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Perhaps you have seen majestic pedal harps in symphonies and movies and wished you could play one, or you had a harpist at your wedding. Or, you associate the lovely sound of the strings with heaven and angels.
Have you said, “I have taken care of everyone else all my life, now it is MY turn to discover what I LOVE!”
Do you realize that a creative outlet is NECESSARY for your health? Your favorite hobbies, enjoying nature, or anytime you can get “out of your head” and “into your body” can make a huge difference in your state of mind and physical health. You may say, “I am not a musician (or artist or cook)” but that is the voice of the adult. As children, we just explored our environment taking joy in our discoveries. “Playing” with a harp can be like playing in a sandbox.
You can play a harp, anyone can, but few know that harps can be held in your lap, sound beautiful, and can melt away your stress. Just pushing your fingers across the strings makes the sound of a wind chime and transports your weary mind or body to a place of instant peace.
Since medieval days, storytellers and harpers played small harps similar to the lap harps we play today. During Biblical times, David played the harp to calm King Saul.
Harp therapy is a growing field and offers distraction from pain, anxiety and depression. Research has shown that blood pressure and heart rate can be reduced when listening to the calming sounds of the harp. Harpists are now found playing in hospitals, nursing homes and at the bedside of hospice patients, as well as in rehabilitation and working with children. Recorded harp music is providing calm in office, school and healthcare settings. The On Wings of a Dove – Harp Music to Soothe the Soul CD is used in massage, healthcare settings and homes around the world.
The harp world is wide and wondrous. Harps come in all sizes, shapes and even colors. Just as you carefully choose a pet, you would want to be well-informed about the types available to be sure that you find a harp that suits you — that fits your body and your pocketbook and makes your heart sing. Choosing the right harp for your body is important to avoid any physical strain.
Warning: Because I care about your desire to have a satisfying, joyful experience playing a harp, avoid carved rosewood harps that are made in the Middle East. They look lovely, but many of them are unplayable because the strings will not hold a tune. A “good deal” on a harp could mean you have just purchased a decoration instead of an instrument.
When beginning the harp, it is so important to find a harp teacher who honors you — your goals, interests, learning styles and challenges. The harp is a wonderful first instrument, at any age. You need not have any previous musical background or know how to read music.
I encourage you to follow your Dreams, whatever they are! You deserve it, and your body, mind and spirit will be grateful (so will your family and friends).