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Anam Cara Care Centre         
Reverie Harp Heart & Soul Healing   

Soul Friend  Support - Empowering  Good Grief Care particularly for those bereaved by suicide ...but not limited to                                                 

Reverie Harp – a ‘musical massage’

Registered Music Therapist Keryn Squires, discusses the use of the Reverie Harp in hospices and other medical settings.    (Te Omanga  recently had a 2nd Reverie Harp donated to them)

A growing number of hospices around New Zealand, have in their ‘tool box’ of care options a small instrument called the Reverie Harp. This harp was purpose designed for heart and soul care to be used by anyone – patient, family member, or staff.  Quite unique. 

With no or very little musical experience, a professional worker may find this beautiful instrument a practical and valuable resource.

Designed and invented by Australian music thanatologist Peter Roberts in collaboration with  two instrument makers in Stillwater USA, the Reverie Harp has become a very useful tool for Music Therapists, those in Spiritual Care, Nursing Home Care-givers and other Therapeutic Professionals in many modalities.

It is also found in the family home for personal heart and soul care as well. Children love it!

"I am a practicing Music Therapist at two hospices in New Zealand who have Reverie Harps.

I am not trained in the use of playing this instrument but the Reverie Harp sounds soothingly pleasant to the ear no matter how I play it.

The instrument has a warm, full rich harmonising sound and is beautifully and skillfully crafted.

I am also able to easily tune it by ear.

I personally find holding and playing a Reverie Harp a very calming and peaceful experience.

What is it about this instrument that makes it so inviting for use in medical settings?

  • the Reverie Harp is small, the shape is comfortable to hold, it is lightweight.

  • it can sit comfortably on a lap whether the player is sitting or lying down.

  • you can feel the vibrations through the wood.

  • the pentatonic tuning means that anything played on it sounds beautiful, soothing.

  • there is no wrong way to play it.  It is played intuitively.

  • it is designed for heart and soul care and is particularly helpful for anyone grieving, in crisis or                 traumatised for any reason at all.

How can the Reverie Harp assist people?

  • The soft harmonising sounds and vibration of the instrument may calm people who are not                     responding to other calming techniques.

  • when language is no longer an effective way to reach someone, the music my reach them and               connect them lovingly to themselves and others present.

  • people who have developmental or cognitive difficulties, are able to play the Reverie Harp with or         without assistance.

  • Scientific studies of Peter Roberts work by Deakon University, Melbourne  Australia
          (three published studies) show when live thereaputic harp music is played it affects;

    • Higher blood oxygen saturations

    • Stabalising of blood pressure

    • Calming, relaxing state of being on all levels

Margaret Stephens, who is a contracted Therapeutic Harp Practitioner at the Norris Cotton Cancer Center in Lebanon, offers people 'musical massages' with the Reverie Harp.
She says people like the vibrations of the instrument when it is placed on their body.

Ann Bergstrom, Chaplain, says “I’m finding that when I bring the Reverie Harp in to a ‘one to one’’s another vehicle to open up a person’s heart.”


Last week, a patient I worked with was using the Reverie Harp in her hospice room every day.
A message was sent to me later that week by another staff member:

“’D’ died on Friday and the whole family, especially her son in law, played the harp to her in the evenings, which she loved.”


I am reminded of a quote from Francis Bacon in The Advancement Of Learning:

“The poets did well to conjoin music and medicine...because the office of medicine is but to tune the curious harp of man's body and reduce it to harmony.”


Reverie Harp brings our human body / being to harmony.  On all levels.


It is my pleasure to write this testimony for Gwynna Whiteowl, Grief Doula and Founder of Anam Cara Care Centre Reverie Harp Heart & Soul Healing.

Gwynna is introducing this new paradigm of heart & soul care into every community throughout NZ  to effect positive change in every area as human beings we suffer crisis, trauma, loss and grief.  

One of the goals is to have Reverie Harp available in every Hospice of Aoteroa which I fully support based upon my professional experience.

Gwynna is the NZ Agent for RobertsMusicAU who fully supports her mission to ‘make a change’  in how we support people suffering for what ever reason in our communities.


If you are reading this testimonial I encourage you to attend a public meeting of introduction to ACCC and Reverie Harp Heart & Soul Healing being held around New Zealand to learn the history and the future of this unique instrument and how you may be able to enrich your practice and care of people in your field of healing."


Kind regards,


Keryn Squires

Music Therapist

Te Omanga Hospice

     Te Whare Manaaki Tangata

136 Woburn Road

PO Box 30 814 Lower Hutt

Phone:   04  569 7921          

Email:     [email protected]


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