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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Blessings of CoVid-19

BlessingI was recently on a Zoom call and someone asked the question, “What are the blessings you’ve received from the coronavirus?” Honestly, the question took me aback, because there’s been so much focus on the negative. Even though I don’t feel like I’ve personally lived in the negativity, I wasn’t prepared to list my blessings. After taking some time to reflect, here’s a few things I’m grateful for:

  • Playing my pedal harp to “send out” peace and calm energetically every day.
  • A deeper connection/relationship with my friends and support system.
  • Easing up on Mother Earth (reduced pollution, cleaner waters, less frenetic busy-ness, etc.)
  • Daily walks in nature and breathing in fresh air. (I’m also so glad the pandemic “hit” in mid-March vs. mid-January in Minnesota!)
  • Connecting daily with people I had lost touch with or hadn’t connected with for a long time.
  • Meditating daily to help fill “the field” with love and peace.
  • Cleaning. Cleaning. Cleaning. My house feels lighter and more organized, and I love this feeling!
  • Working with my harp therapy students. As we have connected each week, we spend the first few minutes of each lesson processing our CoVid experiences, as well as mutually supporting each other.
  • Working on a couple exciting, new creative projects!
  • Time to enhance and deepen my self-care practice.

I could go on … I’m amazed at how long the list already is! What’s on your list of CoVid blessings? As we “hold space” for the struggles and pain of CoVid, we can also be grateful. I invite you to reflect on your CoVid blessings (if you haven’t already done so)…

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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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