I had the idea for From the Harp while working as an occupational therapist. A week before winning the enterprise award that would help me start my business I was diagnosed with breast cancer, going through treatment slowed me down but did not stop me.
I’ve started this blog to keep you updated about my developing services, let you know why they’re important to me and why I believe they’re good for health and well being.
As an occupational therapist my passion has been to enable people to live life to the full despite disability, illness, mental health or emotional difficulties. I want people to be able to engage in the occupations that are meaningful to them.
I am dual trained in physical and mental health, activity analysis (breaking down activities to their component parts) and grading activities for different abilities. I use these skills to plan suitable activities for my clients.
I’ve played the harp for several years, and have recently completed a harp therapy course so I am a harp therapist as well as an occupational therapist. I wanted to combine my occupational therapy and harp skills to enable people to ‘do, be, (belong), and become’ (Wilcock 1998) through musical activity.
I have been playing my harp regularly in a nursing home for a year. Residents enjoy hearing the harp and having a go playing a glissandi themselves. I am able to play individually at the bedside and have had fantastic reactions from residents living with dementia who will smile, hum, sing and move to the music, when otherwise they may be inactive. In the lounge I have facilitated residents to play well known songs on a set of desk bells, and improvise on therapy harps, it always gets everyone singing and laughing.
The harp is a very soothing instrument and not one that is seen that often. My therapy harps can be played sitting or standing, in a wheelchair or in bed, they are really light and produce a lovely sound.
I believe there is no wrong note, and we’re all musical, just listen to the birds they have had no musical training but sound great don’t they? You can too playing one of my harps!
If you or anybody you know would benefit from an individual harp therapy session please get in touch.
My next blog posts will cover what From the Harp is all about and will include more about occupational therapy, individual and group harp therapy.