There are plenty of ways in which people donate, volunteer, and give back to children and teens in tough medical, physical and emotional situations. For John Beltzer, nothing made more sense than music. What if these children and teens could be matched with a songwriter to get their very own, one-of-a-kind song to lift their spirits in a time of need?
It was this concept that led Beltzer to write his first ever ‘song of love’ to a five-year old cancer patient named Brittany at St. Jude’s Hospital in Memphis all the way from Queens, NY – and when he got a call from her thanking him for her song, the idea for his nonprofit foundation Songs of Love was born!
Since that fateful day in 1996, Songs of Love has reached close to 27,000 children in over 500 hospitals and health care facilities in all 50 states and throughout the world. The organization matches independent songwriters with children and teens, and Beltzer says the connections made between them is incomparable.
“When the songwriters get letters of how much the songs have helped the kids it immediately validates who they are as songwriters,” he says. “This takes away any feelings a writer might have about failure. There is nothing more fulfilling for our songwriters than being able to heal a child’s spirit through a ‘song of love’. You might say that any ‘song of love’ a songwriter creates is a guaranteed hit!”
TuneCore is proud to be partnering with Songs Of Love as the foundation’s official digital distributor.
of bringing about healing,” remarked Beltzer. “Songs of Love and Tunecore are collectively covering the world with a healing blanket of soothing melodies. The partnership distinctly highlights the true healing power of music.”
One of the coolest parts about Songs of Love is how open and accessible it remains with an unchanging goal of brightening up young peoples’ day – from little known indie musicians to award-winning songwriters like Alex Forbes:
“Getting involved with Songs of Love was a turning point in my musical life. There’s something magical about the whole process. It sparks people’s creativity in a really powerful, heartfelt way,” says Forbes.
TuneCore is home to many independent songwriters who may want to use their talents to connect with young patients – and we’re strongly encouraging any interested artists to get involved today!
Just watch this video of a visit from Danielle Dugan, who received a ‘song of love’ from Tony Asher (songwriter of “God Only Knows” among other hits) after she was diagnosed with Stage 4 cancer at age eight in 2003. Given only six months to live, Beltzer was floored to receive a call just two years ago from a very much alive and healthy Danielle:
Sitting on literally thousands of notes, letters and cards from song recipients over the years expressing gratitude and warmth only drives John and his foundation to keep going. Just ask Siri Bream, Child Life Specialist at the Children’s Hospital of Richmond, VA:
“The healing power of music is huge, but the power of feeling validated, of being honored, of being important enough to have a song that is entirely all about YOU, gives our patients a sense of belonging in this world, a sense of hope, a renewed purpose and determination to LIVE.”
If you’re a songwriter who is interested in getting involved and learning more about Songs of Love, head over to the foundation’s website here. Be sure to catch the recent 20th Anniversary celebration that included the audience of a Paul Simon concert pitching in to sing and record the chorus to a ‘song of love’ dedicated to eight-year old Teddy Moore.
TuneCore is looking forward to a bright future with the Songs of Love Foundation!