Mental health

Can You Imagine a World Without Music?

Posted by Cassandra Popescu on November 19, 2018
black and white photo of person playing the piano

Music-makers are responsible for the songs tied to our fondest memories, the albums that heal us through heartbreak, and the experiences that connect us to each other.


We asked our peers in the music community to tell us why music matters to them.


“Music means energy. Like love, like light. It’s something that you feel.”  Sarah Thawer, Drummer


“Music, in all its glorious forms, is many things to me. Most importantly, it helps me to teach my children empathy, curiosity, passion, and tolerance. And of course, how to dance like no one’s watching.” Erin Benjamin, Executive Director of Music Canada Live  


“Music is the greatest form of expression.” Connor Young, Vocalist/Guitarist of Tidal Wave


“Music was the thing that made me feel like I had more control over my life.”  Nadia Elkharadly, Editor of Addicted Magazine


No matter what, music is always there for us.


But could you imagine a world without music?


Sadly, many music-makers face a number of challenges in pursuit of their passion. These challenges can make it nearly impossible for many music professionals to continue their work.


The reality is that many members of the Canadian music community do not have access to the services that can make all the difference in a time of need: sick leave, medical benefits, pension plans, and unemployment insurance. Music-makers can easily find themselves unprepared to deal with the financial and emotional burdens of an unforeseen emergency or illness –– and this can have a distressing affect on their mental health.


person holding microphone


A study of 2,200 music-makers found that 71 percent of music professionals believed they had suffered from panic attacks and/or high levels of anxiety, and 69 percent reported they had suffered from depression. Out of these respondents, 57 percent indicated that they did not receive treatment and 53 percent reported that it was difficult to find help.


The statistics aren’t just numbers, they represent real people whose passion drives them to create unforgettable moments and special experiences for music lovers. Music professionals face precarious work, staggering amounts of pressure, and sleepless nights in a fast-paced industry. The struggling artist stereotype is a stark reality for many of our favourite musicians and for the people working tirelessly behind the scenes.


Finding assistance in times of need can be an uphill battle, but it shouldn’t be that way. It’s time to break the stigma, and break the stereotype.


This year, we’re participating in #GivingTuesday to give back to the music community. As a global day of giving, why not take one day to support the music-makers whose work has been there for you every day?


Join our community of music lovers helping music-makers. On Nov. 27, donate to Unison Benevolent Fund so we can continue supporting music professionals. Through financial assistance, counselling, and health solutions, we are here to provide a lifeline in times of crisis to ensure in the health of our friends, colleagues, and collaborators.


To donate, visit our donation page or our #GivingTuesday profile.


Let’s keep the music flowing.