Christina’s Summer Blog – 2019

70th Birthday Celebration!

A summer of LOVE!

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IMG_E4514  My summer started on May 28th when I arrived in Dublin, Ireland. Along with my friend and CTHP (Certified Therapeutic Harp Practitioner), Esther Hackett, we took the greetings of the visually impaired (VI) teens – that I had been teaching harp to at the Braille Institute of San Diego – to the VI students of the St. Joseph’s School for the Blind through the Childvision Association. The teachers were working so lovingly with these children who are amazing musicians! It only reminded me how much I am loving bringing the harp to the teens here at home.




Both of these organizations will be receiving a small harp for their students through our 501C3 non-profit, ANGEL HARPS. Thank you to all who donated both here and abroad. You have helped create a world of LOVE of music for these children. We would like to now invite folks to donate to now include our VI Harp Pen-Pal program to other states and countries who have heard about our program. Here is a short video of our San Diego group learning the 12-Bar Blues Bass for the first time.


 After Dublin I headed West to the Shannon area where I reveled in the beauty of Irish sunsets, hot soups with brown soda bread and the scent of new-mown hay in the surrounding fields. I spent my days performing with my friend Jyoshna La Trobe at the Mountshannon Summer Festival, and playing both at the Portumna Castle and at the Torc Waterfall for tourist visitors. I LOVE Ireland!


Here is a song that Jyoshna La Trobe and I performed
title?  of course! LOVE, LOVE, LOVE

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2019-06-21 16.31.33Since these were my ideal places to practice, keep my fingers limber and to do a bit of on the spot composing, it seemed like good places to share and come up with new tunes. I was in LOVE with the scent of all the various flowers at Portumna Castle, especially the Sweet Peas that remind me so much of my parents as Dad would always bring fragrant ones to my mother.


20190606_162421I took an amazing trip to Bulgaria and met up with dear friend Lidia Stankulova and her parents. Together we traveled to Kazanlak where I was able to fulfill my dream of being bathed in the Valley of Roses. After a tragic assault that brought me very close to death about a decade ago, I had been transported to the Valley of Roses with healing techniques of my colleagues Rodney Schwan and Dana Mosser. I knew then that I would visit this amazing place and sure enough, Lidia entered into my life and we had the grandest time. Here is a fun movie with Bulgarian music that Lidia put together for my birthday!  It is indeed the most delicate fragrant city in the world! Our trip to the roses was filled with LOVE!  Thank you Lidia, Diana and Volodia!

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Together Lidia and harp Instructor Angela Madjarova gathered together harp students and invited me to talk about therapeutic harp.  We are very excited to bring the Int’l Harp Therapy Program to Bulgaria as an Affiliate Program!


Back to Ireland, we had a lovely workshop hosted by Esther Hackett in Kilkenny. What fun it was to stay with Esther, Jimmy and her mum. Watching the humor and laughter between Esther and Jimmy is so much fun and full of LOVE! What a couple!

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I also had lots of fun playing at a top-notch seisiún.


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Then Betty joined me for a week and we enjoyed a boat trip and ride through the Irish countryside to the Burren.  At the end of my month and half, I knew that I would be returning hopefully each year to Ireland and the Celtic Isles for I had found my haven for respite!

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Huge gratitude and great memories go to my dear friend Roxanne Leonard is is one of our CHTP graduates. We enjoyed the herbs and veggies from her garden and had marvelous conversations. She organized a beautiful Eurhythmy Production at the Steiner school in Tuamgraney, County Clare that has stayed with me ever since. And the a capella chorus that she sings in was spectacular. Thank you Roxanne!

Next year, I will return to Ireland with friends prior to our IHTP (International Harp Therapy Program 2020 Conference in IONA, Scotland!  We have 5 open spaces if anyone is interested. (or you may think about it and join our waiting list). INFO HERE.
I flew off to Germany with my harp and heavy suitcases! Gotta figure this one out for the future for sure!  I arrived at the superb Butterfly (Vlindertuin) Retreat Center in Heythuysen, NL for our opening days for our Prep students, and then the arrival of our Level 1 and Level 2 students.

