How to Choose Your First Harp and Books

The Mermaid Arrives- Grand harp copyChoosing your first harp can feel overwhelming at first. There are A LOT of choices and there are no standards for harp making. Each harp is a unique instrument, an expression of the harp maker.

First Harp Books

  • Pamela Bruner’s Play the Harp Beautifully, Volume 1.
  • Play the Harp Beautifully DVD (optional, helpful for older students)
  • Bonnie Mohr and Judith Orner Bruce’s Colorful Adventures on the Harp
  • Deborah Friou’s Harp Exercises for Agility and Speed

Buy a Harp that Sits on the Floor

Far and away the most important aspect to a first harp is that it is stable on the floor and easy to hold. For that reason, I do not recommend lap harps because they require more balance and control than beginners usually have. The child can graduate to a lap harp later.

  • Harpsicle – buy the metal floor stand that allows the child to sit in a chair and play the harp. The stand is a nice option because it is adjustable, and can change as the child grows.
  • Dusty Strings – These are affordable, popular harps. Be sure to buy the legs or stand that allows the harp to sit on the floor. Any of the lower end models are fine.

Buy a Harp that You Can Carry

  • Carrying harps around is the harpist’s way to lifting weights.
  • Be sure that you and/or your child can carry the instrument while in its bag.

Buy a Harp With Full Levers

  • Levers allow the harp to change keys. Your child can learn on a harp with no levers for about 6 months before you will need to change to a harp with levers.

Buy a Harp with Lots of Strings

  • Small harps have about 26 strings, and this is the minimum your child should have.
  • More strings actually make playing easier.
  • But this must be balanced with the added weight of the bigger harp.

There’s a price jump at about $2000

  • Great, basic harps run from about $500 to $2000.
  • Then harps seems to jump into much more expensive models – $3000+
  • You can get a great harp for $500-$1500.

If you want to buy a used harp…

  • Buy from a reputable dealer.
  • We have a one of the better harp stores in the country, Harps, Etc. in Walnut Creek, CA
  • If you want to buy from a private party, please have the harp checked by Harps, Etc., or your harp teacher.
  • You will probably need to change the strings, so add that to the cost.

If you want me to go with you…

  • For a fee, I can go with you to pick out your first harp or look at a used harp that you are considering.

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Blog Bio Triptych Cymber Lily Quinn, holistic harpist, composer, and teacherCymber Lily Quinn is a holistic harpist, composer and music teacher, living in San Jose, California. Her award-winning original harp music has been featured on Hawaii Public Radio and National Public Radio’s Hearts of Space. She specializes in helping beginners and returnees hear and make their own music. Check out her “Learn Holistic Harp in 60 Days Program.” www.Cymber.com

#relax, #meditation, #holisticharp

 

Seasons of the Soul: Autumn, Season of Decay and Turning Inward

Autumn – Season of Decay and Turning Inward

Sept. 23 – Dec. 21 (north); Mar. 22 – June 21 (south)

Autumn is the season of harvest, and time to pull inward and gather together on all levels. As the growing season winds down, we store up food and fuel. We set aside time to plan and study for the approaching stillness of winter.

Everything contracts and moves inward. It is the time of reflection or even grieving. It is the time when the lungs draw in energy and release all that is old. It is a time to organize for the next year, to smell baked goods and eat stews, squash and beans.

Other Autumn words
• Elements: Air and Metal
• Yin rising, lesser Yin
• Organs: Lungs, Large Intestine, Skin
• Body: Nose, Hair
• Emotion: Completion/ Grief, Sadness
• Taste: Sharp
• Climate: Drought
• Life Stage: Maturity
• Colors: White
• Meditation words: Pull inward, contract, harvest, organize
• Musical modes: Phrygian and Locrian

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“Seasons of the Soul” is a five-part improvised piece played on a solo harp. Each section is an interpretation of the five specific seasons, outlined by Traditional Chinese Medicine and Taoist Philosophy. Each season corresponds to specific organ systems in the body.

In addition, as a Reiki practitioner, I activated the flow of Reiki into my hands as I played these pieces. The end result is a 50-minute, repeatable Reiki session.

You can enjoy “Seasons of the Soul” alone or with others. Massage practitioners may want to use the CD background for sessions. Acupuncturists may use the recording in conjunction with other energy balancing techniques. Listeners may listen to the whole CD straight-through or listen to particular tracks to address specific energy issues.

A reminder: This is a work of healing, not medicine. Please consult your doctor and your common sense if you have questions about your health.

If you would like customized or personalized Reiki healing music, please contact me for more information. Thank you!

