In Search Of…An Area Harp Player


“Find that passion and live by it. It’s the best way I know to live a happy life.”

Franciscan Sister Malinda Gerke has had a very happy life as a woman of God and a music teacher for more than 4
decades. But it’s only recently that she found her true passion. “You can always teach an old dog new tricks.”

So about 10 years ago at the ripe age of 63, Sister Malinda learned to play the harp. “This is the most difficult
instrument that I’ve learned how to play. But it is so rewarding.”

Rewarding in more ways than one. “It has been scientifically proven that the lower chords of the harp will help
heal the lower part of the body. The middle part will help heal the middle part of the body like the heart and

So today, you will regularly find this spirited woman sharing her gift with those that need it most. On this day
she’s visiting Franciscan Skemp’s Intensive Care Unit. And all you have to do is watch, to know she’s bringing joy to
even the sickest of patients. “When you’re sick, you like to hear something soothing, something nice. I had my feet
going with the music.” “The patients and their families appreciate it very much.”

Sister Malinda has story after story of how her music has made an impact. Bringing someone out of a coma, helping
to combat depression and even, at times, comforting the dying with song. “Wonderful things happen nearly everytime I

Tere is no doubt these are truly healing hands. “Ian’t imagine what Iwould be doing with myself if I eren’t able to
help people in this way.”

We went in search of…a local woman bringing harmony to those in need. “It’s the lord’s gift to me that I am able
to do this.” We found her.

Sister Malinda tells us she’ll be playing as long as she feels she’s needed, so it looks like there will be no rest
for her anytime soon. Also, she has put together several cd’s of her playing the harp. If you’re interested in buying
one, you can find them at the convent or at Noelke’s in downtown La Crosse.