I know this sounds rather cheap but as someone recently stated… money is hard to come by these days!
Start doing it. Create your own approach. Don’t assume people are somehow expert because they have done that and market their approach. When you look at the healing “community,” you see now a plethora of different methods of Reiki, for one example. What kind of therapy do you want to offer through the harp? Healing through listening, through playing, or occupational therapy? Joel Andrews has been doing harp healing for years. You might get Reiki training, which you can do for free, pretty much, through the Yahoo groups, which will give you training and insight as a more-or-less legitimate healer. That strikes me as an essential foundation. You might also look at community college programs in physical therapy or music therapy. You can do hospice-type stuff as a volunteer and get training from the hospitals. Depends on where you live, I suppose. You might be able to tell that I don’t particularly endorse the idea of creating certifications for harpists that require payment for things they may be able to do naturally or with other approaches. It mostly strikes me as a way to exclude people who don’t pay for the certification, and to create a new “profession”. I have some experience with playing for elderly audiences, and in cancer and NICU wards. I think the most important training is how to emotionally handle the situations you will be in, and how to deal with the stress and intensity.
I am looking at doing Harp Therapy also, but, like you, I simply cannot afford the programs right now. But, it took me years to save up for my harp, so I am saving up for enrollment in some program in several years…until then, I have been looking at the websites for many different programs, and printing off the booklists–many programs have similar required reading, and you can find books really inexpensively on websites like Amazon, Alibris, or Abebooks. My thought is, even if it takes me YEARS to get certified, I can start learning NOW, and just play as a simple harpist, but with lots of knowledge behind me. We can still do lots of good!
Here are the websites for some of my favorite Harp Therapy Programs:
If you are a healer and play the harp, and have in your own experience feel you are capable to play for sick people, depressed people, ect. Why do you need an actual certificate? And why can you not call it harp therapy or music therapy? Is there another name to call it that will not offend those with a certificate? One think I never liked was putting so many rules on music. Music can be healing and Im not sure what is complicated about that. If you are a wise person and full of empathy for others, then playing harp for people to feel better, seems natural to me
Kinbra, I don’t think that the advice not to refer to it as therapy was because those with certificates might get offended, but that if something goes awry you could, conceivably, be held legally responsible. For example, if a patient became agitated and suffered a heart attack, a family member might blame the harpist and say the music was inappropriately loud or jaunty, and file charges against the “self-proclaimed harp therapist.”
” And why can you not call it harp therapy or music therapy?”
There is no reason I know of that you can’t call hit “harp therapy” as that is a free for all term, but you can’t call it “music therapy” because it is not Music Therapy.
Music Therapy is an accredited degree program with board certification. Without the degree and the board certification you aren’t a music therapist, and calling yourself one is fraud. Like someone without an MD calling themselves a medical doctor or someone without a MA in Social Work and who hasn’t met the criteria for CSW certification calling themselves a Certified Social Worker.
What these harp therapy programs teach is very different from what Music Therapy programs teach. If you want to be a Music Therapist you need to go to an accredited college with a music therapy degree offered where, as part of the degree, you will study not only topics specific to music therapy, but music, psychology, social science, and biology. After completing four year undergraduate degree program you do an internship, and then take the CBMT exam, and if you pass you get your MT-BC certification (Music Therapist – Board Certified). After that you can attain a graduate degree in Music Therapy for more in depth study of the subject.
A harp healing / therapy program is usually about 300 to 350 hours of work including both course work and hands on work combined, and some programs can be done mostly on-line. The certification is not part of any accredited academic program.
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