#relax, #meditation, #holisticharp

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Blog Bio Triptych Cymber Lily Quinn, holistic harpist, composer, and teacherCymber Lily Quinn is a holistic harpist, composer and music teacher, living in San Jose, California. Her award-winning original harp music has been featured on Hawaii Public Radio and National Public Radio’s Hearts of Space. She specializes in helping beginners and returnees hear and make their own music. Check out her “Learn Holistic Harp in 60 Days Program.” www.Cymber.com

 

Feed Your Soul: Guided Meditation with Stewart Blackburn

Stewart promoI had so much fun recording a big series of guided meditations with The Shaman of Pleasure, Stewart Blackburn. We brainstormed ideas together. Then he recorded his voice, and sent it to me via DropBox.

I have harps that can plug right into my computer. So I was able to bring his files into GarageBand, and add harp music customized and improvised to match his words.

By far, the hardest part has been getting the word out about these guided meditations. Can you help? As I rebuild my website, I’ll be sending them out one by one. I’d love for you to try one and let us know what you think!

“Buffet Night at the Restaurant of the Universe”
Guided Meditation with Holistic Harp

Buffet Night at the Restaurant of the Universe with Stewart Blackburn, Guided MeditationThere are so many wonderful things to choose in this lifetime. Sometimes we forget how rich this experience is. In the Buffet Night at the Restaurant of the Universe Meditation, we get to contemplate what we want, and what we want more of.

This is a mouthwatering look at the great things of Life that we can have, if only we will accept them when we have chosen them.

Digital mp3 Download – $2.99  Buy Now

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#relax, #meditation, #holisticharp

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Blog Bio Triptych Cymber Lily Quinn, holistic harpist, composer, and teacherCymber Lily Quinn is a holistic harpist, composer and music teacher, living in San Jose, California. Her award-winning original harp music has been featured on Hawaii Public Radio and National Public Radio’s Hearts of Space. She specializes in helping beginners and returnees hear and make their own music. Check out her “Learn Holistic Harp in 60 Days Program.” www.Cymber.com

 

The effects of harp music in vascular and thoracic surgical patients.

(It doesn’t get much drier than this…but the upshot is that 20 minutes of harp music is good for you…)

Abstract

CONTEXT:

Music has been used in the acute clinical care setting as an adjunct to current treatment modalities. Previous studies have indicated that some types of music may benefit patients by reducing pain and anxiety, and may have an effect on physiological measures.

OBJECTIVE:

To evaluate the scientific foundation for the implementation of a complementary therapy, harp playing. The research questions for this pilot study were: Does live harp playing have an effect on patient perception of anxiety, pain, and satisfaction? Does live harp playing produce statistically and clinically significant differences in physiological measures of heart rate, systolic and diastolic blood pressure, respiratory rate, and oxygen saturation?

DESIGN:

A prospective, quasiexperimental, repeated measures design was used with a convenience sampling.

SETTING:

Orlando Regional Medical Center, Orlando Fla.

PATIENTS:

Subjects wer eligible for the study if they were postoperative and admitted to a hard-wired-bedside-monitored room of the Vascular Thoracic Unit within the 3 days of the study period.

INTERVENTION:

A singl e20-minute live harp playing session.

MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES:

Visual analog scales (VAS) were used to measure patient anxiety and pain. Patient satisfaction was measured with a 4-item questionnaire. Physiological measures (heart rate, systolic and diastolic blood pressure, respiratory rate, and oxygen saturation) were recorded from the bedside monitor.

METHODS:

Visual analog scales (VAS) were completed just before harp playing, 20 minutes after harp playing was started, and 10 minutes after completion. Patient satisfaction with the experience was measured with a 4-item questionnaire. Physiological measures (heart rate, systolic and diastolic blood pressure, respiratory rate, and oxygen saturation) were recorded from the bedside monitor at baseline (5 minutes before study setup), at zero, 5, 10, 15, and 20 minutes after harp playing began, and at 5 and 10 minutes after harp playing stopped.

RESULTS:

Seventeen patients were used in this study, with a retrospective power of .91. Results indicate that listening to live harp music has a positive effect on patient perception of anxiety (P=.000), pain (P=.000) and satisfaction. Live harp playing also produced statistically significant differences in physiological measures of systolic blood pressure (P=.046), and oxygen saturation (P=.011). Although all values over time trended downward, the changes of other variables were not adequate to achieve statistical or clinical significance.

