Suite Melody Care encourages musically talented youth to give back to the community by bringing joy through music to hospital patients and to the elderly.
With over 20 SMC Performers in the program, Suite Melody Care shares over 100 volunteer performances annually for more than 2,600 audience members across Southern and Northern Ontario.
At each Suite Melody Care performance, performers play themed musical performances (e.g, a Christmas theme or Mozart theme) on their instrument with interesting and fun facts relating to the different pieces, composers, and/or overall theme interspersed within the performance.
To become a Suite Melody Care volunteer performer, complete and submit this Preliminary Application Form.
Leslie Ashworth, Violinist, Pianist, Violist, & Composer, founded Suite Melody Care in 2012. The inspiration behind Suite Melody Care came from the very positive feedback she received from patients after her performances on the rehabilitation floor at the Oakville Trafalgar Memorial Hospital.
It is well known that music and medicine go hand in hand as music creates magical moments that can calm, excite, and bring joy to those listening. Music can reach deeply inside people. It brings people together from all ages and backgrounds, activates emotions, relieves symptoms, and overall gives patients something to focus on other than their pain and anxieties.
Hearing first hand how much the patients enjoyed the performances, Leslie thought it would be wonderful to create a program so that other youth can do the same. Further developing the idea through two online high school courses (Gr. 11 Leadership and Gr. 12 Entrepreneurship), Leslie created a 40-page business plan, website, and logo for Suite Melody Care.
After being formally approved at the Oakville Trafalgar Memorial Hospital, Suite Melody Care received such immense interest from students and schools that SMC began expanding into long-term care facilities, retirement homes, and hospitals.
Leslie Ashworth, Founder & Director of the Suite Melody Care program, was honoured with receiving the Lieutenant Governor's Community Service Youth Award as a result of founding and directing the SMC program and her dedication to the community. Suite Melody Care was also awarded an Ontario Government Grant to produce the Suite Melody Care CD/DVD.
To read more about Leslie's musical journey, visit her website at www.leslieashworth.ca.
The name Suite Melody Care was chosen for a number of reasons:
Melody signifies what the concept is all about – bringing melodies or music to patients.
Melody is also the name of our lovely, very sweet, and very silly labrador retriever dog (as can be seen from the fun ear muffs).
The term Suite in music means an ordered set of pieces that are either extracts of a large work or original movements – this program is to perform a set of piece that fit an overall theme.
However, suite is also a homonym for the word sweet which defines the melodies that will be brought into the hospital through this program – taking patients away from what hurts and providing them with something sweet and beautiful in which to listen.