Archive for the ‘Finding Work’ Category

Warm and Fuzzies

One of my New Year’s resolutions is to be more consistent about this blog. Hopefully some day future and current harp therapists, clients, and friends will read it and we can discuss things.

Meanwhile, work has steadily been growing. I touched base with the hospice in Philadelphia and we worked things out to get me more hours playing on patient floors. I still get a warm and fuzzy feeling every time I book a new hour. It’s so exciting to be recognized! My supervisor in the New Jersey hospice has even said he’d like to see me busier! I am well on my way to finally being able to support myself totally on harp therapy. How exciting!

So far, I’ve been able to have enough to put towards renting a new floor harp. My current one is not in such great condition at the moment since she hasn’t seen a regulator in quite some time, and I need a harp for a holiday gig next week. So, not entirely on impulse, I went to the Virginia Harp Center in Haddonfield, NJ and picked one for rent. They have a fantastic deal where you can rent a harp, and the money goes towards buying it. You can even trade for one you like better during your rental period, or buy a different one. The one I have now is lovely, but I don’t think I would buy it. It’s not my favorite aesthetically, though the walnut wood is gorgeous and she has a beautiful sound. I was rather in a pinch, however. Sadly, I couldn’t get the one I really wanted because it was on consignment, and they don’t rent those.

I’ve also decided to start taking harp lessons again starting in the New Year. Therapy and performance styles are very different, and while I’m very comfortable with the therapy aspect of harp playing, my performance could use some brushing up. It needs a little more sophistication in my opinion, which of course is the one that counts.

Now I need to get back to practicing holiday music. ‘Tis the Season! Cheers!

The ball is rolling

It seems I despaired too soon last Friday. I got a call from Personal Touch to do a couple hours this month on Saturday. Then I got the message about the job in Jersey that I subsequently succeeded in attaining. After that, another message about a hospice in Philly that is serious about having a harp therapist with whom I’m having a meeting this week. I’m not sure it will work out since the woman I spoke with mentioned a ‘conflict of interest’ as I’m working with another hospice already. We shall see. And yesterday! Yesterday I got a call from the company I played the Memorial Day service and another service for and the woman I spoke with wants me to do three hours on Monday at one of their nursing homes! Granted, it’s rather last minute, which normally would be a pain, but she actually wants me on patient floors, which is fantastic. So after having next to no work, I’m working four hours this week. It’s a rather good start if I do say so myself.

In other news, I met with Edie yesterday as well, and I am going to start working on my mastery level certificate. It seems she has high hopes for me that match my own ambitions. The variety of prospects is indeed astonishing. There’s a lot going for the field of harp therapy, and it seems only to be going forward. I think it’s a great time to be a part of it. There is nothing like a meeting with Edie to make a gal feel great about life. :) Now I just have to remain patient and keep plugging, which is so much easier said than done since I would *really* like to feel 100% confident in telling people that I am an established career harp therapist. As they say, though, one day at a time.


Found more work

Today I succeeded in securing a job in New Jersey. Rather than coming as a response to one of my letters, this came about from a general call to the Bedside Harp population. Still – hurray! Hopefully this won’t take as long to come together as the first one. According to the man who hired me, he’s going to try to get me started within the month. This works for me. And I still have another job prospect I heard about through BSH that I’m meeting with next week. Things are looking up for sure. It’s so much nicer when you can feel the ball rolling.

I sometimes wonder how others take the job search. As I’ve mentioned to more than one person recently, as I understand it, most if not all of the other BSH graduates have careers already or are retired. I’m in the rather unique position of attempting to make a full career of harp therapy. It’s all I’ve ever really wanted to do (since my senior year of high school, anyway). I know I ought to have a backup plan, but I really can’t imagine what else would be a good career for me. Even if I think of one – ok honestly I’ve thought of one or two – I would have to go back to school, and that is just not a very attractive prospect at the moment. Soon I will begin working on attaining the mastery level of harp therapy, and I’m hoping that that will help to open up even more doors towards bringing harp therapy to the level of a career for me.

Serendipity and Serenity

Well, oddly enough, the day after I wrote the last post regarding looking for more work, the work found me.  I got a call from the hospice company that asked me to play for Memorial Day, and they want me to play for a memorial service at another nursing home next week.  Honestly, it’s my first gig of this sort, so I spent the next couple days learning to make an invoice.  Really, the most difficult part was trying to figure out how to write a default ‘thank you for your business’ on it, but not in such generic terms.  My mother once again came to the rescue and suggested “Thank you for the opportunity to serve you,” which is *exactly the sentiment I wished to express.  Of course it’s not the same as a personalized thank you, but it’s one to go on a form, and the personal one will come after.

In preparing for this service, I reminded myself that there indeed is nothing like playing a harp all day to make one feel content with life.  Even with the frustrations of tripping fingers or slipped notes, eventually those get smoothed over and you’re just feeling the vibrations of the harp.  Especially when practicing Andrew Lloyd Weber’s Pie Jesu.  I really could just play that all day.


Oh joyous day! I got my first job as a harp therapist. :) I’m going to be working with Personal Touch Hospice. It’s going to take some time to get started since I need to do a bunch of paperwork and be introduced to the staff. Thanks so much to my mom’s friend Ed Harding who is an administrator at a nursing home who helped me so much by sending my information to his contacts. The serious business starts tomorrow.