Archive for Harp Therapy

Teaching Harp Therapy Lessons

Musical NotationI posted about harp therapy lessons a couple months ago. After playing at the hospital and hospice bedside for the past 24 years, I feel called to share what I have learned and experienced via these therapeutic harp lessons. It is my passion to teach harpists who want to learn more about playing the harp in the healthcare setting. These lessons can be preparatory to study in a certified harp therapy program or as a “stand alone” to begin offering harp therapy services.

I’m happy to share my first three students have completed the eight-week course. They were a joy to teach and each of them will do great work with the harp at the hospital and hospice bedside. I use the Zoom videoconferencing platform so I can work with anyone, anywhere in the world! In fact, my students were located in Minneapolis, Michigan and the Netherlands. If you are interested in learning more, let’s connect!

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Harp/Music Vision!

Harp ConcertIn the last blog post, I talked about I’m a musician who also loves sports!

And interestingly, I had an intense dream as the economy was collapsing connected to the coronavirus. Here’s the dream…

I was in a parking lot and I was talking with several professional sports players. They were lamenting they couldn’t play and consequently, make their huge salaries. I said, “Maybe it’s time for our culture/world to ‘get’ that we need harp therapy and music, and not sports to help us heal.”

I awoke with hope! Perhaps music and musical groups can finally become valued, well paid(!), as well as model teamwork and cooperation. With sports, it is always about competition as someone wins and the other loses. A music concert/event leaves everyone feeling a winner! I believe this dream/vision also includes artists and the entire healing community.

Was my dream a part of the new paradigm that is being created? We’ll see … we can hope, right?!

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Announcing Therapeutic Harp Lessons

Licensing MusicAfter being asked repeatedly to share my “secrets” to playing the harp therapeutically, I have created a new eight-week offering! In these experiential lessons, we explore different practical tips and demonstrate musical techniques that are effective at the hospital and hospice bedside. The agenda is individually customized for each harpist’s needs and will include:

  • Week 1 – The energy of the harp (as it relates to harp therapy)
  • Week 2 – the energy of the harpist (physical/body mechanics)
  • Week 3 – the energy of the harpist (emotional)
  • Week 4 – the energy of the harpist (mental)
  • Week 5 – the energy of the harpist (spiritual)
  • Week 6 – the energy of harp therapy 1
  • Week 7 – the energy of harp therapy 2
  • Week 8 – the energy of the harp therapy mission

From these engaging lessons, you will expand your therapeutic musicality and be more prepared to study in a certified harp therapy program and/or offer harp therapy services.

These therapeutic harp lessons are offered in person (Minneapolis/St. Paul area) or via Skype or Zoom. Each lesson is one hour; practice time (on your own) is 3-4 hours per week (minimum) to re-wire your playing patterns. Fees for eight lessons is $400 (if paid weekly). There is a $50 discount if paid up-front (total is $350). For payment arrangements, contact Tami. I look forward to working with you at this special time in your journey!

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Additional Thoughts about Therapeutic Music in the Healthcare Environment

HealthcareThis will be our last blog post in this on-going series of discussing therapeutic music in the healthcare setting. I have a few thoughts or observations from doing this work since 1996 (yes, it’s really been that long!):

  • Sometimes I am not told much about the patient, the family and/or their situation. Even without information, I am amazed at the miracles that occur at the bedside with the harp. It is an intuitive process and unfolds as it is supposed to.
  • Not usually, but occasionally, patients refuse harp therapy. This is one thing patients are empowered to say yes or no. While patients can’t say “no” to a nurse, they are empowered to make a choice about music. If they say no, I never take it personally.
  • Patients, families and staff – all benefit from the musical bedside experience. Sometimes, the caregivers or staff need the music as much as anyone.

It has been our joy to share examples and stories over the past several weeks/months about this beautiful work that we are so passionate about. Please contact us if you’d like more information.

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Defining a Certified Harp Practitioner (CHP)

Many people have asked what is a Certified Harp Practitioner (CHP). Being a CHP is obviously something I’m very passionate about!

