Sophia Nienaber, age 16, is an 11th grader at The Academy of Harvest Moon – a homeschool in Scandia, Minnesota. She has played the piano since fourth grade and harp since fifth grade.
Starting in June 2011, at the age of 10, Sophia began playing her harp for her grandfather who had Alzheimer’s Disease. She did this first at his home, and then at St. Therese Nursing Home.
Sophia enjoys developing her musical skills so she can share harp music with others. She does this as a solo performer, in duets, in harp ensembles, and multi-instrument ensembles.
She has played many times for seniors in nursing homes, at church services, for individuals in their home who are on hospice, at funerals, and at weddings. Sophia also has performed at the Guthrie Theatre before The Christmas Carol.
Sophia is passionate about sharing her musical skills and bringing the power of music to others. She:
- Began a harp therapy program at Northwoods Humane Society in Wyoming, Minnesota. Every month she plays her harp for the dogs and cats waiting to be adopted.
- Was certified in the national Music & Memory program to co-establish and pilot it with ten residents at Christian Community Home who had severe dementia or Alzheimer’s Disease.
Sophia continues to play the harp at Christian Community Home in Osceola, Wisconsin. Like her grandfather, many of the residents have dementia or Alzheimer's Disease.
Seeing the power that music has on both people and animals continues to inspire her.