Topeka man uses talent to help others through therapeutic music

Published: Aug. 18, 2020 at 3:23 PM CDT
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TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) -Singing and songwriting has always been a passion for Daryl Von Kopfman and now he is using his talent to help others.

“In fourth grade, I believe it was, we were studying about General Custer and I made up this little song and this is the first song that I remember writing but I was kind of singing it to myself and the teacher asked me you know where have you heard that and I said I don’t know I made it up and she had me get up at my show and tell and sing my little General Custer song and everybody liked it and I figured this is the thing for me.”

It wasn’t until later in life when he found the opportunity to use his talent to make a difference in someone else’s life. “I was actually selling an air conditioner to a lady here in town and I noticed all of the musical instruments she had in the house and we got to talking and she told me that she was a certified music practitioner and at that time I was looking for a way to better serve people with my music so I just jumped at the opportunity.”

Kopfman went on to become a certified music practitioner working with the organization, Music for Healing and Transition Program. A certified music practitioner is a specially-trained musician who provides live acoustic music one-on-one, for therapeutic purposes.

“We work with five different patient conditions that we can work with so folks that have a cognitive impairment or stroke or anything of that kind of nature, there is a specific kind of music that we can do for that, for folks that are in acute pain, there is music for that. Folks that are activity dying and they are trying to prevent them from dying and folks that are dying but they aren’t trying to prevent it.”

Kopfman plays everything for his patients from Somewhere Over The Rainbow to ACDC’s Back In Black-- anything to make them feel more at ease.

“I try to get myself to where I can see the monitors and I will play music, I try to play at sixty beats per minute so right at that mid point of the resting human heart rate and I am trying to get the patient to retrain to me and it’s amazing how well it works.”

He says becoming a music practitioner has allowed him to do two of his favorite things, playing music and helping people.

“There is no greater gift that you can give to somebody I don’t think than to really make an improvement in their quality of life to bring some relief with something that you were given and I like to help people, I like to serve people so it really works well.”

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