Freeing the Music

Music has the power to transcend all boundaries; it is a universal language. It speaks to the health within us all, regardless of any physical or mental barriers. This beautiful and powerful story provides inspiration and hope to those who treat or live with the mentally ill. It also reminds those who teach and play music that their message is so much more powerful than the notes on the page or the sounds from the instruments.

Freeing the Music is a wonderful and moving true story about a young student nurse during her rotation to the Minnesota State Mental Hospital in Rochester, Minnesota. During a nighttime exploration of the tunnels under the hospital complex – a violation of hospital policy – she found a treasure trove of musical instruments, abandoned and apparently forgotten for over thirty years. She set about to free them from their lonely exile.

She had enough instruments for a symphony but needed musicians, so she developed a project to recruit and train mental patients, culminating in a one-night concert that changed the lives of both patients and staff.

Freeing the Music is a must read for anyone who works or lives with the mentally ill and for anyone who teaches music.