Thursday, January 28, 2016

Modal counterpoint

Harp therapy is largely based on modal music. Therapeutic harp practitioners are taught to compose and improvise music for individuals. One (admittedly rather cerebral) way to approach this is through the Renaissance art of modal counterpoint.
Modal, or species counterpoint is not taught in therapeutic harp programs because of its complexity, but for people who have been working at theory for a while, it can be a wonderful refinement to a basic background and understanding of the modes.
If you'd like to learn about some of the playing rules of the game of modal counterpoint (try thinking of it as a game!), check out this excellent tutorial:
If you'd like to learn more about modes and how to improvise and play by ear on the harp.  I highly recommend Christina Tourin's "Creative Harping" series. Each video only costs about as much as a private harp lesson and what you'll learn will be worth so much more!

2016: New horizons

I made a little promise to myself to blog more frequently this year. There's been quite a lot going on the past few years as I completed the Harp for Healing program and began the International Harp Therapy Program. I also completed my 200-hour yoga teacher training with Hart Lazer.
All this wonderful education has given me more thoughts to share than ever before, and I've written a couple of articles for the Room 217 Foundation and the Harp Therapy Journal that I'll be posting here as soon as they are published.
I have continued to teach workshops around Montreal on sacred sound, healing music, chant, yoga, massage, relaxation and crystal therapy, both solo and with extraordinary collaborators. I've been using Facebook/e-mail to share these events rather than posting them to the blog because I found this to be more expeditious in terms of reaching people. Please get in touch if you'd like to be on the invite list.
Finally, I have been doing bedside work in palliative care for nearly a year now, at Le Phare Enfants et Familles, an extraordinary children's palliative care centre in Montréal's Angus Shops neighbourhood, and at CHUM Hôtel-Dieu, a historic Catholic hospital between the Plateau and downtown. Each institution and its wonderful staff and patients deserves a blog post of its own, and I'm starting off this new year feeling very blessed to be fulfilling my longtime dream of using music to soothe anxiety and relieve suffering.