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My dear “adopted” singer son – Andrea Salvatore arrived from teaching our AYUDH (teens who follow the hugging saint – Amma)  in Germany and we offered a concert in Heythysen for the community. I had fun performing with Margaret Forrest as we clipped through the Irish Jig – Off She Goes!

AT.NL                    Off She Goes:

Off She Goes






Here is the LINK to the Concert for LOVE


Every year we have the most fantastic group of students who become life long friends from around Europe!  This next coming year – July 2020, we will meet in Glastonbury, England where the vision of the Int’l Harp Therapy Program began back in 1993! This will be the training for the European Affiliate Programs including the UK, Netherlands, Belgium, Italy, France, Ireland and Scandanavia and other countries.  I am hoping to meet you there if this is to be your year!  We will meet at the Daisy Center for our two trainings – Level 1 and Level 2.  Students will be asked to book their own BnB’s in the Glastonbury area as there are many options. Notice the white harp in the Angel room of the Daisy Center. It is a fantastic place for courses and retreats!

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IMG_E7862This is a good place to mention and direct anyone interested to the future of the IHTP Program. As we reach the year 2020 and the vision that I was given in early 1990’s comes to fruition, I am in the process of turning the program over to our wonderful leaders of our affiliate programs. In a nutshell, we have 5 committed Affiliate programs with 7 more interested to run the program in the future. What an amazing journey this has been. It is a vision that became a reality that has touched so many people in so many hospitals and hospices! I have had the most incredible teams of people working in many countries pulling this mission together and to all of them, I send my deepest gratitude and LOVE! Thank you. Just to mention that our Professional days were graced by the superb union of Alix Colin’s music with that of Daniel Perret. I highly recommend if you are interested in Music and Energy that you click on his name above and it will take you to his website. He is a harp healer and works with the energies of nature. This was an amazing workshop with the two of them providing music of which was totally exquisite!


2019-08-12 09.19.37From the Netherlands, I packed up my bags again in the unrelenting heat. Made it back to Frankfurt by train and then the nightmare began. No sooner did we get to Mannheim, the train stopped. Too many people they said. Mind you, this is on the hottest day ever recorded in Europe. The train had too many people sitting on the floors and they said it simply could not move until the weight had been distributed. So, many were sent to the first class where there were more seats available. However, as we were traveling the tracks knowing that we were already in danger of being overcrowded, the AC failed. And the windows were stationery with no way to get air into the cars. I could not help but think what it was like for those hoarded up and sent off to camps back in the 40’s. My heart bled inside experiencing what many had suffered. I took it upon myself to walk the entire length of the train. People were fainting, some were sprawled out in the aisles to be as low to the floor as possible. The attendant was stepping over people to offer bottles of water to people. I went back to my seat – no where was there any air. I had a small fan and pulled it out to share with my dripping wet seat mate but the glances from everyone riding backwards at us was so pathetic that I just turned it off and figured that having a fan was cruel and simply could not handle the guilt of having a wee bit of comfort while others were barely breathing. Finally we arrived at the Basel train station. While again, it was the hottest day ever, when those car doors opened, it felt like a refreshing breeze of fresh air meeting us. The days continued to be very hot as I was the guest of my dear friends, Ali and Monty Herron at their delightful French home in the wine country of France. The AC was very much welcomed!


2019-07-31 14.16.24-1The next train ride was indeed long and took me across France to St. Malo, Brittany.  Many kudos to both Pascale Pauchette and Tobi Martin for the lovely time they set for me to meet the harp players, and to get to know the area. It was a very interesting place to vist with lots of history.

During my long train rides, I was engrossed in a book called Illuminations: A Novel of Hildegard von Bingen by Mary Sharratt to the point of almost reliving her life. I had been to her museum and to the cloister monastery in Bingen, Germany on a previous visit. But this book was like stepping into her life. After a most hideous childhood and being cloistered for decades because of the visions she had as a child, she became one of the most influential women in history. Born in 1098, she was finally canonized as a Saint by the Roman Catholic Church in 2012 by Pope Benedict XVI.  The reason I mention this book is because, I had the opportunity both last summer and this summer to visit many cathedrals from the 1200’s in France. By the time of Hildegard’s passing, she was very well known for her healing techniques in all of these cathedrals. Therefore, for the week I enjoyed my Cathedral journeys.

