Uniting music, ministry & healthcare to bring beauty to the soul Music Care is live acoustic music shared through harp and voice for people with health challenges. It is provided by Susan Carol, a Certified Clinical Musician (CCM)/Harp & Voice, as a compassionate outreach ministry of St. Paul’s to offer the love and care of Christ through music. It is an art based on the science of sound, tailored to meet the person’s immediate physical, emotional and spiritual needs.
Healing can more easily occur when peace and harmony exist within a person. Live music can help people reach a relaxed state in body, mind and spirit, as well as benefit their loved ones and caregivers. The calming music of harp and voice can create a sacred space to ease fear and offer beauty and loving presence. Because this music is live, it serves the needs in the moment, and conveys a sense of serenity and consolation.
Susan Carol is a professional vocalist and harpist, with a long history as a church musician and soloist. She is certified as a Clinical Musician through Harp for Healing/Clinical Musician Certification Program (CMCP), which is accredited by the National Standards Board for Therapeutic Musicians (NSBTM.org). She is trained in the philosophy and practicum of the clinical science and art of healthcare music. Susan’s Celtic Harp is portable and travels into hospitals, homes, continuing care retirement and skilled care communities.
Susan is passionate about the role of the harp and voice in offering beauty through music to enhance quality of life and care. The ministry of playing the harp and singing for another person is rooted in prayer, like prayer through music. It is an experience of worship, communion, unique relationship and blessing.
“Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God.” ~ 2 Corinthians 1:3-4
Live acoustic music shared through Harp and Voice
- Contains richer spectrum of tones, vibrations and harmonics (versus recorded music which is compressed and digitized)
- Resonates in the room and in the human body, causing vibrations to be received in a stronger physical way than recorded music, offering greater health benefit to the person
- Can be specifically tailored to the individual person, and immediately modified based on their moment-to-moment physical, emotional and spiritual needs
- Offers the compassionate presence and intention of the clinical musician
- Surrounds fragile and vulnerable persons with beauty, comfort and peace
Properties of the Celtic Harp
- Vibrating strings deliver rich, resonant tones and intricate harmonics that help disorganized cells to entrain
- Beneficial textures and harmonies are produced when a skilled, trained therapeutic harpist activates the strings
- Many strings and a large resonating chamber (sound box) allow for a wide range of sound
- Sound stream delivers warm, non-invasive tonal quality; continually dissolving in the space
- Possesses sympathetic resonance – when a string is plucked, other specific tones/overtones ring in “sympathy”
- Tones possess the longest sustain phase of any instrument; can be heard/felt by hearing-impaired persons
- Even in a sleeping/semi-conscious state, a tangible physical benefit can be received from harp music
- “Heart” tones can calm as well as energize the listener, affecting physical, mental, emotional and spiritual well-being
- Portable, fits in limited spaces (hospital rooms, long-term healthcare residences, homes)
Properties of the Singing Voice
- Live vocal music provides vibration and resonance that can be beneficial to the human body
- The human voice is the first sound we hear; gentle, melodic vocalizations are uniquely comforting, similar to the effect of lullabies
- Conveys the warmth and compassionate presence of the vocalist
- Music sung in the healthcare setting is not a performance or entertainment; it is intended to be restful and service-oriented
Benefits Can Include
- Provide deep rest and tranquility – therapeutic music has been scientifically proven to increase deep breathing, which in turn increases blood flow, decreases stress, and promotes deeper sleep
- Reduce pain, anxiety and muscular tension
- Normalize blood pressure, breathing and heart rate
- Promote release of endorphins, reduce stress hormones and enhance immune response
- Aid the body’s own efforts to heal
- Enhance life for Alzheimer’s and dementia patients
- Facilitate pain relief and deeper rest in hospice and palliative care
- Comfort persons who feel isolated by health changes
- Offer peaceful life transitions (birth and dying)
- Established during COVID19 pandemic, Music Care services are able to adapt to adverse circumstances
- When visit restrictions are necessary, live music visits via FaceTime or Zoom are available
- Original YouTube recordings to supplement livestream visits are available 24/7 at Susan’s channel:
- Professional quality audio and video provided in all media platforms
- While not a replacement for in-person acoustic music visits, recipients can receive an interactive and meaningful experience in challenging times
“God uses you as a vessel to bring many to Him, to ease their loneliness and fear.
Thank you for bringing so much joy and beauty to us.”
~ Healthcare Resident’s Daughter, Westminster Canterbury Lynchburg
“My daughter often talked about your visit in the hospital. She honestly felt better afterward.
I am so grateful for you and for your support.”
~ Patient’s Mother, Centra Lynchburg General Hospital
“Your music brings people so much joy. This is exactly what we need. We don’t need as many pills if we have this.”
~ Healthcare Resident, Westminster Canterbury Lynchburg
“Susan’s Music Care visits bring life to our facility, not only in the music, but sometimes just in her presence. Susan has been able to offer a sense of peace in some of our most non-responsive residents.”
~ Activities Director, Lynchburg Health and Rehabilitation Center
Music Care received a 2017 D. A. “Woody” Brown Community Involvement Award by the Virginia Health Care Association (VHCA), category of Year-Round Public Relations program, for Susan’s harp and vocal music program provided at Westminster Canterbury Lynchburg (WCL).