I am a Certified Clinical Musician. In 2015, I earned a certification from the Clinical Musicians Certification Program.
Through my training I have played music at the bedside for 250+ patients. I have played at an outpatient dialysis clinic; a general hospital (for pre- and post- operations and in ICU (intensive care unit); skilled nursing fascilites; and for hospice.
I have also undergone hospice training, CPR training, and specific classes for healthcare fascilty protocol regarding disease control, background checks and vaccinations.
Sound clips below are some examples of what therapeutic harp music sounds like.
Please scroll down for FAQs.
What is therapeutic music?
Therapeutic music is live music played at the bedside, where the musician responds to immediate needs of the patient. Vibrations of harp stings applied therapeutically can relieve pain, release anxiety, diminish nausea, stabilize heart rate and body rhythms as well as improve sleep and calm the environment.
Additionally, I have 20 years of experience playing for memorials, funerals, religious ceremonies and other transformative rites of passage. This gives me a unique sensitivity for life's end experience as well as those moments of unexpected trauma when there is a need for gentlilty.
Who benefits from therapuetic music? What is your target audience?
I have worked with a wide variety of clients. These are just some of the people I have played harp for at the bedside:
Added benefits: Live therapeutic music is for more than just patients! Caregivers, doctors and family/friends of loved ones also benefit from the harp's soothing sounds. I regularly played in the post-op wing of Highline Medical Center (Burien) and one nurse said, "I can always tell the days that you play here. There is a general calm on the entire unit."
What are you credentials?
I received a certificate of Certified Clinical Musician from the program Harp for Healing, started by healing harp pioneer, Laurie Riley. Harp for Healing is overseen by The National Standards Board for Therapeutic Musicians (NSBTM)
I have played the harp for 25 years and have studied music formally since the age of 4. I am a composer, band leader, and educator. You read more about my biography on my About Page.
How do I book you?
I offer one-on-one sessions with individuals who may want to hire me directly. I will play in adult family homes; hospital; hospice or other settings. Generally, a one-on-one session will last 15; 30 or 45 minutes, depending upon frequency of visits and need of the patient.
I am also hired by facilities diretly, so that I can play several 15 mintute sessions for mutiple patients/residents.
Please visit my Contact Page.
Can you play for groups?
Absolutely! I have the unique experience of being a professional harpist, actively working as a performer on the stage, in the studio and classroom. Over the past dozen years or so, I have been hired by many, many retirement communities and have played for hundreds of parties and groups.
I prefer to know ahead of time if resdients are gathering to hear harp as background music or a performance. For a group performance, I often use my large pedal harp and my rates are different using that harp. I can also play therapeutic quiet music for a group with the small harp (like Alzheimer's Unit) if that is preferred. I just need to know in advance what the intent of my visit is.
In general, therapeutic beside music is a service, not a performance.
What is the difference between a music performance and music as a service?
A performance is for enjoyment exclusively. The harp by nature is uplifting and often it improves the listern's mood.
A service of music is stylized for the intention of creating a healing effect. It is slow (heartrate rhythm) and calming and stylized for an individual's needs.
I don't have a lot of room. Aren't harps big?
Harps come in many sizes. As a classically trained musician, I do have a large pedal harp. However, this is not practical for therapeutic music.
For therapeutic sessions, I use a small 22-string harp (with a guitar strap around me) so that I can come in and out of a room unobtrusively. I prefer to play while sitting, but I can even play for short amounts of time standing up. With a small harp, I am not in the way of monitors, working doctors and caregivers. All of my music is memorized, so I take up little room. I can carry this small harp in one hand!
"Monica has shared her incredible harp music with our patients and staff, bringing relaxation, therapy and healing to us all."
- Sue Wheeler, RN
“I love it when you’re around here! you should play for the staff.”
- Stephanie, RN
“You made the patient much happier. She was just saying your praises.”
- MD at Highline Medical Center (Burien, WA)
"Monica is truly and accomplished musician. Her extremely large repertoire of tunes assure her patients will hear the kind of music that is most therapeutic for thier individual tastes and needs. Monica has an amazing gift for music and it is so gratifying to see her use her talents for healing, especially in hospice."
- Chris Galvin, MA LMHC