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Meet Our Program Mentors

Each student is assigned a mentor for the Program.  The mentors are graduates of our Program, have a wealth of experience as therapeutic musicians, and are dedicated to helping our students be successful.  Because they have been through our Program, they understand the benefits and challenges of independent study and are able to assist students in moving through their studies.  Mentors tailor their approach to each student, and may lend support as experts, cheerleaders, someone to share with, and/or organizational coaches, depending on the needs and style of each student.

Please click on a mentor's name to view a picture and short bio. While all of our mentors are shown with their harps, their collective musical journeys have included voice, flute, hammer dulcimer, piano, violin, viola, clarinet, hand bells and guitar; so they are able to help both harpists and non-harpists develop  their therapeutic music styles and repertoire.

  • Mary Stevens, MT

    Mary Stevens, MT

    Mary, the program manager for Harp for Healing, is certified through our program, IHTP and and VAHT and has been a church musician, private music instructor, hospice volunteer, and piano tuner. She provides therapeutic music, including Vibroacoustic Harp Therapy, to local hospice patients and the residents of two care facilities in north central Montana. She serves on the National Standards Board for Therapeutic Musicians (NSBTM).

    Mary plays several instruments including harp, piano, organ, guitar, flute, marimba, and handbells. The Montana Health Care Association honored her as Montana’s “Volunteer of the Year” for 2011.

    Mary and her husband Rick have two grown daughters, two granddaughters, three grand-dogs and one grand-cat.  Her idea of fun is to sight-transpose a hymn into all twelve keys on the piano or play a different scale in each hand at the same time.

  • Alice Freeman, WY

    Alice Freeman, WY

    Alice is a graduate of our program as well as having completed certification with the International Healing Musicians Program and the International Harp Therapy Program. She worked as a therapeutic musician in a variety of places from 2008-2015 and has been a Program Mentor since 2012. Alice plays a number of musical instruments including harp, hammered dulcimer, piano, violin, viola and guitar.

    Alice has lived in Wyoming for over 40 years, teaches harp and hammered dulcimer and serves on the Board of Directors for both the NSBTM (National Standards Board for Therapeutic Musicians) and the ISFHC (International Society of Folk Harpers and Craftsmen). She performs for weddings, receptions and other events and played with the local symphony for 15 years. Alice enjoys photography, traveling with her husband, outdoor winter sports and working on computers. Her website is www.windandroses.com.

  • Arlis Dowding, NE

    Arlis Dowding, NE

    Arlis Dowding is a Certified Clinical Musician, and has the honor to play for patients at the Josie Harper Hospice House on behalf of the Omaha Music Chamber Society, for 2 hospital systems, and has played for Reiki/Yoga practitioners. Arlis is also a freelance performer.  She and her husband, Greg hike, swim, and love road trips. They reside in Omaha, Nebraska and have a son who lives in Texas. 

  • Dee Sweeney, CO

    Dee Sweeney, CO

    Dee is the former director of the Clinical Musician Certification Program, a graduate of the program and a member and former Chair of the National Standards Board for Therapeutic Musicians.  She brings her experience as a clinical musician, life-long musician, trainer and learning strategies specialist to her role as a program mentor. 

    Dee loves introducing adults to the joys and freedom of playing simply, improvising and playing without notation.  On a personal note, she enjoys gardening and riding her recumbent trike.

  • Francesca Durham, Canada

    Francesca Durham, Canada

    Francesca is a harpist and is certified through our program and IHTP. In her practice she serves palliative care and hospice patients, those suffering from chronic pain, and clients challenged by Alzheimer’s, MS, Cancer and Stroke.  Francesca develops and offers recreational and therapeutic harp care programs supporting women’s personal development.  She is a Neurolinguistic Practitioner and worked in HR for 17 years.

    Francesca is a writer and has published two books.  She has a passion for color, and when not working, she is chasing her 4lb. Yorkie, Gracie at her home in Ontario, CN.

  • Isabelle Guettres, France

    Isabelle Guettres, France

    Isabelle, the European contact for the Harp for Healing program, is a graduate of our program and is a clinical psychologist.  She began playing the harp as an adult, fulfilling a childhood dream.  Isabelle became interested in the field of therapeutic music as a result of noticing the soothing effect of her music on both herself and her rescued pets.  She is a harp-therapist in palliative care unit and oncology ward.

    She has a private practice in which she offers meditation and relaxation sessions with live therapeutic harp music to help people deal with the everyday stresses of life.  Isabelle lives in France and hopes to help expand the awareness and use of therapeutic music in that country.

    Her website iswww.harpe-therapie.com.

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  • Judy Friesem, WA

    Judy Friesem, WA

    Judy plays flute, harp, and guitar. She started playing harp a few years ago after her husband survived a stroke that left him sensitive to sound and flute was too shrill. Finding that harp was healing for both of them, she decided to delve into therapeutic music. She is a Certified Clinical Musician and is finding work in skilled nursing facilities, hospice, hospitals, and private patients in NW Washington where she lives.

    Judy is also a mediator for intergenerational and cross-cultural relationships and an environmental educator, facilitating healing between people and in our relationship with the natural world.

  • Laura Goldstein, NC

    Laura Goldstein, NC

    Laura is a graduate of our program. She has a master’s degree in harp performance and loves teaching and performing, including storytelling with the harp. Her experience in therapeutic settings includes hospitals, nursing homes, and hospices; and she has taught the harp privately, at universities, the Interlochen Arts Camp, and the Jan Pennington Gray Harp Camp. .   

    She enjoys reading, calligraphy, and hiking with her husband in the beautiful North Carolina mountains. .  Her website iswww.lauragoldstein.info.

  • Lynda Friedel, WA

    Lynda Friedel, WA

    Lynda is an experienced therapeutic musician (harpist) in her local hospital’s Complementary Therapy Department and has volunteered at a local hospice care center.  She graduated from our Program in 2011, so the student perspective is fresh in her experience and will be helpful in supporting you on your journey.  On a personal note, Lynda has a home-based weaving business, teaches occasional weaving classes, and lives in Western Washington with her hubby and 2 dogs.

  • Pat Cloud, FL

    Pat Cloud, FL

    Pat is a graduate of our program and has played the piano for many years. She was busily writing original tunes when she decided to pursue the folk harp.  After seeing the harp’s effects on its listeners, she decided to seek further education on the healing effects of therapeutic music.  Pat currently volunteers at the local hospice, and finds that regardless of the client and/or family background, there are always some notes that seem to fit the current need.

     A retired School Media Specialist, Pat has a passion for research that goes hand-in-hand with finding the “right” tune for the moment. She enjoys reading, gardening, crocheting, and sharing music ideas and tunes with others. She lives with her husband in northeast Florida.

  • Verlene Schermer, CA

    Verlene Schermer, CA

    Verlene has her certification through our program. She has been playing her double strung harp at Stanford Hospital, CA, including Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital, and the Stanford Cancer Clinic since 2003. In addition to harp, she sings, plays guitar, violin, piano, and several other stringed instruments. She teaches private students in her home studio in San Jose, California, and directs and arranges for the multi-level group, The Harpers Hall Ensemble. You can access her web site at www.verlene.com for additional information about her experience, recordings, and published arrangements.

    In her time away from her music career, Verlene enjoys hiking and reading, and has recently rediscovered her love for sewing.

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