Playing the Harp in the Hallway of the Hospital

Hospital corridorI play the harp in patients’ rooms, but also in the hospital corridors or hallways.

Staff who do such important work (housekeeping, unit secretaries, nurse managers, etc.) may not be thanked for their contributions and they need the music as much as anyone. When I play in the hallways or at a nursing station, these hard-working employees can pause for a moment to “fill their wells.”

Playing in these locations, I see very busy healthcare staff and stressed family members stopping for a moment to connect with their breath, lower their shoulders to release tension and just be. Many comment that they have never heard the harp or never seen it played up close and in person. Having it on the hospital floor offers a personal touch and a gentle reminder of self-care.

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More on Being a Certified Harp Practitioner

harp therapy1In this blog post, we will share the “Scope of Practice” for being a Certified Harp Practitioner.

A Certified Harp Practitioner’s practice is to use the intrinsic healing elements of live harp music to provide an environment conducive to the human healing process. (Healing is defined as movement toward mental, physical, emotional and spiritual wholeness.)

Requirements in the following categories are required to be a Certified Harp Practitioner:

  1. Musicianship
  • Demonstrates/applies knowledge of basic music theory and techniques.
  • Improvises and plays music in a fluid, musical fashion.
  • Plays appropriate repertoire.
  • Is sensitive to the mental, physical, emotional and spiritual needs of the patient.
  1. Professionalism
  • Uses appropriate interpersonal skills, etiquette, and legal, ethical and moral judgment, when interacting with patients, families and hospital/hospice staff; adheres to a strict Code of Ethics. (Stay tuned for our next blog post.)
  • Presents a positive, mature and professional image in manners, communication and dress.
  • Respects diversity of cultural traditions, values and musical preferences.
  • Demonstrates a responsible attitude about personal identification, documentation, scheduling, infection control, hospital equipment and privacy.
  • Focuses on the welfare of the patient above all else in a compassionate and non-judgmental manner.
  • Works within the determined scope of practice of therapeutic musicians; seeks appropriate assistance when needed.
  • Engages in appropriate self-care and continuing education.

If you are interested in learning more or wish to have me play at the hospital or hospice bedside for you or your loved one, please contact me.

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Resilience

BucketThe second keynote speaker at the recent Mayo Clinic’s holistic wellness conference was Henry Emmons, MD. He gave a wonderful, thought-provoking presentation on “Restoring Resilience.”

He began his discussion by inviting us to reflect on our “container” and attending to it (hence the bucket to the left!!). What is draining it? What is filling it up? As well as suggesting, “We may need to bring in other things, blending science and heart wisdom to sustain us, bringing us into balance and improving our resilience.”

On the next day of this conference, I was keynoting about self-care. I was struck by how these thoughts that Dr. Emmons was suggesting about resilience also relate to how well we take care of ourselves. In other words, “filling our buckets” is important to nurture our body/mind/spirit (eg. self-care) and impacts how resilient we are in many different situations.

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Holiday Relaxation Tips

At Musical Reflections, we keep thinking about how we can help reduce your holiday stress. Here’s a few ideas:

  • Be mindful of your breathing several times a day.
  • Pause a few times daily paying attention to how you feel. Journal about or express all emotions to release them.
  • Listen to calming music, moving you to your peaceful core. (May we suggest either The Christmas Story or Christmas Music for Tranquility.) Play these and your other favorite holiday CDs at 25% less volume than you would normally listen.
  • Many radio shows feature beautiful holiday music. Find your favorite station and listen while you are driving or doing any holiday preparations.
  • Set realistic expectations. Sometimes family gatherings increase our stress levels, so think about self-care strategies that work for you … and follow through!
  • Prioritize! If possible, decrease the number of obligations during the month of December and put one or two things on your calendar that bring you joy, nurture your spirit.

Finally, model holiday peace to those we serve. When you are centered and calm, everyone you touch will pick up these peaceful “vibes” during this spiritual time of year.

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“Self-Care Salon” – A New Presentation

Previously on this blog, I mentioned doing a self-care session for my Harp Therapy peers. Self-care is a topic I’m very passionate about!

Before the holidays, my dear friend, Barb Schommer (Healing Touch Instructor and retired public health nurse) and I were having lunch. She is one of the 31 women in the “Women as Healers” book and we co-created a CD called “Reflections: A Guided Meditation.” Barb and I also love to present together…there’s a synergy with the two of us together that is unmatched!!  

