Quotes from Students and Graduates of CMCP


"The program has stretched me both personally and as a musician. I am SO much freer at the harp; I can

play and improvise easily with no fear of making mistakes. I love that should anyone ask me to play, I

have so many pieces I could just easily use for demo. Personally, I have gained confidence in my ability

to make a positive impact in others’ lives. I love knowing that music holds so much value for others, and

that I can offer something so satisfying for others to receive. "  Professional career harpist, 2023 CMCP graduate 


I played for a woman in hospice whose family had told me that she liked folk music.  While I played, the patient and her relatives were listening and smiling, enjoying the time together.  When I was done, the patient said, “The music is like a boat that is carrying us all.”  I have held onto that image as the ideal for what music can create – a vessel that holds us.


I am forever grateful for the teachings of the Harp for Healing program, for your patience with my very lengthy process as I battled illness over the past years, and for bringing my love of music back to life.  To have music be the thing that connects me to others in a deeply meaningful way is a great gift.


I never thought that this course would take me on this much bigger journey that connect many ideas that I have studied in the past, including sound engineering and playing music to people in general and playing music to patients in a hospital or in a hospice.


I have had major breakthroughs in my own improvisation practice this last week, and I truly owe it to the materials and lectures from this course. This course has exceeded far beyond what I expected to get out of level 1, and I am extremely grateful to have found and invested in it. I can't say enough about it.


I always thought true music was something already written just brought to life by the musician. When I started using improvisation how I viewed music changed drastically. The switch from playing a set song to improv was like playing in a sandbox for the first time. It helped me appreciate lack of melody and spaces between notes more. Then modes were brought in and expanded the horizons even further. I still appreciate learning a song, but to be comfortable sitting down to my harp and just play is an incredible thing.   


I have become more inventive as I play harp. When I first started it was difficult to get away from a sheet of music. I now freely improvise and am comfortable with it. I feel I have grown a lot since I first started. I used to get nervous, but much of that has dissipated. I feel much more confident now and am so happy that his program exists!



Other than knowing the Biblical story of David playing for Saul, I had very little knowledge of, or exposure to, therapeutic music before I started this course. I have appreciated learning about the history of this discipline, as well as learning the skills necessary to adapt music to fit the needs of various patients.


Regarding the Code of Ethics: “I was especially touched by the Personal Awareness principle the first time I read this material, impressed than an organization came up with such a well-worded model of self-care as it relates to the ability to serve and serve well. The word I come away with after I read the code is ’honorable’. In all of the principles I see honor for the art of using music therapeutically and for those for whom we play. The Code of Ethics feels very much like the bedrock upon which all other things rest.” 


When I started this course, the word "improvisation" terrified me. However, each step in learning improv skills was logical, easy to understand, and easy TO DO! By the time I finished the exercises on improv, I was feeling confident that I could do simple improv and that I have the skillset to help me move forward with this technique. 


Thank you for this program. The impact of your work and your teaching will touch people you will never even meet. It's a tremendous program, and a truly valuable undertaking.    


The most important thing I have acquired is more confidence that I can be effective, and I am on the right track. Before experiencing this program, I could have just gone on playing, with no certification, wondering what I was missing, feeling like less than others who are certified through a training program. Now I have experienced all the lessons, listened to others, enriched my own understanding, and I don’t have to doubt myself because of the unknown. I catch myself laughing at my mistakes now and moving on, instead of getting ruffled, because I know I am effective with patients, and legitimately appreciated where I have worked.


When I first played at the hospital it was in the ICU. Most patients were hooked up to many machines that did a lot of beeping and various noises. At first I found the noises very distracting and I wondered if my playing was even able to be heard. The good part though was that the patients were hooked to monitors and it was very clear by watching their vital signs that they were hearing my music. Several times the patient would have an elevated heart rate when I started playing, but when I finished playing their heart rate was much closer to being in the normal range.       


Discovering the small harp and learning how to use it via Harp for Healing has changed my life and helped me through a process that’s included some extremely difficult moments. I’m very grateful for this.     


I really appreciate the multisensory learning used with this program.  It really works well!  I've been in learning situations where it is like drinking from a fire hose...too much info too fast....and you really can't absorb it . It is all reading, or all listening but no hands on.   I've also been in learning situations that are sink or swim.  Just a brief over view and then you get shoved out into an intense situation that you're really not prepared for, but you are supposed to learn by doing.  I've managed just fine in the end in those situations, but this program....going at my own pace...and the way it is presented, listening, doing, & reading is really a process that I am enjoying. 


