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Shawnmarie Stanton

Therapeutic Music Practitioner

Music has always been an integral part of my being.  I started playing the piano at the age of seven and from there went on to play the saxophone, a variety of recorders, the ukulele, and a little (truly a little) bit of guitar.  Through all of this, I was also singing my heart out whenever the opportunity arose.  But my musical life took a major turn in 2004 when I found myself on a journey that would lead me to the harp. 

It began as a whisper from my heart telling me to travel to California to take a workshop about home funerals and the natural death care movement.  Rather than question it, I listened and a few weeks later I was in Santa Rosa attending a retreat with a group of people who had also felt the call. Through that training and the people I met there, I learned that various groups of musicians were training others to use music as a palliative measure for the dying and that many of the musicians played the folk harp.  I immediately knew that I had to learn to play the harp to bring healing music to the bedside of those who are ill or dying.

While it may sound simple on paper, the journey itself was much more involved and circuitous. After becoming immersed in the natural death care movement, I spent a year studying with the Chalice of Repose Project to earn a Certificate in Contemplative Musicianship. During those studies, I ordered my first harp without ever having even touched one, but I never questioned that decision.  Once that harp arrived, I embarked upon the musical adventure of a lifetime.  It has allowed me to nurture my own approach to making music and unlocked the songwriter in my soul.  I spent several years developing my relationship with my original harp, as well as several additional harps along the way, before I felt ready to finally move on to the next step -- actually training to bring music to the bedside.

I have completed 80 hours of classroom training with the Music for Healing and Transition Program and I'm now ready to share therapeutic music anywhere I can.

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