Seattle-based nonprofit Childhaven has established a music therapy program in memory of late Soundgarden front man Chris Cornell. The announcement came on July 20, what would have been the singer’s 53 birthday.
The “Chris Cornell Music Therapy Program at Childhaven” aims to “bring the healing power of music to trauma-affected children,” and Cornell’s widow, Vicky Cornell, has committed $10,000 to assist the organization’s therapeutic early learning model.
“The Chris and Vicky Cornell Foundation is excited to join Childhaven to support its extraordinary work impacting the lives of those in need,” Vicky Cornell said in a statement. “Chris and I always shared a strong belief in the healing and inspiring power of music, and through Childhaven’s establishment of this program, we are able to keep the promise for Chris by continuing to protect the world’s most vulnerable children.”
Childhaven helps children from birth to 5 and their families to overcome the effects of abuse, neglect, domestic violence, and chemical dependency. Music therapy provides a creative outlet through which they can express and explore difficult feelings.
It’s worth noting the Linkin Park singer Chester Bennington, a close friend of Cornell’s who died on July 20 at the age of 41, also struggled with childhood trauma.
“Because of what they’ve experienced, a lot of children come to Childhaven struggling with anger and other overwhelming emotions,” said musician Brian Vogan, who runs music therapy at Childhaven. “Being able to beat on drums is really helpful for them. Other kids are very shy, and music helps to bring them out of their shell.”
The Chris & Vicky Cornell Foundation previously contributed to Childhaven’s music therapy program in 2013.
“We’re honored to preserve Chris Cornell’s memory with this program,” said Childhaven CEO Jon Botten. “Music has the power to engage, to delight, and to heal. Thanks to the Chris & Vicky Cornell Foundation, more of our most vulnerable children will be able to use music to build the resilience they need to reach their full potential.”