Childhaven establishes Chris Cornell Music Therapy Program

Seattle-based nonprofit Childhaven has announced the establishment of the “Chris Cornell Music Therapy Program at Childhaven” in memory of the late musician and philanthropist. Vicky Cornell has committed $100,000 to assist Childhaven’s therapeutic early learning model for trauma-affected children. This announcement comes on July 20th, the date the former Soundgarden and Audioslave frontman would have turned 53.

“The Chris and Vicky Cornell Foundation is excited to join Childhaven to support its extraordinary work impacting the lives of those in need,” says Vicky Cornell. “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 five and their families overcome the effects of trauma such as abuse, neglect, domestic violence, chemical dependency, and more. Children in the organization’s therapeutic early learning program learn emotional regulation and cognitive skills that help them develop healthy, nurturing relationships and prepare them for success in kindergarten. Music therapy provides a creative outlet through which they can express and explore difficult feelings.

Chris Cornell dead at the age of 52

“Because of what they’ve experienced, a lot of children come to Childhaven struggling with anger and other overwhelming emotions,” notes Seattle 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.”

Vogan also uses music to teach children about other cultures around the world. Kids get to interact with a wide variety of international instruments and learn about communities beyond the ones in which they live. Vogan added that he’s seen “great breakthroughs over the years” watching kids interact with different instruments.

“We’re honored to preserve Chris Cornell’s memory with this program,” says 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.”
All children at Childhaven from infants to five-year-olds will be offered therapy through the Chris Cornell Music Therapy Program. The Chris & Vicky Cornell Foundation previously contributed to Childhaven’s music therapy program in 2013.

On May 17th, the Cornell was found dead in a Detroit hotel room from “hanging by suicide” following a Soundgarden performance just hours earlier. Vicky revealed that the 52 year old singer, who was a recovering drug addict, was on prescription Ativan for anxiety.

Author: Buddy Iahn

Buddy Iahn founded The Music Universe when he decided to juxtapose his love of web design and music. As a lifelong drummer, he decided to take a hiatus from playing music to report it. The website began as a fun project in 2013 to one of the top independent news sites.