Jodi Winnwalker: The power of music

By TEDxSalem Storyteller, September 10, 2014

?????????????????????????????????????????????????????Jodi Winnwalker witnessed the power of music therapy even before she knew what music therapy was.

It was through her mother, who sang and hummed to Jodi and her brother, David, while growing up. David is one year older than Jodi and he has Down syndrome. Music was a key way David connected with others, and that’s where Jodi first learned about the power of music.

Then in the sixth grade, she joined choir.

“That’s where I really learned the power of music for building community and for leadership skills,” Jodi said.

When she was 17, her choir director suggested she be a music therapist. And that put her back to when she first learned of music, on her mother’s hip.

Today, Jodi owns a company called Earthtones Music Therapy, which employs 14 music therapists. Jodi’s focus is people with Alzheimer’s, but Earthtones offers a drum circle program for veterans, a children’s program and a horticulture therapy program.

At TEDxSalem, Jodi will share examples of how music therapy affected people’s lives, including a woman named Molly, who had physical and developmental disabilities and was placed in the Fairview Training Center as a child. Jodi worked with Molly, whose story is the subject of the documentary “Where’s Molly.”

“I really would like to encourage people to consider how they can use music intentionally for themselves for their own health and wellness,” she said.