What is Therapeutic Harp?
THERAPEUTIC HARP is a complementary medicine that offers music at the bedside of those facing physical, emotional, psychocial-social and spiritual challenges. Neither entertainment nor a bedside performance, therapeutic music seeks healing rather than curing, and is recognized by both the local and national medical communities as an effective complementary medicine enhancing traditional and mainstream medicines.
“Music is part of being human.”
The THERAPEUTIC HARPIST and SINGER creates an environment of peace and calm by which healing can unfold. For those who are impaired or ill, sensitively played and attentive live music can support breathing, reduce the experience of suffering around pain, aid in sleep and lessen anxiety.
It brings beauty and love to the heart and soul for the patients and family and friends. Often care givers will sit down and get a much needed rest while listening and often family and friends gather without the need to talk, just listening and ‘being with’ their loved one. Music can be wordless prayer and emotional support. Live music played intentionally with presence and care, creates ease allowing those at the end of life to ‘let go’ when the time comes.
“Music evokes emotion and emotion can bring it’s memory.”
In working with Elders, we find enjoyment, life and relationship through the experience of familiar music. Especially for those with Alzheimer’s and Dementia, music can restore memories as evoked through particular songs. We have seen raised spirits, comfort in musical companionship, words of lyrics sung, whispered, with sometimes just lips moving with lyrics as people tap into the stream of music they loved. Feet and hands are often moving to the rhythm. Unfamiliar music is also played for Elders and we see a wide emotional range: Joy in rhythmic music; reflection and sometimes tears in more subdued music.
“I have seen deeply demented patients weep or shiver as they listen to music they have never heard before and I think that they can experience the entire range of feelings the rest of us can … Once one has seen such response, one knows that there is still a self to be called upon, even if music and only music can do the calling”.
* all quotes sourced from Oliver Sacks, neurologist, best selling author