With the growing popularity of Harp Therapy, makers are providing quality instruments designed especially for this particular use: Our County Kerry 24 and Christina 25 lap harps are ideal for this purpose.
These are some desirable features for Therapy Harps (based on recommendations by Christina Tourin, founder of the International Harp Therapy Program):
- Harps should be small in size and lightweight.
- A minimum of 22 strings is recommended, with the compass extending down to the C below middle C. Otherwise, many pieces have to be played in a higher octave, which may be uncomfortable for many patients.
- Harps should be easy to hold for the practitioner, so look for harps that have a balance point and can be held comfortably over the recipient. Some harp makers include features such as knee bars to allow the harp to sit comfortably on the player's lap, or straps to aid standing or strolling.
- Therapy harps may be played by the patients themselves, so the base of the harp should allow for the harp to be played comfortably in varied positions, including lying in bed. Therefore, avoid any protruding feet which may be uncomfortable for the player.
- The use of metal levers avoids sympathetic vibrations often associated with plastic levers
- Nylon strings stand up better than gut strings to disinfectant application, which is a constant need in a hospital setting.
- Tone should be pleasing and even throughout the harp. A soft, mellow tone is more soothing for patients who are experiencing pain. Therefore, a slightly lower string tension than standard is recommended.
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