Sadness is Part of Being Human, Too…

Alan Hickman, Cymber Quinn, harpist, HiloAloha friends,

It’s so good and wonderful to be back on my blog after such a long absence. Truly, moving across the ocean is the sort of thing that teaches you patience and what’s really important.

So when I sat down to write today, I was thinking about how harps are such a sensual and direct way to create inner peace. I was going to write about the healing vibrations, and how intrinsically soothing the harp is.


Just as a sat down to write, I glanced at my email to see that one of my dear friends and business coach died yesterday. I wasn’t expecting that. Alan Hickman was the world’s best cheerleader with a heart filled with love, but with mechanical problems that his heart doctors just couldn’t overcome.

Tonight, I will be playing for Alan’s peace, praying for his easy passage to the next world. Praying for his widow that she finds grace and comfort among her friends and students.

Blessings and Peace be with you, Alan. We will miss you.

2nd Annual Hawaii International Music Festival brings free concert to Lili`uokalani Gardens.

Cymber plays the Hawaii International Music Festival | Hilo, Hawaii | harpistAs part of the second annual Hawaii International Music Festival, a free concert will be held in Lili`uokalani Gardens from 12:30 to 2:30 p.m. on Thursday, August 17.

Founded by internationally acclaimed virtuoso violinist Eric Silberger, Metropolitan Opera soprano Amy Shoremount-Obra, and esteemed pianist and photographer Carlin Ma, the 2017 festival includes interdisciplinary classical music concerts and appearances on the islands of Oahu, Hawaii.

Joining the founders at Lili`uokalani Gardens will be cellist Sung Chan Chang (Hawaii Symphony), world-renowned Argentinean Bandoneon Player JP Jofre, and Mexican Tenor Manuel Castillo. Their program will include classical music and Argentinian tango music as well as selected compositions by Lili`uokalani, Queen of Hawaii for whom the gardens are named.

Preceding the performances by the artists of the Hawaii International Music Festival and opening the afternoon entertainment will be local musicians including harpist Cymber Lily Quinn and flutist Kathy Dorn. Bring your mats and chairs to the lawn off Banyan Drive (in between the Pahoa side gate and the restrooms).

The free concert in Lili`uokalani Gardens is a prelude to an evening Hawaii International Music Festival concert, “Tastes, Sights, and Sounds of the Big Island,”  where specialty coffee from Rusty’s Hawaiian and estate chocolate courtesy of Hawaiian Crown Chocolate Plantation will be served. The evening event begins at 6:30pm at First United Protestant Church Hilo, 1350 Waianuenue Ave. Tickets for the evening concert and artisanal tastings are $30 in advance and $35 at the door.

Tickets for the evening are available online at .

For further information, please go to the Friends of Lili`uokalani Gardens page on Facebook or visit the festival website:

Contact person:

Carlin Ma, Artistic Program Director,, (909) 353-3686


Music Lessons available at Rosalani Music

Cymber Lily Quinn, Rosalani Music, harp, piano lessons, Hilo, HawaiiI’m very happy to announce the opening of my new teaching studio in Hilo, Hawaii, and online via Zoom.

Rosalani Music is the place where you can learn harp, piano, ukulele, several wind instruments and more, plus performance prep and composition. For the dedicated student who enjoys rigorous work, I also offer Royal Conservatory training in piano and harp.

My studio is located at the corner of Kamehameha Avenue and Haili Street, just across the street from the Island Dance Academy, and down the block from The Palace Theater. I’ll be offering recitals twice a year, and regular performance and jam opportunities for students to get together and play.

For more information, check out my new, separate website,

Who is Rosalani? 

To find out who Rosalani is, visit my website here:



Healing Harp Concert: Temple of Divine Healing, June 28

Cymber Lily Quinn, harpist, hilo, hawaii, Temple of Divine Healing, Kalapana, HawaiiYou and all your friends are invited to a Healing Meditation Concert at the Temple of Divine Healing.

I’ll be presenting an evening of stories, healing vibrations, and custom healing music, improvised right in the moment. Just for you.


  • Who: Cymber Lily Quinn, harpist and Reiki mastser, invites you and your friends
  • What: Healing Harp Concert and dessert nibbles, following.
  • Where: Temple of Divine Healing, 12-158 Kipuka Street, Kalapana, HI
  • When: Wednesday, June 28, 6 pm.
  • Fee: Free or donation.

For more info, contact our host: Dr. Kartar Khalsa,, cell: 505-920-6020.


Cymber Lily Quinn | award winning harpist & composerCymber Lily Quinn is a visionary, pioneering harpist and Reiki master. Her music is designed to bring deep relaxation and energy balancing that creates a sanctuary of inner peace and beauty. Cymber is the recipient of 5 Big Island Music Awards, and the Music Achiever for the National League of American Pen Women. Her first CD, Seasons of the Soul, has been featured on National Public Radio’s Hearts of Space, and her second CD, Time Tinctures, has been featured on Hawaii Public Radio. She teaches harp, piano and other instruments in Hilo.

