Lectio Musica: The Study of Harp as a Contemplative Practice

The study of a musical instrument can be a conscious practice that integrates mind, body, and soul in a creative and transformational way.  This approach to music study involves much more than simply learning notes, repertoire, or technique; it is a learning and remembering of the innate receptivity and inspired responsivity that lives within each of us and which can emerge through the integrative impetus of music making.

Lectio Musica receives its inspiration from the monastic tradition of contemplative prayer known as Lectio Divina.  Lectio Divina, as practiced by the monks, refers to the reading and recitation of spiritual writings and combines sounding aloud with interior contemplation.  This daily practice, utilizing sound, word, and repetition, bypasses the limitations of purely linear cognition as the capacity for body memory takes the meditations of the day into the dream world of the night.  As readings were learned by heart they became so embodied within the nervous system that they informed the daily responses and creative inspirations of the monks during the day-to-day process of conversion to wholeness.

Similarly, in our process of conversion toward musical wholeness we inwardly prepare and consciously allow for the new to emerge in more fully embodied and integrated ways.  This model of looking, sounding, and listening with deep intent and focus lies at the heart of the study of music as a contemplative practice.

Is the desire and intention to play the harp a personal expression alone?  Any activity that invites relationship through the integrative wholeness of the expressive human being adds to the world.  This activity of conscious music- making changes, heals, and serves all beings in many subtle and unforeseen ways.

The contemplative musician learns to move and live with lyrical ease within ever-expanding landscapes of sound and interior spaciousness.

Contemplative Music Studies

The study and performance of music as a contemplative practice lies at the heart of  this approach to musicianship. Through Lectio Musica, ongoing Tutorials and Harp Intensives are offered in individual or group formats that explore the unique phenomenology of the harp.  A musical being and technique that truly becomes an experience of wholeness and beauty is facilitated as the musician’s activity of forming sound spirals back to continue the ongoing growth and transformation of the musician and musician-clinician.

Harp Tutorials

Harp Tutorials and Intensives:  Each harp tutorial is individualized to the needs and interests of the student.  Individual and group lessons are offered for 1-5 consecutive days divided between 1-4 hour daily sessions that may include time for rest and practice between sessions.  Approached as a contemplative activity, the flow of the day’s lesson times is individually arranged to best support the student’s learning and assimilation.  Practice facilities and a harp are provided for those traveling from a distance.  Inexpensive accomodations are available.

As each individual session is tailored to the particular needs and skill level of the student, all levels from beginning to advanced are invited to register for individual lessons.

Harp Sinfonia

Members of the Harp Sinfonia have lessons following the same format as the individual harp sessions.  The ensemble experience of mutually sculpting a musical phrase, through coordinating movements and breath while creatively “listening the phrase” together, offers support and integration to both the aspiring and experienced harpist.   The musician comes to experience the creative resonance of the ensemble as a living musical organism.

Prerequisite: Previous harp study or current study with a teacher of your choice. All levels accepted.

Supportive Tutorials

Supportive tutorials in harp and contemplative musicianship are offered to students enrolled in the Chalice of Repose Contemplative Musicianship program or Music-Thanatology Certification program. Contemplative Musicianship is one of  two programs pioneered by Therese Schroeder-Sheker of the Chalice of Repose Project. (www.chaliceofrepose.org)