Today, I took my little harp to sit at the beach, and listen to the waves and the wind. I watched the surf, and played with its ebb and flow, to really feel the music in that way.  The sand was empty, but for one or two fisherman, and a lone power walker.  I left the beach feeling completely at peace, something I haven’t felt in a long time.
This program, way of playing, for me, is life changing..........Thank you. 


As you told me in the beginning of my training, this will be the most amazing ministry you ever do!  You are absolutely correct!


One of the great things about this program is that the information is provided in such a vibrant way that it inevitably opens the door to further thinking and questioning.  I have a lot of books on my shelf now that I learned of through the program readings.  I feel enriched and nourished by everything that has been offered.


I’ve learned SO much through the program and my journey has been incredible. Therapeutic music makes a positive difference in people’s lives and I’m thrilled to be a part of that. My life is forever changed.


I approach my playing completely differently than when I first began this program. I feel confident in simplifying the music, improvising, repeating phrases and melodies, and transitioning from one song to another. I no longer focus on how well I am playing, but rather what the music is communicating.


I came into this program with a decent skillset. I had been playing harp for several years, knew how to improvise and arrange music, and also had several years of experience working with patients in healthcare settings. I really thought certification would be more of a formality. I could not have been more wrong. My bedside work has greatly improved all of my skills, both as a musician and as a healthcare practitioner. I interact with patients and staff with more ease; I improvise like it’s the most natural musical skill in the world; and I find myself arranging songs for harp in half the time it used to take—and I feel like the arrangements truly reflect who I am as a harpist. I cannot say enough about how significant my bedside work has become for refining my skills. 


A man asked me to play for his mother. His father was also in the room. English was not the first language of the mother and father. As I played, the patient (the mother) began to sing. The father sang. Then they sang together, and not particularly quietly. The son wept and sobbed. I have no idea what they were singing or why it sounded pleasant with the random improvisation I was doing on the harp but it obviously had a profound effect on the son.

Amazing things keep happening.


One of the ICU nurses ran into me today. I’ve only played in ICU a couple days. But she was really impressed, “It calms the patients. It calms the nurses.” And she said I should come anytime I could. They would love it if I could come every day. She went on and on about it. This stuff really works!


After I had played for a comatose 70s something woman, this doctor said to me,"I have been watching you, I have been watching the patient, and I have been watching you watching the patient as you played.  I realize that although this is a highly technically medical place, it still is important to have something like this for the patient's well-being and happiness.  The patient smiled as you played.  So, I thank you for this.  Keep up the good work."  He then proceeded to ask me about clinical musicianship and how it is different from music therapy, and what the training involves.  As you can guess, I was grateful for the good training in the course, and grateful for his level of understanding.


Because of this program I now appreciate how important it is to have a prescribed study of learning prior to playing for patients. If I want the music to do its work, I must be educated to the various therapeutic elements and what is likely to be therapeutic in any given situation.


When I play for hospice patients I notice that the patient is often calmed by the music, their breathing slows down, pain is reduced and they overall feel more relaxed.


This program has taught me so much about types of music and how they can benefit the patient. I feel so blessed and am grateful for the opportunity to take your course.


One of the delightful aspects of this course is how well each of the pieces of the coursework weaves together with the others to reinforce and expand the essential elements of therapeutic music, culminating in the ability to practice effectively in private and for patients. 


 Since obtaining my certification from Harp for Healing, I have been playing harp regularly at our local hospital .

I was the first and only intern to begin Therapeutic Music there. We now have 3 certified therapeutic musicians and I have been appointed as the Therapeutic Musician Coordinator. I have referred several people to your program for their interest in certification. Thanks for your work in this healing Program.    


This path is as much about changing oneself (the musician) as the person for whom we play...the more we develop and become more harmonious and at peace with ourselves, the more effective we can be." 

The patients are our teachers...I don't often know what is best to play but only discover it through the responses of those I play for. It is very much an interactive experience.

When I get to that "peaceful place" while playing, I join with the patient in a way, and we experience healing together.


(She) is a competent, lovely Clinical Musician Intern who works well with all patients and staff. All look forward to her music, as she works independently, without disrupting the operational flow of the department. Patients have benefited from therapeutic music in helping to control pain and improving their mood.  --From a supervisor's report 


I am over-the-moon thrilled to be participating in this Harp for Healing Program! The mix of thinkers and researchers, musicians both classical and avant garde, the comprehensive reading lists and online supports, the self-paced scheduling, and the incredible support from mentor and program director makes this study one of the best courses I've ever engaged in. 


Improvisation isn't hard when you are given tools and guidelines to work within. I have really come to love improvisation through this course. ... I can't imagine not doing this work now and how deeply it has and will impact my own life as well. .... I feel like I have developed & grown so much musically through Level 1.