UTHN Meeting of 2-18-2020

Attending:  Peggy Cann, Keri Kammerman, Laurel Wright-Feighery, Kinsey Mitton, Chris Watts, Heidi Jaeger

Guests attending:  Gwen Soper, Laura Wall, Kelly Cann 

I. Introductions

Gwen talked about her musical background and experience and how she and Heidi ended up at the same patient’s bedside at the same time twice and other times she has felt called to sing for a friend who is ill or dying. She also sings with Peggy with the Baroque Ensemble. She is interested in continuing her work using voice at the bedside. 

Laura works for the Utah Alzheimer Association as the Foundation Director and is a new harpist. 

Kelly is Peggy’s niece through marriage and has just been accepted to the MHTP program.  We used the Orff methodology to introduce ourselves clapping out rhythms which was good practice for us all.

Peggy, Keri, Laurel, Chris and Heidi briefly introduced ourselves and experience

II. The Business of Therapeutic Music

Kinsey mentioned that CMS pays hospices more during the last two weeks of a patients life who is covered by Medicare/Medicaid. This is a good selling point for utilizing Therapeutic Harpists at the bedside as patients are transitioning.

Kinsey told us about her experience getting hired at Elevation Hospice after she earned her certification from MHTP, her negotiation for salary and how she accepted something less than what had been agreed upon and why. We also included the online discussion on the MHTP Facebook group regarding one person’s idea to get Patreon or other crowd funding methods to pay for Therapeutic Music in Assisted Living facilities.  Another contributor wrote that if nursing homes/ALFs don’t pay for this service and it is either offered as a volunteer service or paid for through another means, they will never appreciate what is being provided to them or the value of it. 

Pam Archbold sent an email differentiating offering a performance as a gift or sample of Therapeutic music versus providing Therapeutic Music to residents/patients for free. Naturally, when we Therapeutic Harpists are completing internships the exchange for the learning experience is to provide the service for free.  Therapeutic musicians are specifically trained. Once credentialed, they should be paid for providing therapeutic music services. Providing therapeutic music services at no cost undermines the perceived value of the service and the training.

Heidi shared her experience getting her first, second and third jobs at different hospices and how much and how she is paid both as an employee and as an independent contractor.  Several members work for more than one hospice and as a contractor this is perfectly acceptable.

Keri uses the harp in her work as a chaplain providing spiritual comfort where words sometimes fail us. She has left Inspiration Hospice and now works for Solstice Hospice.  She also shared her musical background with us.  She came to this group through Tamara Oswald’s invitation.  Keri also shared that she has worked for facilities owned by Kisco Corporation and they pay $60/hour for Therapeutic Harpists at their special events. 

Tristan was unable to attend but sent an email that was shared with the group reminding everyone that we all need to support each other in this work and communicate with each other to enable that support.

Laura Wall discussed her reasons for taking up the harp this year and offered a number of marketing suggestions as that is her strength and role with the Alzheimer Association.  She recommended we all subscribe to the Professional for Seniors network. To receive notifications of networking opportunities, contact Lorraine@seniorsbluebook.com and request to be on the notification list of events. Then go to those events and talk about our work. As Laura left for one of these events, she said she would be talking about us where she goes and the benefits of Therapeutic Music. The differences between Therapeutic Musicians, Music Thanatologists and Music Therapists was explained for our guests benefit.

Takeaways from the discussion:  If you’re not sure what the going rate is for Therapeutic music, ask one of us, we will share what we know and have experienced with you.

If you need help marketing yourself ask another member of the network for some pointers and practice. This is not easy for many of us but it’s a necessary skill for this field of work.  Organizations don’t know what we can do for them until we educate them.

If you are certified and looking for work (or more opportunities) share that with the UTHN members.   Many of us have contacts at facilities that may facilitate your search.  Most of us got our first jobs in this field because we knew somebody who introduced us or recommended us to the hiring agency.  

Just a reminder, some of what is shared at our gatherings is confidential and should not be repeated outside our meetings, or in our notes.

Music we have recently learned or are in the process of learning:

III. Presentations of music we are currently learning or working on

Heidi played See You Again by Charlie Puth,

Laurel played Begone From My Window, Song of Flattery and Truth, and Beloved Maiden on her wire harp,

Keri brought the sheet music for Debussy’s Premiere Arabesque which she intends to learn. 

Peggy demonstrated the use of style and its effect on a piece of music by making us guess what lovely piece she was playing.  (The Flintstones Theme song). 

IV. Book Recommendations:

Temperament: How Music Became a Battleground for the Great Minds of Western Civilization by Stuart Isacoff  or Temperament: The Idea That Solved Music’s Greatest Riddle, also by Stuart Isacoff

Imperfect Harmony by Stacy Horn

Published by

Heidi Jaeger

Therapeutic Harpist (CTHP) and Advanced Reiki Practitioner (ARP) serving Northern Utah. Currently employed by Bristol Hospice and available for presentations, demonstrations and private consultations.

What are your thoughts?