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Harp Therapy


Funerals and Memorial Services

Harp Lessons

Harp Therapy

Marlene plays a Triplett 20-string wire harp for therapy visits. It has a harness of nylon webbing so that Marlene can stand by the patient's bed as she plays. (Photo courtesy J. Falchetta)

Hospitals can be stressful, whether you're there for a test or for the birth of a child. If you must stay there because of a serious illness or injury, it can be even more difficult -- on you and on your family members. Blood pressure goes up; resting can be difficult; and worry can run rampant. While television can serve as a distraction, the stream of bad news and commercials can do more harm than good to someone trying to recuperate or to sleep.

The Lewis Creek Nightingale is a nylon-strung therapy harp with 27 strings, fitted with a shoulder strap so that it can be played while standing at the bedside

Harp therapy can help. With the aid of a small therapy harp (see pictures above and below), Marlene is available for bedside visits to patients at all stages of health. Whether it's a favorite song or a lullaby, an improvisation to soothe, or just the distraction of listening to live music, harp music can help make a hospital stay less stressful and more therapeutic.

Funerals and Memorial Services

"The music was so comforting. Thank you."

A soft background of gentle music can ease the hours spent at a wake for family members and friends as they say goodbye. The beautiful music of the harp can also give comfort at funerals. Favorite songs or hymns can be a special way of remembering the good times and celebrating the life of the person you wish to honor.

Harp Lessons

Little children are fascinated by harps, and there are harps small enough for almost anyone so that learning can be fun!

Learning the harp is more accessible than you might think. You're never too old, and seldom too young. You don't have to know how to read music. You don't have to start on a harp bigger than you are.

Instead, you can learn to play by ear, on a harp small enough to carry around and have fun with. And if you want to learn to read music, Marlene will teach you.

Marlene teaches adults and children; she offers lessons on Celtic harps, both nylon and wire, in your home.

Children Learn Music Easily
Children are fascinated by the harp, and harps come in sizes small enough for even the littlest child to learn on. Harps come as small as 9 strings -- even little hands can manage that. (The really tiny ones -- wirestrung -- are made by Dan Speer at Argent Fox Music.)

Children can learn early that music is fun, and there are plenty of children's songs playable on harp to keep them interested -- if they can play the music they like to sing or listen to, it makes music much more accessible.


If the chief way that music enters your life these days is just through what you hear on the radio, that barely scratches the surface of what's out there -- and what you could be bringing into your life.

The ancients thought music was much more than an amusement. It was a mystical experience that could heal or kill -- or transport the listener to the Otherworld. Musicians were considered healers and people of power; they took their responsibilities seriously.

Today, music in everyday life has become trivial, sometimes even annoying. That doesn't have to be the way it is in your life, though; you can re-enchant the music in your life by being selective about what you listen to.

Watch for more on what music can bring to your life as this site is updated.

Elegant Events

Planning Your Wedding

The Music
Do you envision marching down the aisle to Here Comes the Bride? Or moving to the stately grace of the Pachelbel Canon in D? Lighting your Unity Candle to Pie Jesu or Clair de Lune? Standing under the canopy and listening to Evening of Roses? Or dreaming under the stars, and gazing into each other's eyes to the strains of All I Ask of You from Phantom of the Opera or the love theme from Somewhere in Time?

To get the most benefit when planning wedding music, couples should consider making arrangements with their musicians well ahead of time. This allows ample time to personalize the music for your ceremony.

First, consider what kind of music you would like. Your wedding is a very personal thing; whether you choose classical music, music from family traditions, a mix of popular hits that mean a lot to you as a couple, or religious or ecclesiastical music, only you can decide what will please you most on your special day.

Something to remember: While most professional musicians have extensive repertoires, your personal desire may be to dance with your father to some traditional melody played at your grandmother's wedding, or for the playing of an original piece composed by a family member. This will often require a musician to learn a new piece. Many are more than willing to accommodate special requests, but only if times allows. Discussing such dreams with your musician early on allows those dreams to become reality. With enough time to plan for special requests, many musicians can accommodate your desires.

When considering a singer as a soloist for your wedding, remember to ask if the singer has ever worked with your other musicians (organist, harpist, violinist, quartet, etc.). Some soloists may prefer to rehearse with other musicians before the ceremony; others do not make a practice of it.

Wedding rehearsals may or may not include your musicians. Consult with them if you are in doubt; some charge extra to attend a rehearsal, particularly if a considerable distance or substantial travel time is involved.

Book Review
Therapeutic Harp
Harp Music and Its Benefits
See "Quick Links," below, for free access to the archived Webcast on ArtMusicCoffeehouse.com. Listen to Don Slepian discuss with Marlene the healing capabilities of music and sound, and hear some extraordinary music. Also look for the free link to Marlene's article about the healing effects of sound and music in New Jersey Holistic Magazine, and watch for more links to forthcoming articles about the benefits of harp music.

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