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Heavenly Harp!

May 19, 2021 On-Line Musicale

We had another wonderful Musicale with our special guest, Julie Harbin, Piano Instructor and Harp Certified Music Practitioner. Her theme today was the harp and therapy. Although it was a little smaller attendance than usual, it was a quality time of fellowship and musicianship.

We started off with a performance by Natale Farrell, playing Handel Toccata in G-Minor, followed by a Richard Jones piece, a Giga, from the 18th century. The Handel was nicely interpreted, clear and good legato throughout. The Jones piece was a lively restrained dance-type composition, again nicely played by Natale.

We continued with Julie's presentation about the harp as a therapeutic instrument. Julie graduated with a major in piano performance. Her first harp piece was "Never Far Away" by Eira Lynn Jones, composed during the 2020 pandemic. A very soothing and calming piece evoking hope and serenity.

Julie went on to describe the process of earning a certification as a harp therapist. Her focus is to help people who have emotional and/or physical pain to relax, lower their blood pressure and to promote sleep. Julie performs her music at the bed side of her patients not to necessarily perform, but watching her patient's reactions. The tempo of the music accommodates the patient's current status - heart beat and breathing. She plays for 4 types of patients: acute, post-operative, Alzheimer's, and in hospice.

Julie went on to play some pieces that she performs for her patients. Beautiful and peaceful music.

This was a fascinating topic to learn about...thank you, Julie!

Tom Slavicek

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