I’m a writer who suffers from seasonal depression, and I’m considering learning how to play the harp to “cure” myself. For the last few years I have tried using a zither (an Autoharp without chords). It’s extraordinarily soothing, and I’ve been noodling music with my right hand, but now I’m thinking I want to play songs as well. I place the zither on my heart and the top rests against my head. I think part of the “healing” is due to the vibration. But, I also love the sound.
My first effort towards my goal (last year) was to buy a very cheap lap harp, but I could never find the right position for it, and the sound wasn’t satisfying (I have a very good ear). Conceptually, I’m hoping that if I had a bigger and better harp, it might work for me.
FYI…I’ve done a lot of research. I’ve skimmed Christina Tourin’s book, seen a video on what Dr. Ken Price is doing with people who have multiple sclerosis, read two of Laurie Riley’s books and tried a few of her songs (I can sort of play the melody on my quasi-zither), and have seen the use of the harp in hospitals and hospices etc. I’ve read about music therapy, and vibroacoustical therapy. Quite honestly, much of what I’ve read is too new-age for me.
My questions: Does anyone have any inspirational stories or thoughts to share? What size harp might I need? (I”m 5’6″)? Should I look for a harp with levers? Does my goal seem realistic? In advance of your responses, thank you.