This year more than ever, the young residents of the Lac Écho Centre were able to make the most of their musical talent. For ten years now, the Simple Plan Foundation has supported Portage through funding to purchase musical instruments. With the help of teacher Lauren Bélec, and thanks to Sjmple Plan’s support, the Lac Écho Centre purchased keyboards, electronic drums and other recording equipment. As a result, young residents of the Centre were able to translate their passion for music into actual musical compositions.

In addition to writing their very own music and lyrics, residents can now record and produce their songs in the Lac Écho Centre’s new recording studio. Music is a way of for residents to express what they are feeling and experiencing as they go through their therapeutic journey.

Residents had several opportunities to showcase their musical talent, including playing for family and friends at the Recognition Ceremony, a performance that was met with thunderous applause. They also played for employees and residents of the Mother and Child and MICA centres and staff from the Portage head office, who visited the Lac Écho Centre to mark Portage’s 46th anniversary.

The therapeutic benefits of music

According to teacher Lauren Bélec, when residents understand it’s possible to replicate the songs of their favourite bands and artists, it helps stimulate their interest in learning how to play an instrument. Concentration, focus, dexterity and fun are all part of the experience. The residents are proud of their achievements and Lauren notices a healthy improvement in their self-esteem. As he explains, ʺit’s an opportunity to share a moment with people who are going through a tough time and, for a brief while, with great respect and humility, I step back and watch as music becomes a powerful therapeutic toolʺ.

Music brings with it many benefits. Playing an instrument stimulates creativity and is a way for young people to have fun, reduce stress and improve their self-esteem, all of which helps in the rehabilitation process.

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