Aloha! I made it to Hilo

Aloha Friends!

At long last, I made it back to Hilo, and so did all my belongings. The harps (and all of things) were delayed about a month. The forced me to to be creative about playing harps (I borrowed one from a friend) and gave me time to get all the paperwork done that’s associated with moving to another state (license plates, health insurance, etc.).

Here’s what’s new:

  • I will play a healing harp concert on Wednesday, June 28, 6 pm at the Temple of Divine Healing in Kalapana, Hawaii, near where the lava has run over the road. All are welcome. The concert is free, and dessert-y nibbles with be available afterwards. For more info: Dr. Kartar Khalsa,, cell: 505-920-6020.
  • I am opening Rosalani Music, a teaching studio for students of all ages who want to learn harp and other instruments, composing and performance prep.
  • I am also opening a business coaching practice for professional musicians who need help with the business side of their music life. I can help musicians find focus and clarity, while attracting their perfect fans, using the strengths they already have.

You’ll hear more about these things in separate posts. But for now, I’m excited to be home again, and looking forward to diving back into the music…

Let me know how you are!

Sorry I’ve been away, and now I’m moving…

Cymber Lily Quinn, harpist, Hilo, Hawaii

Here I am, in the 100-year-old Lili’uokalani Park in downtown Hilo – named for the last reigning queen of Hawai’i. It was part of her estate, and she donated the lands for this park.

Hello dear friends,

I’m sorry I’ve been away from my blog for a few weeks. Frankly, I’ve been sick as a dog. I teach small children, who are natural petrie dishes for germs, so getting exposed is part of the territory.  But this time, it was a nasty bug that took weeks to finally work its way through. I’m feeling much better, just in time for…


Yep, after 3 1/2 years in Silicon Valley, it’s time to return to a slower pace of life. I’ll be playing, teaching and coaching harp and music from my beloved Hawai’i Island. My little dog, Peanut, and I will fly over on April 22, Earth Day. I can’t think of a better way to celebrate.

I’ll be without a computer, harps, and other conveniences of life for a few weeks. But once I get some sand in my toes, I’ll be back to making music, island style. I look forward to sharing Hawaiian-flavored harp music with you in the very near future.

In the meantime, I’ll be depending on my trusty iPad and phone to keep in touch. Let me know how you are. I’d love to hear from you.

Until then…blessings of Aloha…

Honored as Pen Women Achiever…wow!

National League of Pen Women, Cymber Lily Quinn, harpist and composerWow, what a honor to receive a Celebrity Achiever award from the National League of Pen Women in February. I was warmly greeted by a group of fabulously talented and artistically inventive women. Not a single wall-flower anywhere.

It was a pleasure to meet the other Music honoree, Lijah Raoof, Art honorees Dorothy Brown, Bonnie Jo Smith, Julia Watson, and Letters honorees Diana Chan, Erica Goss, and Lille McGhee Queen.

Many thanks to Susan Zerweck, who announced the Music awards.

Since 1897, the National League of Pen Wome has promoted the development of the creative talents of professional women in the arts. The League consists of local branches, state associates and members-at-large, a membership of about 2,000 women throughout the United States. Headquarters are in the history Robert Todd Lincoln Mansion at 1300 17th Street, N.W., Washington, DC 20036.

Research: “Compressing recorded music into the MP3 format results in the loss of emotional tones.”

(TechXplore)—A small team of researchers with Hong Kong University of Science and Technology has found that Cymber Lily Quinn, harpist, composer, teacher, coach, leaving the result with less depth. In their paper published in the Journal of the Audio Engineering Society, the researchers describe their study of the impact of compressing recordings of musical instruments and which instruments suffer the most degradation.

Most people who listen to music saved as an MP3 file know that the is lower than that of a CD or a vinyl album. But what is lost and by how much has not really been investigated. In this new effort, the researchers sought to learn which types of musical sounds lose the most emotional quality when a file is converted to MP3 and by how much.

The researchers enlisted the assistance of 20 , each a native English speaker and each with normal hearing. All of the volunteers were asked to listen to recordings of several instruments: saxophone, violin, trumpet, oboe, bassoon, clarinet, flute and horn. Each was asked to rate the sounds they were hearing based on a list of emotional traits: romantic, calm, happy, shy, mysterious, angry, comic, sad and heroic. The researchers then analyzed the answers given by the volunteers to see if there might be any patterns. They found that most of the sounds that fell into the positive category were the most negatively impacted—romantic, calm, comic, heroic and happy were noticeably less present after files had been compressed into the MP3 format. They noted also that some instruments were more impacted than others—trumpets, for example, were found to have lost the most emotional timbre while other horns were impacted the least.

The suggest that those people who are the most serious about tonal quality should limit their exposure to songs compressed into the MP3 format. They also suggest that the current trend in popular music toward growl-like tones or angry lyrics might have arisen due to their ability to translate well into the compressed file format.

