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.