I am a Certified Clinical Musician (CCM) through Harp for Healing. This is one of four training programs for therapeutic musicians, accredited by the National Standards Board of Therapeutic Musicians. Learn more about their professional standards and the difference between therapeutic music and music therapy at www.nsbtm.org. You can learn more about the CCM program at www.harpforhealing.com.
All my life, I have been moved by music — both literally and figuratively. My earliest musical memory is my father singing and playing his guitar, sitting crossed-legged on the floor. As I recall, most of his repertoire was fairly slow and mellow: Puff the Magic Dragon, some Simon and Garfunkel tunes. While I was drawn to the music coming out of the guitar and from him, I remember mostly feeling sad and weepy. He remembers playing and singing beside my crib when I was one or two years old. A certain song (which he couldn’t recall) would, without fail, elicit an immediate and inconsolable flood of tears from me. He learned not to play it if he wanted me to sleep. The antidote to that song was one that I would always beg him to play over and over: “Roll Alabama” — a shanty about a mighty commerce raider, the USS Alabama, and also the little-known derivation of our state’s football cry of “Roll Tide.” This brought me to the highest of highs when Dad would strum in fast up and down motions and breeze through the major chord progression, belting out the lyrics in his rich baritone. I couldn’t contain my giggles and smiles during this song — I truly loved to hear it although I had no concept of the meaning. This is how music moves me emotionally.
As a lifelong ballerina, music physically moves me. When I’m dancing, nothing else matters: I am completely in the moment, attentive to the rhythm, melody and harmony of the music, how it makes me feel, how my body is moving in space, what story I’m telling with my movement.
I began playing the harp in 2008. During the pandemic, I decided I wanted to find a way to use my creativity and interest in music to do some sort of good in the world. I happened upon the Harp for Healing website and knew that I wanted to be involved in therapeutic music. I am very happy to be sharing my gift of music.