I want to write a few words about Harp Therapy and why I am
doing this now.
Nine years ago a dear friend of mine was at the Daniel Freeman
Marina Hospital in the Recovery Unit. Some time before
he was there I gave him a tape of myself. He always said
that the only way he could relax and sleep when he couldnt
get drugs was to listen to my tape. When he went into
rehab he had the tape with him and listened to it often.
I played there once a week for the patients until it closed.
I had many wonderful experiences playing for them. It
opened their hearts. Many cried.
In 1996 a publication started called The Harp Therapy
Journal. Ive subscribed since then and thought
how wonderful it would be to help people through playing mymusic.
During the course of the years harpists have written about how
much their playing has affected people. Both harpists
and Doctors have reported many times over the results of ease
of anxiety, decrease of fear, easier breathing, ease of nausea,
relief of pain, decreased agitation, and a speedier recovery.
They have also reported that live music is much more effective
than recorded music.
Why the harp instead of other instruments? The harp has
the purest tone, the largest pitch range and the widest range
of sound. It has the largest resonating chamber as well.
The human voice is also effective because one is able to project
energy of intention during singing.
The following is an excerpt from an article in The Harp
Therapy Journal by Dr. Stanley Terman, Ph.D., M.D.
The fingers pluck with varying degrees of intensity.
Harps are unique in that their notes have the longest sustain
phase of any instrument. Unlike the dampened strings of
a piano, every harp string is free to vibrate. As the
plucked string vibrates, it summons other strings to resonate
with its harmonics. Then, those other strings produce
harmonics of their own. The overall result is an initial
sound very close to a pure sine wave, which slowly changes to
a very complicated set of harmonics. The emotional impact
from hearing these harmonics change is profound: the harp sounds
resonate with both simpler and more complicated parts of our
In addition to hearing, our bodies respond profoundly to the
vibrations from harps. It is not surprising that the glissando
the sliding up and down over many strings that is another
unique capability of the harp has such a all-encompassing
effect on the body.