Local mom moves mountains to bring music therapy to OKC
By: Rebecca Schleicher, Primetime Reporter - bio | email
Before 8-year-old Hudson was even born, his mom Julie Frost says he loved a good beat.
"Every time I would go to shows and the drummer would be doing a solo my belly would just be going nuts, he responded to that," she said.
So when he started showing anxiety and signs of Autism, Julie used what he loves to help him through regular tasks.
"Just by sort of organizing our play list for his schedule helped him get through his day," she explained.
But Julie is not a therapist. And when she started looking for professional help for Hudson that utilized music, she hit a wall.
"The struggles are that not everybody's heard about it," said INTEGRIS music therapist Suzanne Heppel.
And most insurance does not cover music therapy. At INTEGRIS, the hospital's annual Courage Award Gala raises money to afford the program every year.
"A lot of people cannot afford it on their own and I couldn't either," Frost said.
Experts say it doesn't matter how someone listens, whether it's with old records or CDs or even their cell phone, music can heal and science can prove it.
"Whether you're moving or dancing or trying to sing it kind of encompasses the whole brain when you're using music," Heppel said.
And best of all for Hudson?
"It's fun!" he said.
So he and Julie started the Music Moves Mountains Foundation. They raise money and offer programs including sensory-friendly concerts for kids, supplying musical instruments to individuals at-risk, and live music performances at hospitals, nursing homes, VA centers, rehab centers and hospices.
They say the programs will help others move their own mountains in a healthy way, using a beat instead of a prescription.
Music Moves Mountains is hosting a benefit concert for all ages Saturday at 8 p.m. at The Blue Door at 2805 N. McKinley. Money raised will benefit local music programs for Alzheimer's and memory care patients.