Today we begin our newest feature—our professional and intern harp therapists answer the question, “What has taking up the harp done for you?” Today’s response comes from Evelyn Thornley Sivori.
Taking harp lessons and the harp certification program has enriched my life in profound ways and on multiple levels. To begin with, I always admired musicians and the ability “to make music” but lessons were financially way out of reach for my family when I was young. So when I had my own family I, of course, was sure to have my children take piano and guitar lessons. I once approached their piano teacher about lessons for myself and was told, “I have found music lessons never work out for adult beginners.” I felt silly and gave up on the idea of music lessons for myself and instead took great joy in the fact that my husband and I could give our children that opportunity.
Years later, in the midst of soul-searching about my next path with an impending “empty nest,” I experienced a eureka moment when I came upon the Bedside Harp information in the Valley Hospital newsletter. “Could it be true?” I thought as my heart fluttered with joy when I read that no musical experience was necessary. I instantly knew this was something I had to do.
Now, over three years later, I have found that the harp has expanded my horizons and added layers and depth of new meaning to my life. I am fulfilling an old yearning to play an instrument; I am fulfilling a strong desire to give back to others in my community; I am stretching and challenging my mind and heart; I am deeply touched by the most heartwarming encounters when I play the harp at the hospital; and, I have made new friends and am having great fun. What more could I ask for, especially at a time when after 21 years of being a stay-at-home mom, I had no idea what I was ever going to do with myself!
The harp has led me on a path that I never could have imagined before that day when I sat down with a cup of tea at my kitchen table to read the mail and happened to flip through the Valley Hospital newsletter. I’ve even had some success in venturing out and marketing myself as a therapeutic harpist. The fact that my family and friends are proud, supportive and excited about my journey with the harp also fills me with joy. I feel so blessed and so very fortunate that the harp has enabled me to fulfill an old personal dream and that it enables me to give back to the community in a way that is so personally fulfilling.