Summer Solstice Arrives

Friday, December 20, 2013

Another excellent Harp and Instrument maker.

I just added the link for MusicMakers who offer wonderful kits to make harps, hammered dulcimers, and a whole Santa's sleigh of other musical kits, along with fully built instruments as well

My joy with them is due to my purchasing one of the Reverie Harps which I use at our local hospital on the psychiatric unit's recreational therapy group. The harp never fails to bring some peace, wonderment as how it sounds, sometimes tears and mostly delight.

Well worth a visit...go there!



Thursday, December 12, 2013

A wee bit of Christmas/Yule Music

I finally remembered to update the Harp Music player with some music for the Christmas and Yule season.
May it bring a bit of joy and comfort during this busy time.



Friday, December 6, 2013

Excellent article about Music Thanatology.

Here is a link to an article about Music Thanatology in the lastest issue of Spirituality & Health that I think you will find both informative and hopeful in what M-T's (Music Thanatologists) bring to the bedside of those in Palliative Care and in Hospice.

Playing on Heartstrings

As you know, this is dear to my heart and I rejoice when more information is shared, especially in a national magazine.

Stay warm, it's about 5 degrees here between the temperature and the 35-45 mile an hour winds.



Sunday, December 1, 2013

Music Thanatology video and a Vigil.

I am delighted to have added an excellent video to the blog about Music Thanatology, especially since the lovely harper in the video page link is my harp teacher from many years and is a dear friend with whom I still meet and discuss harp, music, and more mundane matter. 

Speaking of music and dying,  I was asked by a chaplain on Thursday to play for someone who was dying in the ED and had no family or friends to keep the patient company during the transitus (movement/change) from this life to the next.

I arrived at the ED and was directed to a small room where a nurse was monitoring the patient's vitals. I introduced myself and sat so I could be near the end of the gurney so I could observe both the patient and the monitors.

The patient was restless and breathing with a mask, the head moving from side to side.
I began to play softly, choosing some celtic slow laments and lullabies while keeping a watch for where the patient would take me next. After about 15 minutes of playing, the nurse and I noted the vitals beginning to drop and the patient was less restless. I slowed my playing even more and began to find notes that I believed would allow more rest and comfort for the patient....not tunes per se, but notes of peace. 

After 30 minutes or so, the vitals were near to 0, and the patient gave a deep sigh. The nurse checked her pulse and heart, then noted the time of death in her log.
I continued to play for another few minutes for the soul's journey and then thanked the staff for having me be with her.

Looking back, I now know I was in two places at the same time. One was the "real" world of the ED,  the sounds of the hustle and bustle of  nurses and doctors, bells and pings of monitors, x-ray machines being moved about and anxious relatives watching and pacing.

However, I also went to a deeper and sacred place with the patient as I kept vigil where time was both immediate and forever. Keeping watch when transitus is close, is truly in a different place than when I play by the bedside of someone who will usually be up and about in some day's time. 

All I can say is that for me, this is "holy" work and I am humbled to be asked to bring what comfort the music and harp can provide. They provide the true comfort, I am but an assistant to the real grace of the power of music. 

Blessings and peace to you this first of December.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Working through difficulty.

Since I last posted on October 6th, life has taken an interesting turn.
I went to the hospital to play the harp as usual on October 15th and had a good day bringing music to the floors.
The next day I came down with what I thought was the flu (headache, body aches, etc.). but by the weekend when there was no fever, but increased fatigue and pain in the joints, hands and so forth, I figured something else was going on.
To make a long story shorter, I probably have some sort of auto-immune disorder and/or arthritis. Could be lupus, CFS, fibromyalgia, etc. Waiting for an appointment with a specialist for more testing.

What is the most "painful" is having so much less energy to do anything--including practicing/playing the harp--and not finding the strength to go back to the hospital.
For me, at least, using the harp to help heal/comfort patients and staff is a "calling" to a form of service and not being able to do this is very discouraging.

I know the circle will turn and in the words of Julian of Norwich: "And all shall be well...".

I will try and post more often, just to keep my blog alive if for no other reason!

By the way, the time of the Winter Solstice is GMT as the widget site does not include Pacific Standard time.

Blessings to all.

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Blogging problems.

I have had to download a new browser (Opera) in order to have the Blog allow me to post. Both Firefox and PaleMoon (which is otherwise great) no long open the Blog with the header bar and options to modify, etc.

It's been a busy 6 weeks, a new harp and a presentation about Harp Therapy to the top administrators and managers of our local hospital (where we play) on the 30th of September.

We met in the bottom floor of a new community center on a camp near Bellingham and Gail and I had about 15 attendees. 
Good response from all the folks who were there and I hope there will be more chances to share with the top management the magic of the harp.

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Luna, and another Harp Therapy Program listing.

I have just added a link for Bedside Harp. If you are in the East Coast area, do take a look.

