Harp Therapy is the use of live harp music by a certified harp therapist to promote positive changes in one's emotional, mental, physical, and/or spiritual functioning. The harp therapist provides music that is individualized to patients by focusing on their immediate needs and current situation. Meeting a patient where they are, and creating a cradle of sound, is the essence of harp therapy.
Through careful observation, the harp therapist determines how to play the harp, being mindful to make musical changes based on the patient's needs and reaction. Such changes can include altering the tempo, volume, rhythm, key signature and type of song. Noodling (improvisational playing) is frequently used at the bedside to create an unfamiliar sound, and the different scales or modes used will influence the patient's mood.
There are many unique attributes of the harp that make it the perfect musical instrument for healing. One of the oldest instruments known to humans, the harp was revered for its healing powers throughout ancient civilizations, including biblical times, and is associated with gods, kings, heaven and angels. The various tones of the harp are naturally soothing, beautiful and ethereal. Harps are made from wood, which is a resonant substance that represents strength and warmth. The sustained vibrations of harp strings create an echo or flowing sound that penetrates deeply into the body. Receiving the sounds of the harp can be experienced as receiving a massage to the soul.