At our pre-holiday lunch, we started talking about “What’s Next?!” We had been thinking about doing something for self-care for a long time … we decided it was time to take action!  Hence, the “Self-Care Salon” was born.

Description:  In this session, we explore self-care as a daily practice and how to give ourselves loving self-care. As we focus on our own self-care, it sets a beautiful tone for our daily lives and helps us have greater compassion for others. We can also model this self-love to those we serve.

Participants exchange ideas about self-care using a creative and fun approach called World Café. Those attending experience an oasis of relaxation, reflection and rejuvenation! This unique session nurtures their spirits, moving from busy-ness to calm and deep relaxation. They leave the session in a mellow state. . . guaranteed!

Objectives:  Participants will–

  • Experience calming harp music and guided meditation allowing you to unwind.
  • Create a self-care collage in community.
  • Commit to one new self-care practice.

Testimonials:

We conducted our first session at Woodwinds Health campus in late January. This doodle is from one of the participants — yes! the pot of gold really is at the end of the rainbow!!

  • “Just what I needed!”
  • “For some time, I have been on a path of daily prayer/meditation, yoga/exercise, healthy eating and basic connection with myself. This reminded me to stick with my program.”

It was a joy for Barb and I to be present … if you are interested in manifesting your self-care intentions using the “Self-Care Salon” format, contact Tami.

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Need relaxation during the busy holiday season?

We offer several suggestions to help reduce your stress and bring peace to your holiday season include: 

  • Be mindful of your breathing several times a day.
  • Pause a few times daily paying attention to how you feel. Journal about or express all emotions to release them.
  • Listen to calming music, moving you to your peaceful core.
  • Play your favorite holiday CDs at 25% less volume than you would normally listen to it.
  • Many radio shows feature beautiful holiday music. Find your favorite station and listen while you are driving or doing any holiday preparations.
  • Set realistic expectations. Sometimes family gatherings increase our stress levels, so think about self-care strategies that work for you … and follow through!
  • Prioritize! If possible, decrease the number of obligations during the month of December and put one or two things on your calendar that bring you joy, nurture your spirit.

Finally, model holiday peace to those we serve. When you are centered and calm, everyone you touch will pick up these peaceful “vibes” during this spiritual time of year.

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Playing the Harp at the Nurse’s Station

Sometimes when I have my harp in the hospital, I have an opportunity to play at the nurse’s station. They love it!

In most hospitals, the healthcare staff have been indoctrinated with a big dose of “It’s all about the patient.” While I don’t disagree with this, I know part of my role is to help nurses take good care of themselves. If they are healthy in body, mind and spirit, they can give excellent patient care.

So, playing the harp at the nurse’s station gives them a couple of moments to reflect, center and rejuvenate. As they connect with their hearts and peaceful spirits, they take this to their patients … a beautiful circle of healing.

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Harp Therapy Conference

In mid-August, a group of harp therapists from the Midwest met in Cedar Falls, IA. We had a great time, but also got up-to-date information on the latest “happenings” from around the world.

This conference was special because both of my revered harp teachers were present! Gaylord Stauffer was my beginning harp teacher and he organized the conference; Christina Tourin, founder of the International Harp Therapy Program, has been a major influence and teacher in my harp therapy work. I am deeply grateful to both of them…

I presented a session on “Self Care for the Harp Therapy Practitioner.” It is a topic I’m very passionate about! With a few “tweeks,” I’ll be making this session available to other healthcare professionals. It’s so new that it’s not on my website yet, but watch for up-dates … coming soon!   In the meantime if you want more info, please e-mail me.

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Time for Rejuvenation…

For several years, I’ve had on my “bucket list” to see the Sandhill cranes … and it finally became a reality this year!

These amazing, beautiful birds migrate from Mexico and stop along the Platte River near Kearney, Nebraska to re-fuel (eat corn and get water) and rest for approximately six weeks before beginning to fly to Canada and Alaska for their final northern destination.

Luckily, I have a dear Aunt who lives in the area where they land and rejuvenate. I picked up another Aunt in Omaha and we made the trek together. It was so much fun! And it reminded me that women who are doing healing work need to take time out to explore nature, get rejuvenated and connect with family members who are near and dear to us. All of this is very important self-care. Are you taking time to rejuvenate?

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