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Can't make it to Somerset? Then come to the
Harpers' Escape Weekend
October 2-4, 2015



Therapeutic Harp Forum at Somerset

music therapy

NEW! All-Day Thursday Program
July 23, 2015

Explore this multi-faceted, growing field and find out what it takes for you to enter this world

About the Therapeutic Harp Forum

Somerset has always prided itself on presenting the incredible diversity of the harp world and had presenters and exhibitors representing various therapeutic harp topics and programs. If you know nothing about this field and only what you read in the occasional newspaper story or TV article on someone playing harp at a hospital, you might think that would be just another gig for you. You couldn't be more wrong!

Therapeutic music is a profession and this day-long forum covers various aspects of what it takes to be a therapeutic musician. You won't be an expert at the end of the day, but you'll discover that training of some sort is absolutely necessary to play in healthcare. You have to know what you are doing, and it takes a while to learn it all, like any healthcare-related profession. Your journey in this field can begin with this first step.

My thanks to the various presenters for their work in putting this program together and to Melinda Gardiner and Edie Elkan in particular for their long-standing support of the festival and guidance on this field.

About the Presenters

bonnie berkBonnie Berk, Harp for Healing

Bonnie Berk is a Board Certified Holistic Nurse who graduated from the Harps for Healing Clinical Musician Certification Program in 2012 and is now a mentor for new students entering the program.. She currently offers therapeutic harp at bedside through Hospice of Central Pennsylvania. In addition to harping, Bonnie is a Certified Yoga and Qi Gong teacher and offers Reiki and Holistic Health Coaching in her private practice. Since 1980, Bonnie has been training fitness and yoga instructors and brings with her a wealth of knowledge in complementary therapies as well as mentoring others.edie elkan

Edie Elkan, Bedside Harp

Edie Elkan founded NJ-based Bedside Harp in 2002. It is a hospital-based harp therapy program. Her work at the Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital’s cancer center in a research project on the effects of live harp music on chemotherapy patients was recognized by the Society for the Arts in Health Care in 2005. Edie has published Everything You Ever Wanted to Know (about Harp Therapy) and her master’s thesis, The Edie Elkan Method of Teaching Folk Harp as an Instrument of Healing.
Bedside Harp will have a booth in the Exhibit Hall at the festival.

melinda gardinerMelinda Gardiner, Music for Healing & Transition Program

Melinda Gardiner is Executive Director of the Music for Healing and Transition Program and believes the harp can be a partner in healing. She is trained as a holistic nurse as well as being a CMP (Certified Music Practitioner). Melinda uses harp music to diminish pain, aid sleep, restore balance, harmony and peacefulness for patients in a variety of stressful situations. Melinda is on the National Standards Board of Therapeutic Musicians.
Music for Healing & Transition Program will have a table in the Exhibit Hall at the festival.

william jacksonWilliam Jackson

William Jackson is a renowned performer of Scottish traditional music and a composer with a number of orchestral suites to his credit. When he's not touring with Irish harper Grainne Hambly, he makes his living as a music therapist and has a postgraduate degree in Music Therapy at the Guildhall School of Music in London. His specialty is working with special needs children. He worked over 10 years at the Mission Hospital in Asheville NC and now works in County Sligo, Ireland. He has presented workshops at Somerset over the years in using the small harp in music therapy, in addition to his workshops on composing and Scottish music.

lynda kuckenbrodLynda Kuckenbrod, Therapy Harp Training Program, LLC

Lynda Kuckenbrod, director of the Therapy Harp Training Program, LLC, is a multi-instrumentalist whose step into the therapeutic harp world began serendipitously when she took her harp to play for her hospitalized mother and noticing its effects on her. She got started by enrolling in a training program and now has certifications as a Healthcare Musician, Clinical Musician, Vibro~Acoustic Harp Therapy Practitioner and a Holistic Sound Healer. She developed the Therapy Harp Training Program, which trains musicians in the techniques of playing healing music at the bedside, and has a self-guided course.
Therapy Harp Training Program will have a table in the Exhibit Hall at the festival.

sarajane williamsSarajane Williams, Vibroacoustic Harp Therapy

Sarajane Williams is a founding member of The National Standards Board for Therapeutic Musicians and has been deeply involved in healthcare with over 35 years of experience as a nurse, cardiopulmonary technologist, director of a cardiac catheterization laboratory and biofeedback therapist in a chronic pain center. She is a lecturer and author of The Mythic Harp and Good Vibrations: Principles of Vibroacoustic Harp Therapy and is editor of The Harp Therapy Journal. will have a table in the Exhibit Hall at the festival.


Therapeutic Harp Forum Schedule

9:30am-12:15pm: Presentations & Program Overviews by:
Bedside Harp: Edie Elkan
Certified Clinical Musician Program: Bonnie Berk
Music for Healing & Transition: Melinda Gardiner
Therapy Harp Training Program: Lynda Kuckenbrod
Vibroacoustic Harp Therapy: Sarajane Williams

there will be a break halfway through this segment where participants can network with presenters and fellow participants

12:15-1pm: lunch break and networking

1-1:45pm: Music Therapy with William Jackson

2-2:45pm: Moments of Healing
In this powerful segment our presenters will share stories of particularly meaningful experiences they've had in doing their work and the differences they feel they've made with their harps. Attendees at this workshop will also be invited to share their experiences. Edie Elkan will shepherd this segment.

3-4pm: Harp "Tasting" roundtable
The presenters will demonstrate their various harps and talk about their individual harp preferences. Following the demos, the participants will have an opportunity to sample and try out the harps (it's a large ballroom so we'll have plenty of space).

4:15-5pm: Career Development
A roundtable from the presenters on how to create a career path for yourself in the field. Discussion on how to position oneself with the medical community & get started.

Registering for the Therapeutic Harp Forum

There are 2 ways to register for the Therapeutic Harp Forum and this event is open to the general public. You must register in advance. See our Registration form and you can choose:


Do you have a harp or music product to sell?
Get a booth or table at the festival. Call Kathy 856-795-7637.
Here's our rate card.


Updated 4/8/15
Workshop descriptions and schedules are subject to change. Refresh your browser to make sure you have the latest version of this page.