Reiki/Music Duets

I wear a few different hats…..           51Pps3FIrtL._AC_UL260_SR200,260_

 

 

il_570xN.172568077 Sometimes TOO many, I think!

 

Professionally I am a holistic physical therapist and Reiki practitioner/teacher. Many of my patients and fellow therapists have known me for quite awhile, and just accept that I have this “other” life as a musician. However, many other people seem startled when they hear that I live in these two different worlds – and have actually lived this way for a very long time now.

But are these worlds so very different??? REIKI and MUSIC. Well, let’s have a look.

Reiki is an ENERGY healing practice.

Music is sound and vibration….which is also….. ENERGY.

During a Reiki session, I bring healing energy to the client, through my hands, to promote their own self-healing. So, in a sense, we SHARE energy for a while.

In music performance, I MAKE the sound with my voice or hands, and people HEAR it. We connect  emotionally with each other, SHARING this ENERGY.

So, put into an equation, it looks something like this:

Music = ENERGY = Reiki

And if I could draw a circle (my computer skills are just NOT that good!) they would connect again. Because music, especially if it is chosen wisely, is ALSO healing. So, the equation now looks like this:

MUSIC= ENERGY = REIKI = HEALING = MUSIC 

OK. Enough math – or chemistry – or whatever that was!!!

Are you confused yet??? Can’t find where one begins and the other ends?

PRECISELY.

What is profound to me is that both music and Reiki can heal. That’s one of the common denominators. In fact, I always augment my Reiki treatments with specially chosen music in the background. I even occasionally play my harp as part of a Reiki session. And good musicians/performers use energy to communicate with their audience.

These are some of the reasons why this blog is both about music and Reiki. There is too much overlap to separate them out completely. One flows into and around the other – in my personal, professional, and musical lives. Creating energy, resonance, and beautiful music in magical ways.

And here’s one final hat – Just For Fun!

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Where my “Expert” meets my “Beginner”

What kind of crazy person begins playing the harp at 60 years old? Why would I DO such a thing? WHY NOT??

I am already very involved musically: singing, directing a choir, substituting occasionallyIMGP0461_2 on keyboard for church service. My prior background also includes musical theater and many, many years of choral singing. So, while I am not a “professional” musician, I do have a certain amount of experience and knowledge to bring to this new effort.

So, you might think that picking up a new instrument would be easy, right? Um, actually – no.

The harp makes intuitive sense to me as an instrument. Roughly, take the strings inside a piano and make them vertical and visible, and you have a harp. Well, it’s a little more complicated than that, but this gives you a rough idea. So my piano background helps me to organize my brain musically, even though it’s never been my primary instrument.

However, as with any new instrument, it takes a while to develop the physical dexterity and technique required to create beautiful music with my harp. The problem here is that inside my head I already hear EXACTLY what I want to play. But my fingers and technique are not up to that task. So, in an online class populated with world class harpists, I have often been the one playing at the level of “Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star.” OUCH. That’s ego-bruising for sure!

I have been blessed so far to learn from two amazing harpists – Laurie Riley for private Skype lessons, and Deborah Henson-Conant for online classes and the “Harness Your Muse” mentorship program. I was recently Skyping with Laurie and bemoaning the fact that I felt I had not made enough progress on a piece of music. She started shaking her head, albeit with a huge smile, and asked me to remind her how long I had been taking lessons.When I mentioned that it was a mere 2 years, her response was “Uh-huh.” More smiling. OK, I get it. I think, just because I am older and have other musical background, that this should be easier and faster. I am doing that thing that I always do where my expectations exceed reality.

HERE’S THE REALLY NEAT PART. I’ve had to make peace with the fact that most of my professional harping friends have been playing for 20 years or more.There are probably not enough years left in my life to get THAT good. SO WHAT? The harp, even played relatively simply, makes a gorgeous musical sound. And this new adventure provides me with an energizing creativity that’s  been missing from my life for a while now. New dreams, new challenges! I don’t want to go to a Conservatory style school for multiple years and win performance awards. I don’t need to be a world famous musician. I just need to keep making music and finding ways to share it with joy.

 

In the Beginning……

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I didn’t set out to fall in love with the harp.

I am a singer. Down to my toes. Always have been; always will be. My discovery and interest in playing harp came slowly. I started the Music for Healing and Transition Program in 2005, with voice as my intended instrument.I was the minority. Other than a few guitars and Native American flutes, it seemed as if 90% of these students were playing lever harps. Several of my friends suggested I take up the harp because “it would fit so beautifully with your voice!” My answer was, essentially, “Not interested.” Yes, I heard them all play, but the harp didn’t seem to call to me.

However, I continued the program (and the continuing education programs after graduation), and I kept bumping elbows with harpists. They would allow me to pluck a few strings, but still there was no serious attraction for me there. Yes, they were beautiful instruments, but I couldn’t picture how one of these harps would fit into my life. But there was a little something there. Hmmm……..

Then, my sister invited me to a concert at a tiny venue in New Hampshire. She said there was this amazing harpist named Deborah Henson-Conant who played non-traditional harp. I did, indeed go to this concert – and was blown away! I had never heard anything like it in my life. Oh, now I could see! You can play ANYTHING with a harp! All kinds of music in unlimited styles! The beauty, and the sound, and the power of this instrument was beyond description.

Oh – oh! Suddenly I was in big trouble, because I began to suspect that I might, kinda sorta, actually WANT to play one of these things. How was I ever going to break this news to my husband??? It didn’t make any sense! I am a physical therapist and Reiki Master by day and a singer/choir director by night. But I continued to think about it and ask questions. I went to my first ever Somerset Folk Harp Festival, took my first free lesson, and got my hands on a lot of different harps. I discovered that I WANTED a harp, with a desperate need that surprised me. A year later, I had my first small 27-string Timothy harp, and began my new adventure.

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I have never looked back!!