Learning Music Teaches Us Life Lessons

What comes to mind when you hear the word harp?

Let me guess - angels, heaven, relaxation, spa music, meditation - am I close?

That’s what a lot of people think, including one of my student’s therapists. He was so stuck in that paradigm he couldn’t understand when she told him she gets angry and pissed when she plays the harp. “You’re supposed to be calm and relaxed when you play” he told her. “Not with my teacher” she tried to explain.

There are as many reasons to play music as there are people who play.

For Karen, something deep inside her knew that playing harp would ease her migraines, lessen her emotional and physical pain, and help her move through the fears that kept her trapped. The fact that she was a grandmother who had never played music didn’t stop her from reaching out and calling to set up her first lesson. From day one, we both knew her harp lessons were really life lessons.

We talk weekly about Vibrational Awareness, how everything is energy, and I share techniques and insights from The ORIGIN Methodology of Self-Discovery. One of our first conversations sounded like this:

“Imagine you’re a harp and all of your thoughts, experiences, feelings, ideas, fears, concerns, joys, everything is represented as a different string. I know, that’s one big harp!

Now imagine that something really painful or scary happened to you, or maybe it was something really exciting and overwhelming. Picture that experience as one of the strings on the harp. Because it’s something that either scared or overwhelmed you, you don’t like to play that string any more. In fact, you’d like to take that string off the harp and forget about it forever. However, that’s not how this harp works and you have to keep the string.

You go along for days, months, maybe even years not playing that string, trying to avoid remembering that really scary or overwhelming thing that happened. Then one day you accidentally pluck that string and all of those memories from that time come flooding back into your mind. What do you do with all of those feelings, emotions, pictures and memories in your head?”

The concept we’re metaphorically talking about is sympathetic resonance – when two objects of the same frequency come into close proximity to each other, they create a resonant system or begin to sing together. In other words, the energy activates and begins to move.

This is exactly what happens for Karen. When she plays harp, the vibrations of the strings begin to sympathetically resonate emotional energy within her. It happens most often with basic exercises because once her fingers have the pattern, her mind relaxes a bit and the energy starts to move. It’s magical to witness how her fingers are intimately connected to her brain patterns. Let me share an example of how this manifests.

Last week she was working on a 4 finger pattern moving from 4, 3, 2, then the thumb (with harp, we only use 4 fingers because the pinky finger is too short to reach the strings). This pattern called for the replacement of the 3rd finger prior to playing the thumb. Yes, the middle finger needed to extend. She tried and tried to isolate the 3rd finger but the 4th finger kept extending.

I immediately saw what was happening, stopped her, and asked, “OK, Karen, who do you want to say Fu@#k You to?” We laughed because we both knew that was the hook-up. I “flipped her off” to mirror the hand position and literally began yelling, “Fu#@k You!” over and over again. Her face turned red, her hands tried to move into position, and the energy really started to flow – like a volcano. Welcome to Karen’s harp/life lesson!

This honest sacred space we create each week allowed for our passionate duet of “Fu@#k You’s” to fill the house with free abandonment; no judgment, no resentment, no fear of reciprocation, only the energy of repressed emotions freely given the opportunity to express in a safe and loving environment.

Eventually her hands moved into position as she found her voice; fear, anger, resentment, laughter and relief simultaneously moved through this courageous woman. The desire to experience life fully and express her love unconditionally inspires her to travel into her fears with such grace.

We returned to the harp exercise and voila, her fingers moved with confidence, strength, and conviction through each pattern; which was not a surprise because this type of profound connection happens almost weekly.

Music is a magical reflection of life; especially when we’re able to perceive beyond the obvious. It’s a joy, blessing, and honor to walk into unknown waters with my students as they rediscover and remember their wholeness, harmony, compassion and self-love.

-Amy Camie - MU Columnist

*Amy Camie is a spiritual harpist, passionate speaker, gifted recording artist, intuitive composer, inspirational writer and Co-Initiator of The ORIGIN Methodology of Self-Discovery. Her strong classical background allows the music from her soul to flow freely through her fingertips creating highways of sound that awaken memories of wholeness, harmony, compassion, and love.

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