Maryville University’s Kids Rock Cancer program announces its first recording star – 12-year-old Tyler. With help from music therapist Tracie Heuring, Tyler wrote the lyrics for his song, “Faith Through My Weakness,” and recorded it at SSM Cardinal Glennon Children’s Medical Center.
The new initiative, sponsored by Maryville University’s Music Therapy Program, helps children cope with their cancer diagnoses by tapping into the healing power of music. Kids Rock Cancer works in concert with modern studio technology and each child’s own capacity for songwriting.
“Congratulations to Tyler on his artistic achievement,” said Mark Lombardi, PhD, president of Maryville University. “Moving forward, we hope our Kids Rock Cancer program will continue to give young people a creative, healing outlet for expressing their feelings. Their recordings, like Tyler’s, will no doubt inspire us all.”
Under the direction of Heuring, who travels with a state-of-the-art portable recording studio, children participating in the Kids Rock Cancer program are encouraged to write lyrics and a melody, then record the song in their own voice on a CD to take home and keep. Engaging in this creative process provides young people with an opportunity for self-expression, a sense of self-esteem and accomplishment, a distraction from emotional and physical pain and a sense of joy and optimism.
Kids Rock Cancer is based on successful models in other U.S. cities and works in tandem with pediatric cancer centers in the St. Louis region. Maryville recently launched the program during a gathering at the home of generous donors Steven and Jennifer Straub of the Village of Westwood, Mo.
Al Wiman, vice president for Public Understanding of Science at Saint Louis Science Center and former medical and science broadcast journalist, is advancing the effort to build a coalition of Kids Rock Cancer supporters.
For more information about Maryville University’s Kids Rock Cancer program, contact Kristie Skor, project director, at 314.504.3767; or visit Kids Rock Cancer.