News

Well-Being and the Harp – Part III

TBriggs : October 17, 2017 11:20 AM

Well BeingMental well-being for harpists is an important component of our overall health. To begin, a quick question to ponder … when you get a challenging passage in the music, what do you tell yourself:

  • Here comes the hard part? OR
  • I’ve got this!

What we’re talking about is our self-talk, which also links to setting intentions. To define intentions, they are similar to:

  • Goals
  • New year’s resolutions
  • Prayer
  • Dreams (heart, not sleep!) –> manifest

Our energy follows our thoughts so if we think it, this is where our energy goes. This is why it’s important to think good thoughts. It is almost like a brain re-program or paradigm shift. For example:

  • Is our language filled with hope and possibilities or is it of drudgery, negativity?
  • Does our life go smoothly and flow with ease and grace or are we tripped up with trauma/drama?
  • Have you noticed if we tell ourselves we’re tired, going to be a rotten day vs. I have good energy to accomplish what I need to today – it impacts our day!

These statements become our energetic blueprint and connect us to what we manifest. We are encouraging mindfulness which is positive mental health and well-being for you, as a harpist, and for those you serve. Our final blog post of the four areas of well-being will be next week, on spiritual well-being.

Tags: Dream, energy, Goal, harp, Health, intentions, manifest, Mental health, Mental well-being, Mindfulness, New Year’s resolutions, Prayer, Self-talk
 
Posted in Dreams, Energy, Harp, Health, Intention, Manifest, Mental health, Mental well-being, Mindfulness, New Years, News, Prayer, Self-talk
 

Well-Being and the Harp – Part II

TBriggs : October 3, 2017 11:10 AM

Well BeingOur emotions are the next area of well-being that we want to “discuss” as it relates to the harp.

We are emotional beings, not logical. And throughout the International Harp Therapy Program (and beyond!), we are challenged to do our own emotional/inner work. The point is if we are peaceful, we play from this peaceful place.

As we learn the harp (or any musical instrument) and learn new pieces of music, we recognize music is rigorous. What we mean by this is it’s an examination, looking at many “deep places” within ourselves:

  • I’m not good enough
  • I can’t learn this
  • I’ll never be able to do/play that, etc.

Besides, we tend to be:

  • Super sensitive – with a tendency to take everything personally
  • Empathetic – understanding or feeling what another person is experiencing from within the other person’s frame of reference. This means we pick up the vibes from those who are around us.

While both of these make us good at what we do, we have to be mindful, using them to our advantage, not as a detriment.

Another emotional aspect is fear and anxiety. Fear, when it is a negative emotion, can stop us from being creative and it can definitely contribute to performance anxiety. It is helpful to play/perform from our heart and not the nerves.

This blog post gives you ideas of boosting your emotional well-being as a harpist. If you wish to discuss this topic further, contact us. Next up, mental well-being …

Tags: Emotional well-being, harp, International Harp Therapy Program, Mindful, Peaceful, Performance anxiety
 
Posted in Emotional well-being, Harp, International Harp Therapy Program, Mindful, News, Peace, Performance anxiety
 

Well-Being and the Harp – Part I

TBriggs : September 19, 2017 5:54 PM

Well BeingLet us explain! The four areas of well-being are physical, mental, emotional and spiritual. In the next four blog posts, we are going to write about how one of each of these well-being areas relates to the harp. First, we’ll explore physical well-being.

An old mindset of yesteryear is it’s OK for musicians to “trash” their bodies. Where does this come from? While we aren’t sure of the origins of this old belief, we know this isn’t true today, especially with harpists. As a group, we spend a lot of time understanding the physical nature of both the instrument and the player’s body. Perhaps it is because the harp is a very physical instrument – both our posture and holding our arms up for extended periods of time, not to mention carrying it around!

A few other important points:

  • The main center of the body is the pelvis; important to ground and relax the pelvic/hip area.
  • The back “drives” the body.
  • Opening the chest helps us to relax and let the energy flow
  • Everything falls forward – our head, shoulders, hips, etc. and this “throws out” the back.
  • A gentle exercise is to move the shoulder blades in and down. This opens the heart and the heart meets the harp at the thymus, which is the organ of the immune system.

And a couple other things to remember about the harp:

Breathing is vital. Unlike a woodwinds or brass instrument, we don’t actually have to breathe while playing the harp. Breathing contributes to the overall health of the player/performer and it nurtures, sustains, cleans out our bodies and opens the chest. Breathing also helps with anxiety. We may have a habit of holding our breath or not breathing deeply. It can be helpful to breathe oxygen into our fingertips, even visualizing our fingers are breathing.

And finally, while the harp is all about helping people get rid of tension, the harpist must focus on this within themselves to help others.

  • If we hold our breath, we create tension in our bodies (another reason it’s important to breathe!!).
  • When the performers’ tension and the strings’ tension are released, we are one and heart-centered, giving to our audience/client/patient.

So, yes the harp is a very physical instrument and taking care of our physical health is vital to our long-term thriving with this magical instrument. Next blog post will be about emotional well-being.

