Music therapy enhancing the life of a Rochester 6-year-old: 'It is truly a gift'

"What we've seen is that she is so much more verbal when she is here. Anything having to do with music she is all about," explained Christi Dahl.

Posted: Nov 6, 2019 10:44 PM
Updated: Nov 7, 2019 6:53 AM

ROCHESTER, Minn. - You listen to it every day and may not even notice you're doing so: music. Whether it's on in the background while you're driving, studying or maybe cooking, it connects us all.

Healing Rhythms Music Therapy is located in Rochester and uses music to help people.

One of their patients is Poppy Dahl.
Poppy, a 6-year-old, has spent years in speech therapy, along with occupational and physical, but her mom, Christi Dahl, said music therapy is where Poppy seems to express herself the most.

"What we've seen is that she is so much more verbal when she is here. Anything having to do with music she is all about," explained Christi Dahl.

Poppy was born with a heart defect and underwent a transplant.
The surgeries led to brain bleeds, seizures, strokes and ultimately Hydrocephalus causing fluid and pressure on the brain.
It was while she was in the hospital, in Seattle, Poppy was first exposed to music therapy.

"While she is non-verbal technically, she is super-expressive. We get to see that especially when we talk with it in music or talking about coming to music," said Dahl.

During her therapy sessions Poppy uses and works with a variety of tools including books, colors, musical instruments, and much more.
Christina Wood is the founder and director of Healing Rhythms. She opened the facility in 2013.

So what is music therapy?

"Figuring out how do we use music to help people regardless of their age or ability," said Wood.
From heartbeats to respirations Wood explained that rhythms are simply a part of us, making it a universal way to help people.

"Maybe it is somebody that has a cognitive delay or different physical abilities, but certainly we've worked with people that have more anxiety and mental health needs. We also do a lot of work with bereavement," explained Wood.

For sweet Poppy, music is a place of never-ending progression.

"Do not underestimate the power of music and the music therapists. It is truly a gift. It has been huge for Poppy's progress. Huge!," exclaimed Dahl.

If you're interested in knowing if music therapy could benefit you or someone you know, you don't have to be referred. Wood suggests giving them a call to learn more.
Healing Rhythms serves 18 counties across Southern Minnesota.
Whether it's one-on-one services, group music therapy, adaptive music lessons, or even if you're looking for an educational presentation for your staff, Wood has a variety of options.
For more information on Healing Rhythms Music Therapy.

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