal, grow and escape through music.  As Kristin Chaset, a parent whose child has benefitted from a music therapy program the Peterson Family Foundation supports, explains, “My daughter’s response to music is immediate. Her heart rate slows, she relaxes her body, and her breathing becomes less labored. One look at the guitar and her eyes light up. Use that guitar to play Twinkle Twinkle Little Star and the girl’s heart is yours. According to one of my daughter’s doctors, Twinkle Twinkle is more effective calming her than the strongest sedative! Music therapy is just as much for parents and caregivers. The hospital can be a scary, sterile and unforgiving place. Music therapy softens the edges, calms the nerves and refocuses.”

Personal accounts such as Kristin’s are the reason for the foundation’s continued efforts and passion. Follow us on Facebook and Instagram for more updates about the power of music therapy and the strong impact it can have for patients!

About the Peterson Family Foundation

The Peterson Family Foundation was founded in 2003 to enhance, restore and improve the quality of life for all human beings. We believe every child undergoing medical treatment has the right to receive music therapy as an integrated component to their medical care. Our primary mission is to fund, create, and establish pediatric music therapy programs in children’s hospitals across the globe. Learn more at our website or share your story with us.