Music Helps Young People Cope with Serious Illness

Dear Bill,

We all know the main job of a young person is to figure out what's next, as they approach adulthood. But for a young person living with cancer, HIV or a rare genetic disorder their future can feel full of isolation, stigma and hopelessness. If their personal story is filling their ears with the negative impacts of having a serious illness; imagining, let alone speaking of their future, can be overwhelming. 

"Everybody's got a mask they wear -

To hide-away the real inside -

But that locked away pain might be the key to change -

The courage needed to recognize -

That if we count ourselves out -

We'll never know what our story's about..." -

> Lyrics from "Decisions" a song written by Next Step participants

WE LISTEN. Next Step's young people need a safe place to practice stepping up to the mic - to be heard - so they can face life looking forward despite their challenging circumstances. As Next Step's music therapist, I create with them, learn from them - listen to them. As they write and record their song, they learn to listen and to trust their voice - developing the inner resources to be able to connect with themselves and others.

At Next Step we listen to our teens and young adults because we know it is about what they say they need, not what we think they need. Help us continue to create and implement even more programs designed to support these deserving teens and young adults living with a serious illness.

PLEASE DONATE to the 2018 Next Step Annual Appeal - and KEEP IT GROWING.

Take a moment this busy holiday season to listen to an original song recorded in Next Step's recording studio.

With warm regards,

Kimberly Khare

Director of Song Studio