Bio

About Kitty

I started playing the harp when I was 12 years old, after going to the Pennsylvania Renaissance Faire and hearing the harpist play.  After that, I was enthralled with the instrument.  I found out that my middle school had an extra harp that no one was playing, so I joined the orchestra and started taking lessons.

I first heard the term “harp therapy” from my harp teacher, Cheryl Dungan-Cunningham when I was in high school.  When the time came to do my senior community service and research project, I decided to use this as a chance to learn about harp therapy.  In the course of my research I met Edie Elkan, the founding director of Bedside Harp®.  After learning her incredible story and playing in the common room at the cancer center at Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital in Hamilton, New Jersey, I soon realized that I wanted to pursue harp therapy as a career and vocation.  A year later, I signed up for the Bedside Harp summer intensive certification program.

It took two years to complete all of the requirements while I attended college at Southern Methodist University in Dallas.  For the 100-hour internship requirement, I played for 98 documented hours at Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital in Hamilton and two documented hours for a private massage therapy session in Dallas.  I also had to complete 120 classroom hours, in which I studied and wrote about music and vibration, self-development in order to cope with the potential stress of a hospital environment, and death and dying.  Another requirement included a practicum project, in which I chose to study how to document patient sessions more efficiently.  In August 2007, I received my certification as a Hospital Certified Harp Therapist (HCHT), a special designation given due to my extensive internship work in Hamilton.  I graduated from SMU the following May and spent the next few months preparing to pursue my career as a harp therapist.

I currently play for Compassionate Care Hospice in New Jersey and Pennsylvania as well as independent work in Philadelphia while also working on my mastery level of harp therapy certification with Bedside Harp. I am also available for weddings, memorial services, and other occasions.