CONCLUSION:

Subjects in this study experienced decreased pain and anxiety with the harp intervention, and slight reductions in physiologic variable values. It is not possible in this study to determine if the results were due to the harp music, the presence of the harpist and data collector, or both. Future research is recommended using a control group and comparison of live versus recorded harp music with a wider variety of diagnoses and procedures.

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12233803

#relax, #meditation, #holisticharp

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Blog Bio Triptych Cymber Lily Quinn, holistic harpist, composer, and teacherCymber Lily Quinn is a holistic harpist, composer and music teacher, living in San Jose, California. Her award-winning original harp music has been featured on Hawaii Public Radio and National Public Radio’s Hearts of Space. She specializes in helping beginners and returnees hear and make their own music. Check out her “Learn Holistic Harp in 60 Days Program.” www.Cymber.com

 

Seasons of the Soul: Late Summer, The Season of Transition

Late Summer – Season of Transition

Aug. 1 – Sept. 23 (north); Feb. 2 – Mar. 21 (south)

Late Summer is a short and unrecognized season, which represents the transition from Yang to Yin, and is most active in the Stomach/Spleen organ system. This season falls between the expansive growth phases of spring and summer, and the inward, cooler, most mysterious fall and winter.

A pleasant tranquil and flourishing season, it is as if time stops in Late Summer and activity becomes effortless and dreamlike. Unity, harmony and the middle way are summed between the extremes. This is the time when the pendulum reverses its swing.

This season is represented by the Earth element, and is located in your Center, that place which is constant and harmonizes the effects of the other four seasons.

It is timeless joy.

Other Late Summer words:
• Element: Earth
• Transition from Yang declining to Yin — Central Phase
• Organs: Stomach/Spleen
• Body: Mouth, Muscles
• Emotion: Care/Worry, Thoughtfulness/Pensiveness, Awareness/Anxiety
• Taste: Sweet
• Climate: Humid
• Life Stage: Change
• Color: Yellow
• Meditation words: Harvest,
• Musical modes: Ionian and Mixolydian

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

“Seasons of the Soul” is a five-part improvised piece played on a solo harp. Each section is an interpretation of the five specific seasons, outlined by Traditional Chinese Medicine and Taoist Philosophy. Each season corresponds to specific organ systems in the body.

In addition, as a Reiki practitioner, I activated the flow of Reiki into my hands as I played these pieces. The end result is a 50-minute, repeatable Reiki session.

You can enjoy “Seasons of the Soul” alone or with others. Massage practitioners may want to use the CD background for sessions. Acupuncturists may use the recording in conjunction with other energy balancing techniques. Listeners may listen to the whole CD straight-through or listen to particular tracks to address specific energy issues.

A reminder: This is a work of healing, not medicine. Please consult your doctor and your common sense if you have questions about your health.

If you would like customized or personalized Reiki healing music, please contact me for more information. Thank you!

#relax, #meditation, #holisticharp

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Blog Bio Triptych Cymber Lily Quinn, holistic harpist, composer, and teacherCymber Lily Quinn is a holistic harpist, composer and music teacher, living in San Jose, California. Her award-winning original harp music has been featured on Hawaii Public Radio and National Public Radio’s Hearts of Space. She specializes in helping beginners and returnees hear and make their own music. Check out her “Learn Holistic Harp in 60 Days Program.” www.Cymber.com

 

Study Explores Effects of Harp Music on ICU Patients

Patients’ physiological function, blood pressure and self-reported pain scores were measured before and after hearing a live, 10-minute harp performance.

By Sarah Burton, The University of Arizona Medical Center | July 30, 2012

Renowned harpist Carrol McLaughlin, from the UA School of Music, wanted to see how harp music might contribute to healing for ICU patients.
Renowned harpist Carrol McLaughlin, from the UA School of Music, wanted to see how harp music might contribute to healing for ICU patients.

A new study at The University of Arizona Medical Center is measuring the effects of music on patients in the intensive care unit.

In June, 100 patients in the ICU at The University of Arizona Medical Center-University Campus participated in a study on the possible healing properties of music, specifically harp music. Renowned harpist Carrol McLaughlin, a professor in the UA School of Music for 33 years, teamed up with Dr. Ann Marie Chiasson from the Arizona Center for Integrative Medicine and Anne Baldwin, a research professor of physiology, to conduct the study.

“The more I perform and work with people, the more I find that the harp has a unique healing property,” McLaughlin said. “I wanted precise, scientific data to prove these healing capabilities.”

Out of the 100 patients participating in the study, mostly middle aged or elderly, 50 received a private 10-minute live harp performance on the floor of the intensive care unit. The other 50 functioned as control patients, who simply spent 10 minutes relaxing, without harp music.