Tags: Breathe, energy, harp, Mental, Physical well-being, Spiritual, Tension, Well being
 
Posted in Breathe, Energy, Harp, Mental, News, Physical well-being, Spiritual, Tension, Well being
 

Research on the Harp

TBriggs : September 5, 2017 9:01 AM

Research ReportWe recently received a new up-dated list of many harp research studies that have been completed. As we reviewed the list, we are excited to report, there’s a whole lot more work that’s been done in this field of healing harp. If you would like a copy of this up-dated list, please contact us.

Tags: Harp research, healing harp
 
Posted in Harp research, Healing harp, News
 

Speaking again for your group/organization?!

TBriggs : August 24, 2017 1:48 PM

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAIn the past blog posts, I mentioned the Virtual Harp Summit that I “attended,” including utilizing some of this information for the harp therapy community. It has been fun to create new presentations, trainings and retreats based on the 50+ hours of Summit learnings.

Even if I have already spoken to your group/organization, it might be time for a re-visit!! If you are interested, let’s connect!

Tags: harp therapy, presentation, Retreats, Virtual Harp Summit
 
Posted in Harp Therapy, News, Retreat, Virtual Harp Summit
 

Regional International Harp Therapy Conference

TBriggs : August 8, 2017 9:13 AM

ConferenceLast month, we mentioned Virtual Harp Summits (VHS) 1 and 2. In a few days, I have the honor to present to the International Harp Therapy Program’s regional conference in Cedar Falls, IA. While it is a bit daunting to present to my peer group, I know it will be a special time together.

At this conference, I will be sharing some of the key learnings from VHS 1 and 2 … all of this information will be very useful to the harp therapy community, I believe. The goal is to deepen our understanding of this very special instrument that we all love to play in a therapeutic manner.

Can’t wait to be present with my colleagues and friends!

Tags: International Harp Therapy Program, Virtual Harp Summit
 
Posted in International Harp Therapy Program, News, Virtual Harp Summit
 

Art (and Music) as Activism

TBriggs : July 25, 2017 9:54 AM

60 minutesWe are regular viewers of 60 Minutes, are you?! They always have interesting feature stories – one of which is usually about the arts or culture. One of our recent favorites was about a Chinese artist named Ai Weiwei. In the segment, he said, “An artist is always an activist” and “If art is relevant, it is political.” We found these very thought-provoking and certainly made us think about how our “art” (actually music) is activism. I would say it’s about peace and harmony. How can our music contribute to world peace? And does our music make a political statement? Well, we try very hard not to get political, although that is challenging when we are NOT aligned with the current “leadership” and chanigans. Nevertheless, we certainly hope our music makes a peaceful statement.

Tags: 60 Minutes, Activism, Ai Weiwei, Harmony, world peace
 
Posted in 60 Minutes, Activism, Ai Weiwei, Harmony, News, World peace
 

Virtual Harp Summit 1 and 2

TBriggs : July 11, 2017 11:19 AM

Virtual Harp SummitIn late February, one of my fellow harp therapists called to order a BioMat. In our conversation, she asked, “Are you going to ‘attend’ the Virtual Harp Summit (VHS) 2?” I had to admit I didn’t even know what she was talking about!! She explained that this was the second one and it was going to be about harp techniques. (The first VHS was focused on creativity and expression.) In total, both VHSs were 35+ harpists from all around the world and it was a wonderful training “from the living room.” My friend who called was definitely “attending” the second one. During the week when the Summit is “live,” the sessions are free; after that, it is $97 to have access to the trainings in perpetuity.

I signed up and completed both VHS 1 and 2 – what a fabulous experience! All told, it was approximately 50 hours of lessons, trainings and house concerts. To get to hear all these masters from around the world perform was simply amazing!!

It inspired many ideas … stay tuned to watch for more information!

Tags: BioMat, creativity, Harp techniques, Virtual Harp Summit
 
Posted in BioMat, Creativity, Harp techniques, News, Virtual Harp Summit
 

Fear Defined…

TBriggs : June 27, 2017 8:04 AM

FearIn our last blog entry, we compared freedom and fear. We recently saw on Facebook this description of fear and thought it was worthy to include one more post about this topic. Fear is either Forget Everything and Run or Face Everything and Rise. The choice is yours!

What do you pick? It seems there’s a lot of movement at the grassroots level these days and this leads us to think that many people are selecting the latter. We vote YES!!

Tags: Facebook, Fear, Freedom, Grassroots
 
Posted in Facebook, Fear, Freedom, Grassroots, News
 

Freedom Quote

TBriggs : June 13, 2017 3:23 PM

FreedomWe have come across a plethora of quotes and love sharing them because they make us think and definitely inspire. This time, we want to share what Marilyn Ferguson said, “Ultimately, we know deeply that the other side of every fear is a freedom.”

Is this timely right now or what?!! Is U.S. politics based on fear or freedom? Does it make a difference who is the “leader” at the helm?

We are also aware that if you feel fear, music (especially the harp!!) can help you go to that scary place to feel it and release it, moving into freedom. Here’s to your freedom…!

Tags: Fear, Freedom, harp, inspire, music, Politics
 
Posted in Fear, Freedom, Harp, Inspiration, Music, News, Politics
 

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