Robert Carli and Terry Stuart

We’ve all heard the saying that music is the universal language of humankind, but did you know that music therapy reduces anxiety, improves development in premature babies, and improves self-esteem and communication skills in children struggling with depression? The Awesome Music Project Canada is a fascinating book that features 111 personal narratives about the power of music from a diverse group of Canadians. For example, Rick Mercer explains why Trooper’s “Raise a Little Hell” is “the ultimate Canadian rant set to music,” and businessman Vitaly Pecherskiy recalls how “Notorious Thugs” by the Notorious B.I.G. helped him through his first year in Thunder Bay after immigrating from St. Petersburg, Russia. The narratives are connected by the common theme of the uplifting, moving, and therapeutic value of music—most are deeply personal and a few are utterly heart-wrenching. The book also includes key findings from the neurological research that is forging new ground in the field of music therapy; proceeds from the sale of the book will support music and mental health research.

-Michelle McChristie