Baldwin, who was responsible for measuring the patient’s physiological function, blood pressure and self-reported pain scores before and after the harp was played, began noticing blood pressure levels adjusting.

“If a patient’s blood pressure was low, which is most of the patients we see here, it increased after the harp music. And for a few with high blood pressure, it’s gone down after. It appears the harp music is bringing this back into balance, back into the normal range, which is ideal for healing,” she said.

Chiasson said she is looking forward to analyzing the information collected to see the measurable results of the music on patients: “Harp music is very relaxing, but I am excited to see what our data shows with regards to heart rate variability and oxygen saturation.”

Of course the study is not suggesting that intensive care patients could be healed with harp music alone. Baldwin said harp music’s potential healing ability is something to be considered in addition to medical intervention.

“What they do here is wonderful; we couldn’t do without intensive care,” she said. “But we need to help patients in additional ways if possible, with alternative therapies to help them relax and heal in a different way, to complement the care they receive here.”

Chiasson echoed that sentiment, adding: “This research has been kindly supported by all the staff in the ICU, which ultimately made our research run very smoothly.”

McLaughlin’s music may be beneficial to staff too, said Angela Muzzy, clinical nurse specialist in The University of Arizona Medical Center’s ICU.

“Music has been well-established as therapeutic in numerous ways and in a variety of health-care settings,” Muzzy said. “In the high-tech environment here our patients are subjected to alarms ringing and machinery attached to their bodies, but the sound of Carrol McLaughlin’s harp provided a soothing and healing environment – not only for patients and their families, but our staff as well.”

Tucson resident Karen Lytle, who has experienced the balancing effects of McLaughlin’s harp music herself, felt so strongly about the subject she agreed to fund the study, as well as go through research assistant training so she could aid in the study.

“Carroll McLaughlin’s music has helped me personally, which is why I agreed to fund the project as well as volunteer,” Lytle said. “It really was an honor to be a part of. What took place here with these patients was nothing short of amazing.”

Lytle said the response she witnessed from study participants was overwhelmingly positive.

“Everyone was very receptive and thankful about the study; some patients actually cried because the music touched them so deeply,” she said. “We noticed patients’ family members feeling the relaxing effects as well, and when the harp was on the floor everything in intensive care quieted down and seemed to balance out a bit.”

Regarding the actual role music played in altering the patient’s system, McLaughlin says she adjusted the key in which she played for each patient.

“The body kind of vibrates, which means there’s sound associated with it. Each of us has a certain pitch, which there’s been a lot of research on to back that up,” she explained. “When I played, it was as if the part of their system that was out of sync had a little different pitch. The harp music brought it back in harmony with the rest of the body.”

http://uanews.org/story/study-explores-effects-harp-music-icu-patients

#relax, #meditation, #holisticharp

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Blog Bio Triptych Cymber Lily Quinn, holistic harpist, composer, and teacherCymber Lily Quinn is a holistic harpist, composer and music teacher, living in San Jose, California. Her award-winning original harp music has been featured on Hawaii Public Radio and National Public Radio’s Hearts of Space. She specializes in helping beginners and returnees hear and make their own music. Check out her “Learn Holistic Harp in 60 Days Program.” www.Cymber.com

 

Chiropractic from the Heart Logo

May 2 – A Day of Wellness and Vintage Jewelry Trunk Show

Please join me…

A Day of Wellness, Light Refreshments, Music and a HUGE Vintage Jewelry Trunk Show

Featuring…

  • Complimentary Spinal Screenings by Dr.’s Rafael and Angela Lopez, D.C.
  • Vintage Jewelry Trunk Show by My Cottage Collections,
  • Healing Sound Demonstrations by Jessica Neideffer,
  • Complimentary 10 minute Therapeutic Chair Massage,
  • “New Patient Specials”,
  • The Holistic Harpistry of Cymber Lily Quinn, Reiki Master

Saturday, May 2, 2015 10 am to 1 pm
Chiropractic from the Heart
300 South Eleventh Street
San Jose, CA 95110
(408) 600-1188

Chiropractic from the Heart Logo

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My Amazing Assistant and Her Students

Carolyn Shannon at recital prepI’m so proud of my assistant, Carolyn Shannon. Actually, I’m so impressed and amazed that she is able to get 10-12 beginning violin players together to play “Ode to Joy,” and “Let It Go” from the movie, Frozen.

I took this photo at the Saturday night recital (I was hosting), and sat with my mouth open as she directed and spoke to the students as though they were adults and knew what they were doing. And what do you know…they were great!

Way to go, Carolyn!