Archive for International Harp Therapy Program

Virtual Harp Therapy

Music NoteIn the International Harp Therapy Program (IHTP) Facebook group, we have been discussing if harp therapy is effective virtually. I had a personal experience to say “YES, it is!”

I have been teaching therapeutic harp lessons for harpists who want to improve their musicality and learn more about playing the harp at the hospital and hospice bedside. One of my students is from the Netherlands and in one of her lessons, she played a Schubert lullaby for me. As she played, I became aware of a painful area in my lower back and I “sent” the harp vibrations to the sore spot. I could literally feel it dissolve.

It was an incredible first-hand experience of how virtual harp therapy (on Zoom) is powerful and healing…almost as good as in person! I believe this opens up many opportunities and possibilities for therapeutically trained musicians. If you would like to explore virtual harp therapy sessions, please reach out and let’s connect!


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Code of Ethics for Certified Harp Practitioners

code of ethicsThe following Code of Ethics has been adapted from the National Standards Board for Therapeutic Musicians. Graduates from the International Harp Therapy Program adhere to this Code:

  1. Respect: rights of others are respected, including values, attitudes, diversity of cultural traditions, and musical preferences and opinions. Proselytizing any religious beliefs through choice of music or speech during a therapeutic music session is unacceptable and unethical.
  2. Practice: We practice with integrity, honesty, fairness, and respect for others; not engaging in any type of discriminatory or exploitive relationship(s). Any serious ethical violations observed will be reported to the appropriate agency or persons.
  3. Confidentiality: All patient information and records, and all information observed or shared will be held as confidential according to Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) Privacy Rule requirements.
  4. Public Statements: We protect the proprietary interests of patients and professional colleagues.
  5. Self-Interest: We avoid actions, which promote self-interest at the expense of the profession, and we will uphold the standards with honor and dignity.
  6. Corrective Action: We have a disciplinary policy and procedure that is fair to both the practitioner and the program; a grievance procedure is in place.

It is an honor to work with this Code of Ethics on a daily basis.


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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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Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy ThanksgivingAll month long we celebrate the holiday of gratitude – Thanksgiving! (The actual date is Nov. 23 this year.) We hope you have time to reflect on all your many blessings that connect you to feeling grateful. We are aware we have so much to be thankful for:

  • Our gigs where we’ve had an opportunity to share our harp music, passion and message.
  • Our customers who continue to purchase books and CDs, and use our products to support their journey.
  • Our addendum BioMat business and all the wonderful people we’ve had an opportunity to connect with and help in their healing journeys.
  • Our learning from the first two Virtual Harp Summits.
  • Our re-connection this past summer with the harp therapy community (International Harp Therapy Program’s regional conference).
  • Our flexible schedule so that I can be present to my aging parents.
  • On and on the list goes …

So, you can see, we have much to be in gratitude. How about you?


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Well-Being and the Harp – Part II

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 …


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Regional International Harp Therapy Conference

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!


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What happened 19 years ago?

FacebookI saw a fascinating Facebook post … an energy worker was sharing how the month of March is an important time given the moon cycles and time change, etc. Further, she said it’s the ending of a 19-year cycle that began in 1996, which can be about endings or new beginnings. Reading this made me reflect on what I was doing 19 years ago.

In March 1996 – 19 years ago – I finished the International Harp Therapy Program (IHTP). So now, is it time for an ending or a new beginning? After being at the IHTP conference last week, I’m aware of major transitions of many harp therapists. It is an important time to stay grounded and connected to Source as the “new” reveals itself for many people. What about for you … what is your new beginning or ending/releasing of old energy?


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Presentation to the International Harp Therapy Community 

Nov 2014Since 2006, I have played the harp at the hospital bedside in tandem with a Healing Touch instructor/practitioner. We have experienced some amazing results working together! And now we have research to prove it…

For a couple of years, we have been talking about presenting our work together. And now we have that opportunity! In mid-March, we will be at the International Harp Therapy conference in San Diego, CA. As a graduate in the first class of this program, it is an honor to speak to my colleagues. And San Diego in mid-March will be a welcome break from the cold Minnesota winter! Can’t wait…



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Alexander Technique

SpineWhen I attended the recent Mayo holistic wellness conference, I went to a break-out session on the Alexander Technique. It reminded me of my International Harp Therapy Program (IHTP) training when we learned about it as a way to care for ourselves.

The Alexander Technique is very gentle stretching of the spine or legs/arms/hands…just giving the vertebrate or joints a slight bit of space to” breathe” and it’s actually giving space for fluid to move more freely. While you can do it on yourself, it feels more impactful when someone does the slight “pulls” on you.

For example, place both hands along the jaw bone and back of the head, then very gently lift up. As you are mindful of the spine, you can feel your posture improve as a tiny bit of space comes between each vertebrate. It feels heavenly!

I highly encourage you to find an Alexander Technique friend and do this with each other. Here’s to your health…


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