And here is Luna exploring the Coral Honeysuckle planter, I couldn't resist taking a picture.

Happy First day of September, here in the Pacific Northwest it is a lovely and sunny day.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Another Great Harp Therapy Training Program.

Dear Fellow Harpers and Lovers of Music,
I just added a link for the Therapy Harp Training Program, LLC to the Harp and Music Therapy Links section.
Classes are taught via Skype and do contact Lynda Kuckenbrod, Director for more information. 
As far as I am concerned, if you can't have too many harps (or cats!), we need excellent training programs so that by 2020, there will be a harp in every hospital. I hold this as a goal with thanks to Tina Tourin who has made it her life work to bring to fruition. 

Harp on! And on, and on. 



Monday, August 26, 2013

The new harp!

This is the lovely new Blevins harp I purchased from my dear friend who has been a therapeutic harper for many years and had, with sorrow, to pass it along so that it could continue this therapy of which harps know and share with us when we allow the music to flow through us.

More to share in days to come.

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Sacred Harmonies.

I have added, with permission, a video about Claudia Walker and Jeri Howe playing music to soothe and calm the soul. Their primary service of harping is as Music Thanatologists who bring comfort and ease to the those near death and at the time of transitus.
This video, for me, so captures what it means to be a harper in the very best sense of providing music for both heart and soul.
If anyone is interested in more information about them and their work, their website is here: Sacred Harmonies.

Blessings to your day,

Friday, August 23, 2013

Aine Minogue.

Here's Aine playing a wonderful hymn tune that I often play in the hospital.
Here is the link:   A Iosa.
 Very peaceful and calming.
From her Album, Celtic Lamentations.

Monday, August 19, 2013

August Meanderings.

I hope to return to blogging more actively in the future, but as the summer has been busy with harp, outdoor activities and some fatigue that may be related to Chronic Fatigue Symdrome, I just have not been up to writing.
However, as the Fall approaches and the days become more cool, I usually have more energy.
As they used to say a long time ago: "Stay tuned."

Saturday, May 4, 2013

Bee and Rabbits...

Busy day out in the gardens and had a chance to take some pictures of our two rabbits and one of the bees that was busy helping to keep everything alive.
And I was listening to some songs of Tolkien, which made it even better!

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

The importance of Vitamin "G" !

Dear readers,

Still alive, but been a busy Spring and therefore no recent posts. However, here is the link to a most fascinating article about Vitamin "G" (not really a vitamin) and the importance it has to help heal and nourish both the body and the mind.

Do take a look and I hope your Spring is vital and enchanting.


Saturday, February 23, 2013

Another Music Player.

As you can see, I have added a grooveshark music player to the blog which I hope will do a better job of bringing harp music as you read.

Also, I have been working a new piece of music from the oldest extant piece of Celtic music and I hope to be playing it at the hospital starting this week.
Here, if the link works, is Aine Minogue giving it a beautiful rendition:

More in a day or two.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Harping Again!

I returned to St. Joseph Hospital yesterday to make my musical rounds again and it was delightful to be harping again. I have been off for a few weeks with a painful left ankle, but yesterday I did my usual wards/units without trouble.
And a hello to Tom who I discovered knows this blog...!
Rain at last--not that I mind the fog we have been having, but it's been cold and freezing a wee bit too much.
I'll write more about the Folk Harp retreat I am going to this weekend...will be great to see old and new friends.


Sunday, January 13, 2013


I'm still working on trying to get some harp music to play on the blog, but experimenting with two music options for the moment.
The Tuna radio does not let me choose a Celtic genre, but if you click on the Renaissance button and then the play button, you will have some good music.
The Celtica player just below is from Celtica radio and plays the stream. It's set to autoplay, if you want to listen to Tuna, just pause the Celtica player,
Been dealing with a very sore left ankle and have not been to the hospital for a couple of weeks, I miss being on my musical rounds.
But I am looking forward to attending the Winter harp gather of the Puget Sound Folk Harp Society to be held the last week in January in Arlington.

Stay warm,


Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Advice from A Tree

Found this on a Pagan blog and it's too good not to share...and I need to take it's advice most of all!
Stand tall and proud
Sink your roots deeply into the earth
Reflect the light of your true nature
Think long term
Go out on a limb
Remember your place among all living beings
Embrace with joy the changing seasons
For each yields its own abundance
The energy and birth of spring
The growth and contentment of summer
The wisdom to let go the leaves in the fall
The rest and quiet renewal of winter
Feel the wind and the sun
And delight in their presence
Look up at the moon that shines down upon you
And the mystery of the stars at night
Seek nourishment from the good things in life
Simple pleasures
Earth, fresh air, light
Be content with your natural beauty
Drink plenty of water
Let your limbs sway and dance in the breezes
Be flexible
Remember your roots
Enjoy the view!
~ Ilan Shamir ~
 Snow expected tonight, so I will leave the snowflakes up on the blog for awhile.

Blessings on your path.