Therapeutic Music

Harps for Hearts brings live music and interactive workshops to healthcare environments, schools, conferences and community programs. Live music in a hospital setting includes a wide range of opportunities for patients, families and staff to experience live performances by world class musicians. This includes concerts in hospital lobbies, hands-on-harps interactive workshops or in-room visits by trained therapeutic harpists. (See below for the definition of Harp Therapy)

sharing harps with Cancer support groupFounded in 2001 by Lisa Lynne, Harps for Hearts is currently operating at City of Hope National Cancer Center in Duarte, California and Kaiser Permanente in Woodland Hills and Panorama City, California. In addition, Lisa Lynne makes numerous appearances at hospitals throughout California giving guidance to others for bringing live music programs to medical settings. Hospitals are finding that the gentle acoustic music near nurses stations and patient care areas encourages a calm and relaxed environment. Harpists can also play at bedside and bring comfort to patients and families during difficult times.

Lisa is well known throughout the harp therapy community and has been certified by the International Harp Therapy Program.  Lisa was a presenter at Society of Arts in Healthcare in Toronto, Canada, and has spoken at many conferences representing the arts in medicine and is on the faculty at ACE “Advocating Clinical Excellence” where she speaks annually at their conference. She does daytime or evening concerts in the lobbies where she shares her compelling story and her 17 Celtic and lap harps. Everyone who wishes to experience playing harp has the opportunity to make beautiful music as a group and see how effortless it is to improvise their own music. The result is an empowering and lovely experience for all.

In the process of providing interactive musical workshops and therapeutic music, Harps for Hearts has been embraced by all who experience the power of music in a healing environment.

What is Harp Therapy?
From the Harp Therapy Journal

Harp therapy is a general term used to describe the continuum of types of therapies in which the harp is used. On the passive end of the continuum, harp practitioners may work or volunteer in an institutional or clinical setting and play harp music for clients or patients who are passive recipients of the beneficial effects of the music (i.e. relaxation). A harpist working in an emergency room waiting area or in a neonatal care unit might represent the passive end of the continuum.

Further along the continuum, harpists who are licensed or trained in other therapeutic disciplines use the harp in their practices to elicit specific cognitive or behavioral changes. For example physicians, psychologists, music therapists or nurses might use the harp music as a treatment modality (i.e. for emotional catharsis) or in conjunction with another therapy such as vibroacoustic therapy, biofeedback/relaxation training, or in a rehabilitative setting.

At the active end of the continuum, individuals learn to play the harp to: ease their pain and overcome physical, mental and emotional challenges; create a sense of community in a group setting; and provide physical rehabilitation.

Investigations about the specific effects of harp music on the human body are just beginning and are described in The Harp Therapy Journal. The unique timbre of the instrument provides a very soothing and relaxing effect. The harp has a rich archetypal heritage in western culture as an instrument of healing – it is the instrument of angels, gods and kings.

Harp Therapy Training Programs

Bedside Harp® Courses Contact: Edie Eileen Elkan Bedside Harp (609) 273-0068

Clinical Musician Certification Program
Contact: Mary Stevens (406) 265-8542

HealthCare Harps Institute Home of Compassionate Harps Contact: Lynette Edelson P.O. Box 8864 Alta Loma, CA 91730 909-980-5719

Healing Harp Integrative Med. Cert. Program Contact: Portia Diwa at the Institute for Health & Healing California Pacific Medical Center 2300 California St. San Francisco, CA 94115 415-600-1447

International Harp Therapy Program Contact: Tina Tourin P.O. Box 333 Mt. Laguna, CA 91948-0333 619-473-0008

MHTP Courses
Contact: Melinda Gardiner PO Box 108 Hillsdale, NY 12529 518-325-5546

Music-Thanatology Training Contact: Jane Franz Lane Community College 1059 Willamette St. Eugene, OR 97401 (541) 222-2269

Therapy Harp Training Program, LLC
Contact: Lynda Kuckenbrod 206C Wesley Drive Waynesboro, PA 17268 717-387-3280

Recommended Reading –
The Healing Musician by Stella Benson
Harp Therapy Manual – A Cradle of Sound by Christina Tourin                         Grace Notes – Tami Briggs