To receive this certification, I completed an approved therapeutic musician curricula with a focus on the harp from the International Harp Therapy Program (IHTP). I have also continued to keep my harp therapy practice current by attending the necessary courses to obtain Continuing Education Units (CEUs). hospital[1]This includes participation in conferences, workshops, lectures and webinars on a variety of approved topics relevant to the field of therapeutic music and musicianship. The approved Continuing Education activities have been the equivalent of 20 hours every two years, and directly relates to and enhances my work as a therapeutic harpist.

The combination of past educational study and current-day CEUs allow me to provide therapeutic music at the hospital and hospice bedside with great care and passion. I am available to play the harp for you or your loved one; if you wish to discuss my services, please contact me.

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A Beautiful Destination

What is Harp TherapyA couple months ago, I spoke to the new International Harp Therapy students. In preparation for our call, the host asked me to speak about how I came to the harp, how I got interested in harp therapy and how I currently “structure” my harp therapy business. It was an honor to be present with this group!

During my presentation, I talked about how I had been going through a challenging time at age 30, when I gave myself harp lessons to soothe my soul. (This is how I came to the harp.) And then when I took the harp therapy classes, I hated hospitals to the extent that I passed out every time I entered a hospital building! After I talked about both of these situations on the conference call, the host said to me, “You have really overcome a lot to be able to do harp therapy work!”

This was very affirming and validating, and it reminded me of this quote from an unknown source, “Difficult roads often lead to beautiful destinations.” I feel blessed to have worked through lots of issues and situations to get to do the beautiful work that I am called to. Indeed, it has been an interesting journey to get to this beautiful destination!

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Speaking again for your group/organization?!

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!

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The Circle of Life

I played the harp yesterday in the hospital where I volunteer. My friend, who does Healing Touch, and I were working together. As we were on the elevator, we spoke with a young man who commented he was going to the second floor where the new babies are. We asked him if he was a new father and he said, “Yes, we had a little girl and this is our third child. I think we are done now!”

My friend and I worked with one woman and then, we were asked to work with a man who was being transferred to a nursing home, going into hospice care. The harp therapy and Healing Touch treatment calmed both the patient and his lovely wife. A sacred time, the whole experience felt very holy.

As my friend finished charting, I put my harp in its case. The young man (who we’d met on the elevator) and his wife with their new baby were strolling past the dying man’s room…the circle of life.

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Integrating Harp Therapy in Health Care Systems

While my harp therapy teacher’s mission is to have a “harp player in every hospital and hospice by 2020,” my vision includes: 

  • Licensing harp CDs to health care systems for their closed-circuit TVs. This is a simple, cost-effective method to help hospital and hospice patients relax, feel peace and calm, and sleep. E-mail me if you want more information.
  • In-service education of health care staff. Topics range from “Music and Healing” to “Music for Hospice” to “Self-Care for Health Care Providers.” Click here for more details about my presentations.
  • CDs in hospital gift shops. Contact me for wholesale prices of my books and CDs.
  • Playing at the bedside. For hospitals and hospices in the Twin Cities, I am available for these special bedside vigils. Contact me for pricing and availability. To find a therapeutic harpist in your geographical area, click here.

I’ve been doing this work full-time for the past 13 years and in that time, I’ve seen remarkable shifts in health care systems incorporating the ancient healing modality of harp therapy into the current evidence-based medical model. And we’ve only just begun … we are definitely living in exciting times!  This is my deep passion and I so appreciate your continued support to help make this a reality for those we are serving.

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Beyond Surgery Program

I recently completed coursework from the “Beyond Surgery Program.” After attending the 18 hours of required training, I am now a Surgery Coach Practitioner.

I am networking to locate three surgery patients that I can coach. Once I have completed this, as well as documenting these experiences, I will be a Certified Surgery Coach through the American Holistic Nurses Association.

The “Beyond Surgery Program” has its roots in the following modalities:

  • Healing Touch
  • Anxiety Release Technique®
  • HeartMath®
  • Breathing exercises and other stress reduction techniques
  • Guided Imagery

And I’m excited about the possibilities of incorporating Harp Therapy and the BioMat as I work with patients who are undergoing surgery (or any medical procedure). I will keep you posted (through this blog) on my progress with this new, heart-felt work…

Tami Briggs, Therapeutic Harpist, Musical Reflections, Healing Harp Music

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