HarpCare-for-health

Therapeutic Harp Program

~ Music for health and wellbeing ~

Therapeutic Harp can be offered in all healthcare environments including hospice, acute care, surgical, paediatrics, mental health, general wards, aged care, dementia units, maternity, theatres, oncology, medical wards, NICU, ICU emergency department, hospital foyers respite care and community facilities.

Therapeutic Harp can also be combined with other wellness and complementary therapies such as massage, meditation, aromatherapy, yoga, tai chi and reiki/touch for health.

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Using kindness, compassion and equanimity, deep and authentic qualities within each human being, we can support ourselves to remain present, to be mindful, and then to act in the most healthy and skilful way in even the most stressful situations of our lives.

JEFFREY BRANTLEY, MD

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Evidence based research has shown that music as a complementary modality is not only good for our health but can promote feelings of wellbeing. Music can provide a variety of touchstones for social, physical, emotional, spiritual and psychological health.

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“Dear Alison, just a quick note to thank you for your immediate response to our request to play for two patients who were palliating on the ward. Both families were so appreciative of your beautiful music and felt their loved ones were greatly soothed by your playing.

Palliation on busy, chaotic medical wards always presents such a challenge for families to have reflective, quiet time with their loved ones. I am so grateful that your service provides a beautiful and much needed interlude that is essential in good end of life care.”

“Please can you stay all day – it’s a beautiful sound.” 

“Hi Alison, I am in hospital again – would love a visit if you are about! I need the harp!” 

“Good morning Alison. You came and played for my father in law yesterday and it was beautiful. We would love you to come back to play some music for us the next time you are around. Thank you so much Alison, you are an angel.”  

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The HarpCare Therapeutic Harp Program was established in 2009, in Canberra, Australia and is funded by the donations administered by The Canberra Hospital Foundation.

Phone: +61 2 5124 3542

Donate to the Canberra Hospital Foundation

Frequently Asked Questions about the Therapeutic Harp Program

Music can be offered in all healthcare areas including hospice, acute care, surgical, paediatrics, mental health, general wards, aged care, dementia units, maternity, theatres, oncology, medical wards, NICU, ICU emergency department, hospital foyers respite care and community facilities.

Each patient’s needs are different, so each session is unique.

There is no specific repertoire. During a session, a person may choose to listen, talk, sleep or rest while I listen, observe and respond to whatever is beneficial for them at that time.

Each Harp possesses unique acoustic qualities which provide a soothing calming tone.

I am fortunate to play a 31-String Minstrel Harp, 33-String Troubadour Harp, 26-String Stony End Harp and a small Reverie Harp in the hospital.

These Harps have a wide pitch range and a unique warm sound – making them wonderful instruments for use in healthcare.

Which harp I use depends on the nature of referral and needs of the patient.

Alison Ware has years of experience and a range of qualifications that combine to deliver a unique, integrated care program.

These include qualifications in Therapeutic Harp, Nursing, Mindfulness-based Stillness Meditation, Art Therapy, Counselling and Spiritual Care.

In my experience, the use of the harp in healthcare lies in the healing arts rather than being performance based.

There is no set program or repertoire but both familiar and improvised music may be used to meet the needs of the patient. The patient is the main focus rather than the harpist.

The music is simple and restful, and the more unwell someone may be, the more simple is the music offered.

Harpists actively observe the patient’s breathing, body movements, facial expressions and comments to continually tailor the music to their needs.

Please contact me directly at alison@harpcare.com.au.

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