More information: Ronald Mo et al. The Effects of MP3 Compression on Perceived Emotional Characteristics in Musical Instruments, Journal of the Audio Engineering Society (2016). DOI: 10.17743/jaes.2016.0031

© 2016 TechXplore

Sunday, Feb 19; 3p-5p: Musical Reiki Concert, Ben Lomond, CA

Reiki Music Concert, Cymber Lily Quinn, harpist & Reiki masterI’m honored to be playing at Joyce Leonard’s Santa Cruz Reiki Works in Ben Lomond, Calif. I’ll be playing a Musical Reiki Concert, which will include selections from Seasons of the Soul, Spa in a Box. I will also be creating improvised music, based on the energies and needs of the audiences.

Since ancient times, the harp has been recognized for its healing frequencies and vibrations. On its own, it is a powerful instrument for realignment of energies. Combined with Reiki energies, the harp music delivers deep relaxation and inner peace.

Cost: sliding scale: $15-$25 ; 

RSVP desired, but not required – everyone invited, no Reiki experience necessary! 

  • Who: Curious about Reiki or long time practitioner
  • What: Musical Reiki Concert
  • Where: Santa Cruz Reiki Works, Ben Lomond, CA
  • When: Sunday, Feb. 19, 2017, 3-5 p.m.
  • Why: To experience the gentle healing presence of Reiki energies

For Tickets: Santa Cruz Reiki Works…your wellness, 831-421-1877

(Location provided when you register for the concert).

Campbell Express: Nonprofit Organization Honors Women in the Arts

From the Campbell Express, February 2017:

Campbell Express article Cymber Lily Quinn, harpist & composer“On Feb. 12, a location celebrity luncheon will be hosted by the Santa Clara County branch of the National League of American Pen Women, a nonprofit encouraging women to pursue careers in the arts. The luncheon will recognize eight women in the county who participate in music, writing or art.

The luncheon will be held at the Elsk Lodge, 444 W. Alma Ave in San Jose. Tickets are $35 each. Proceeds from the ticket sales go toward scholarships for women graduating from high school, college undergraduates, or women of any age returning to school to complete their education in the arts.

According to Patricia Dennis, the branch’s publicity coordinator, $7500 in scholarship money is given to four women this year. Dennis, a Campbell resident, was a past scholarship recipient in the arts category.

Giving Women Artists Courage

“For some recipients, this award makes a difference, giving them the courage to pursue their career goals, knowing that their endeavors were acknowledged by such a prestigious organization,” Dennis said.

Former Campbell resident, Cymber Quinn will play the harp at the luncheon. Other women to be recognized at the event include San Jose residents Lija Raeof, Dorothy Brown, Bonnie Smith, Julia Watson and Lilie Queen, along with Erica Goss from Los Gatos, and Xana Chas from Los Altos Hills.

Quinn, who recently moved to Santa Clara, was nominated for recognition by Dennis.

“Her music is absolutely wonderful,” Dennis said.

How a Copywriter Becomes a Harpist

As a child in Greeley, Colorado, Quinn played drums, the french horn, and multiple wind instruments, and also sang.

“By the time I was 15, I was burned out.” Quinn said, “adding that she didn’t sing or play music for 27 years.

During her musical hiatus, she worked as a copywriter for the Indianapolis News, writing obituaries. She then worked in advertising and came to the Santa Clara Valley during the dot-com boom in 1996, staying until 2004.

At the age of 42, Quinn found her way back to music after trying to heal from several surgeries and undergoing a hysterectomy in her late 30s.

“I wasn’t really recovering well,” Quinn said. “The doctors weren’t really sure why, so I started more alternative approaches to healing.”

She looked to Reiki, a stress reduction method to heal one’s body through hand movements. The Reiki master Quinn was learning from suggested finding what made her happy when she was a child. In 2008, when Quinn was flipping through a catalog, she came across a harp.

“I have this memory of being 6 years old and my parents taking me to hear the symphony – and that night the harpist had a solo,” Quinn said.

Harp Lessons by Skype

At the time, Quinn ordered her harp, she was living in Hawaii, which made finding a harp teacher difficult. She eventually found a harpist who taughet her how to play via Skype and showed her the healing effect it could have on other people.

In 2013, when she returned to the Santa Clara Valley, she took up teaching at The Music Place, a music school for children in San Jose. Since then, she’s been teaching harp to children and playing at churches and yoga studios. She also plays at the bedside of the elderly and ill, and at Touch to Heal Spa in Campbell.

“There are many benefits to hearing relaxing and meditative music,” Quinn said, adding that the vibrations from the harp have helped people. Quinn said that she’s even had people tell her they play her CDs on their commute home from work to relax them.

Quinn has released four CDs, in of which was featured on National Public Radio. Another album is in the works. Quinn said she is moving back to Hawaii in April.

by Jasmine Layva