Humanitarian Giving Project

Music Works 2

MusicWorks: Music interventions for children & young people in South Africa

From the beginning, Voices from the Heart has made financial contributions to nonprofit organizations in our own community and in the countries where we tour. The 2018 Recipient of the Voices from the Heart Humanitarian Giving Project will be the South African organization, MusicWorks. We will present our donation when we sing with MusicWorks on our South Africa trip in July 2018.  Please join us with your financial support.

About Music Works

MusicWorks is a non-profit organization that uses the power of music to unlock potential in the lives of children and their communities. It offers music interventions for children and young people, partnering with communities in Cape Town’s marginalized neighborhoods. Music is a social resource, with the profound ability to strengthen and heal individuals, as well as communities. Through instrumental improvisation, singing, musical storytelling, song writing or movement to music, MusicWorks creates safe spaces for engagement, creativity, care and healing. Interventions are grounded in music therapy theory and principles, and offer a vital service – as a means of strengthening children subject to trauma and neglect; supporting their social, cognitive and emotional development; and ultimately impacting the psychosocial fabric of their larger communities.Through music, care and partnership, MusicWorks hopes to encourage hope.

A Brief History

MusicWorks was founded in September 2002 and registered as a non-profit organization in November 2003. Two music therapists started on a part-time, voluntary basis, offering music therapy sessions to school children in Heideveld, Cape Town. The community was very supportive of this early work, which led to the establishment of an official Music Therapy Program. The following decade saw the development of a practice that would function with two core characteristics: Adaptability to the various work contexts, and sensitivity to the specific needs of the beneficiaries in the target communities. In 2010, MusicWorks received the Mentor International Innovation Award, as well as a Silver Award from the Impumelelo Innovations Trust, for pioneering work in the field of music therapy in various communities on the Cape Flats. Presently, approximately 350 children annually attend music therapy sessions, play in marimba bands and sing in choirs.


Capetown To many, making music suggests a luxury pastime, a ‘nice to have’. To the children in MusicWorks programs, making music is a necessity, a life line. To young children who have been silenced by abuse and neglect, music groups provide a safe space where they can rediscover playfulness and creativity – where their voices matter. To children who have experienced unspeakable trauma, music may become a medium through which they can express the inexpressible and begin to create more hopeful stories for their lives. To teenage girls who are grappling with the many injustices in their world, song writing becomes a way of overcoming voicelessness. To teenage boys, living in a community where gangs are always looking to recruit, marimba bands and drumming circles offer a different sense of identity and belonging. To children with debilitating illness who are locked in a world of their own, music offers a way to make contact with the world – to communicate. To all young people and children, music-making enables an escape from social isolation, towards a greater sense of community and possibility for their lives. To caregivers, educational and community workers, music program training offers tools and skills to enhance the emotional and social development of the children in their care. Music Works 4

Please Make a Donation

We invite you to join Voices’ humanitarian giving project with your tax-deductible donation.

Our Vision: Voices from the Heart reaches across borders through music and compassionate support of communities.

Our Mission: Voices from the Heart builds community through our choral singing and support of philanthropic organizations. We seek to strengthen organizations that provide education, the arts, healthcare, economic stability and physical and emotional safety for women, children, and families.

Our Values

  • Voices from the Heart sings world music that lifts and heals the human spirit.
  • Through our support, we strengthen and increase opportunities for women and children. We believe that when people have resources, they will know how to improve the lives of their families and communities.
  • Our philanthropy promotes and honors music, harmony, and peace. The chorus has traveled to Ireland, Croatia, Slovenia, Cuba, and will travel to South Africa in 2018.
  • We believe in coming from a place of compassion and loving kindness. We express this through songs in many languages, and through our philanthropy.