As professional harpist, the focus was always on playing the version of music that was required for the specific event. Even though this is very enriching, for Anna it was sometimes quite stressful, and she felt stifled in her creativity. Always researching for ideas of how to adapt music for the harp and improvise, Anna stumbled upon Christina Tourin’s work. The interest in the effect of harp music on the audience became a fascinating research topic, which Anna experimented with while playing background music at events. However, only in 2018 did this study field lead to the qualification as Certified Therapeutic Harp Practitioner from the IHTP.
Following the biography is a quick description of Anna’s therapeutic career path as an example of how one can use therapeutic harp to enhance another position or qualification one might already have.
Anna’s therapeutic harp career started with the focus on pastoral care for the local Lutheran church in Geelong. This created the opportunity to play as volunteer at Karingal House in Geelong for a client who lives with Down Syndrome and Parkinson’s disease. The results were so significant that the manager of the facility suggested NDIS support the therapy for the client. Her comment was that the whole house was influenced positively by the music. As pastoral carer, Anna played at private homes in Geelong, for parish members who were not able to attend church. These families were so grateful for this service that word spread and soon Anna was volunteering in aged care homes from as far as Villa Maria Torquay across Melbourne to Fairways Aged Care in Sandringham.
At Mercy Place Wyndham, one of the homes where Anna shared her music with residents, playing from room to room; it became known that residents felt comforted and inspired by her presence. Management heard of this and asked Anna to take the position as Pastoral Care Associate at the Newport home. One year on, Anna is employed full time at the Mercy Place Wyndham with over a hundred residents to serve musically and pastorally. As part of this position, Anna does one on one vigils to the sick and palliative residents. This is a real blessing to the residents in a time where most services are cancelled because of the pandemic.
For more information, feel free to contact Anna at email@example.com.