More Thoughts on Zoom…

Zoom LogoIn the last blog post, I discussed using Zoom for presentations/performances. And frankly, my somewhat negative experiences using it for those purposes.

On a more positive note, where I have seen Zoom work very well:

  • My therapeutic harp lessons – I have been working with students who already play the harp, but are interested in learning more about playing at the hospital and hospice bedside.
  • Virtual harp therapy – I wrote about this in an earlier blog. I am excited to offer this as a virtual healing modality and the opportunities are endless … around the globe!

So, CoVid-19 has blessed us with many changes and using technology, specifically Zoom, in some beautiful, unique ways. I am grateful to be here at this amazing time in our human evolution! If you are interested in additional information for either of these, I look forward to connecting.

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Harp on Zoom!

Zoom LogoEveryone’s on Zoom … I am, too! And here’s “my take” on it. After doing numerous live events over the past 21+ years, I wasn’t sure how I would like performing on Zoom.

I did two harp group events during the initial lock-down of CoVid-19. While the actual virtual events went OK, the hardest part was ending in a quiet house (my living room) without any audience feedback. So, the quiet after presentations/events has been a big adjustment!

That said, I’ve recently invested in upgrading my system and am excited about offering many different types of Zoom sessions! Interested? Let’s connect! I look forward to working together …

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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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“God Bless America!”

American FlagSeems like this post is more important than ever … I recently heard a story about Irving Berlin and the beautiful patriotic song, “God Bless America!”

Irving Berlin had a “reject trunk” where he stored songs that weren’t worthy of continuing to work on and/or produce. He placed “God Bless America” in there around 1918. Then, 20 years later, Kate Smith came to Mr. Berlin in need of a song for her radio show. He pulled out “God Bless America,” finished it and it was first introduced on Armistice Day in 1938.

If you would like to download this beautiful song on the harp, click here.

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“Play on Words”

HarpYou have likely seen the book or heard the expression, “All I Really Need to Know, I Learned in Kindergarten.” Well, recently on Facebook, I saw a post (and I don’t know who posted it – otherwise, I would give you credit), “All I Need to Know About Life, I Learned from a Harp.” (I am also not sure who the author of the sayings is – again, I’m happy to give credit once I learn who wrote it.)

Some of these are quite applicable to our times:

  • Take it one note at a time.
  • Never stop playing.
  • When in doubt, gliss. (For non-harpists “gliss” means glissando – what the harp is best known for!)
  • Hug your harp and you will vibrate.
  • Some days it’s OK to be out of tune.
  • Life is not a dress rehearsal … harp on it!
  • Heaven can wait – harpists are pre-registered.
  • Buzzing is a sound in nature.
  • Touch someone’s harp – go to jail. That’s the law!

We love the harp and hope you do, too. Enjoy … in joy!

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Harp and Sports!

NebraskaMaybe you are thinking these two words, harp/sports, don’t go together … and you likely wouldn’t be the only person to think that!!

I grew up with parents who were avid University of Nebraska fans … and the “apple didn’t fall far from that tree!!” Therefore, yes I do love sports! It is not the first thing I share about myself, so in a way, I’m sort of a “closet fan.”

During the fall and early 2019 winter, I enjoyed watching/listening to the Nebraska girls’ volleyball games. (The football team was a disaster this year, so that’s a different story!!) The girls’ coach, John Cook, shared an interesting motivational story with the girls and it seems worthy of passing along, regardless if you like sports (and prefer harp music!).

In 2018, the Nebraska girls played in the National Championship and lost to Stanford. The coach felt like the NE team didn’t finish, so he came up with this inspirational metaphor – 29,029, the height of Mt. Everest. In his speeches about this, he says, “Mt. Everest is 29,029 feet, but many people say the height is just 29,000. They forget the final 29 feet and these are the most difficult of the whole climb. In fact, many climbers don’t make those final feet – just like we fell in 2018 in the Championship game. Focus on finishing – even the LAST 29 feet.”

Definitely good “food for thought,” right?!

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The History of “Taps”

An American Prayer CoverDo you know why “Taps” is played at military funerals? (If you don’t know, I didn’t either and saw this on Facebook, found it interesting and decided to share it.)

During the Civil War in 1862, Union Army Captain Robert Elli was with his men in Virginia near Harrison’s Landing. The Confederate Army was just on the other side of a narrow strip of land.

In the night, Captain Elli heard a solider moaning who laid severely wounded in the field. Not knowing if it was a Union or Confederate soldier, the Captain decided to risk his life and bring the stricken man back for medical attention. Crawling on his stomach through the gunfire, the Captain reached the stricken soldier and began pulling him toward his camp.

When the Captain finally reached his own lines, he discovered it was actually a Confederate soldier, but the soldier was dead. The Captain lit a lantern and suddenly caught his breath and went numb with shock. In the dim light, he saw the soldier’s face; it was his own son. (The son had been studying music in the South when the war broke out. Without telling his father, the boy had enlisted in the Confederate Army.)

Even though the son was of enemy status, the next morning, the heartbroken father asked his superiors’ permission to give his son a full military burial, including a group of Army band members to play a funeral dirge. The request was rejected since the soldier was a Confederate. But, out of respect for the father, they agreed to give him only one musician – a buglar. The father asked the buglar to play a series of musical notes he had found on a piece of paper in his dead son’s uniform pocket. This wish was granted.

The haunting melody of “Taps” was born. The words from the son’s pocket:

Verse 1 – Day is done. Gone the sun. From the lakes. From the hills. From the sky. All is well. Safely rest. God is nigh.

Verse 2 – Fading light. Dims the sight. And a star. Gems the sky. Gleaming bright. From afar. Drawing nigh. Falls the night.

Verse 3 – Thanks and praise. For our days. Neath the sun. Neath the stars. Neath the sky. As we go. This we know. God is nigh.

This song is the finale on the “An American Prayer” album. While it is not played with a bugle, the harp version is really unique! If this song touches something deep within you, you can download this beautiful, haunting song.

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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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