MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Healing can come from more than just medicine, which is why you’ll sometimes hear music in the halls at Children’s Hospitals and Clinics of Minnesota. And if you’re lucky, you might get to meet one of the music therapists in action.
“I’m going to grab the guitar for sure,” Erinn Frees said. “We use the guitar every time we go in there.”
Frees takes the time to remember her kid’s favorite instruments.
“He’s a really great drummer with our lollipop drum,” Frees said.
This week she’s meeting up with Henry who is fighting cancer at Children’s Minnesota.
“He’s a wonderful, brave strong 3-year-old,” Frees said.
Just like medicine or therapy, music is part of his treatment.
“Music Therapy was brought him to help him cope with the challenges of being in the hospital,” Frees said.
Music time goes beyond playful tunes; Erin has a master’s in Music Therapy.
“We have many, many years of research behind the music therapy program,” Frees said.
Music helps with pain management and can even help kids through medical procedures.
And for kids like Henry, it helps bring a little normal to the hospital room.
“The first time I came in he was very shy and obviously not feeling well at all,” Frees said. “As soon as I put an instrument in his hand something changed. He was just ready to play and be a kid and have fun.”
Frees also incorporates lessons the kids might be learning if they were in school, instead of treatment.
For Henry that includes identifying colors and practicing his ABCs.
And maybe best of all, the smiles that come with the melodies.
“One of the things that’s said a lot to me by parents is ‘Oh my gosh, this is the first time my kid has smiled all week,'” Frees said.”It’s so rewarding, I love my job. I love seeing how music can transform kids.”