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67698287_10156245613236932_3308717477692702720_o 67466849_10156245613081932_4296394307474030592_oI had the opportunity to jump on the train (luckily I had a 10 day Eurail pass!) and went to Le Mans to visit Isabelle Guettres. We spent the evening watching a projected light show on the face of the St. Julien Cathedral and the next morning before I needed to return to St. Malo, we were able to go back to the Cathedral and play harp in the Nave where there are 47 beautifully painted angels playing musical instruments on the ceiling of the chapel.  Here is another mini collage of the beautiful paintings. What a treat it was to meet up with her again. For my IHTP students, you might want to check out her Therapeutic Harp website!


I was back to St. Malo in time for the workshops and concerts which were a lot of fun with interesting folk. My French is getting so much better!  I met Anne le Noel who has invited me to teach at the Harpes Autour Du Mont next August at Mont St. Michel, Normandy. That lined up with going to the Lascaux Caves and meeting with Sound/Harp Healer Daniel Perret (who presented at our Professional Days in NL) will be a very exciting trip. In addition I look forward to breaking ground in Sweden with Amir Seifouri for the Scandinavian/Finland IHTP Affiliate Program in 2020.



Oxytocin seemed to be the topic of interest while in St. Malo. While reviewing a research paper by Sonia Grace on the effects of Oxytocin during lactation during pregnancy and administered to a IMG_E8910newborn with the theory that if one receives adequate amounts of oxytocin (also know as the Love chemical), then a child would grow up in a healthy emotional state. The dissertation paper for her Social Worker degree was very interesting because it was exploring if the perpetrators of recent mass killings may be due to lack of oxytocin. This theory was put forth to explore the possibilities of working musically with the the harp for moms-to-be and pregnant moms with both music and foods. In other words, to create a healthier environment. Coupled with the fact that I have sent off a proposal to create harp circles in various countries as pilot projects through a large baby oriented company, the idea of boosting oxytocin levels became the key topic of conversation over lunch breaks. Of course, this led to how one can increase their level of this chemical with foods.  Little did I know that certain foods  boost oxytocin like eggs, bananas, peppers – as well as watermelon, spinach, figs, avocados and green tea!  Since LOVE was in the air and I could witness it with my hosts, I could not help but create a thank you card to them depicting their lovely interactions both musically and personally! Thank you for inviting me into your abode AND teaching me about the looper!  That was so fun to create layers of music with harp rhythms!


The next part of my trip was a treasure. Each time I get together with Esther Mirjam Griffoen (IHTP people will know her for her superb skills at Storytelling with the harp), it always turns out to be fascinating. We take walks in the woods – hug the trees, find the oldest trees, go to Carnac and other stone circles in Brittany and get into amazing conversations about the Emerald Tablet! This time, I had 4 days with her where she recorded the beautiful medieval piece Ar Paradoz (In Paradise) which I put in the #10 lesson of my Tutorials.  Here are a few pictures from our excursions.  She lives by the sea in Baden however, she has a studio apartment in Vannes. She knew where the best croissants were made and indeed they were!



With LOVE in the air, it was time to move on through the city of Love (Paris) and head back to Ali and Monty’s to fetch my heavy suitcases in Culles des Roches (nr Taize, Beaune and Cluney) in the wine country. Their adorable home and beautiful renovations that please an eye like mine were totally appreciated. Taking them out to a lovely dinner as a huge thank you, I would dare say I had the best soup of my life!  It was a green tomato gazpacho that questioningly was adorned with a dollop of lemon sorbet and a spring of thyme. Never in my life had I tasted something so delectable! The air of love continued to prevail watching the devotion that Monty and Ali showed each other!

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Back on the road again – or rather tracks – I weaved my way through the grand French Alps into Italy to spend a night in Turin (aka Torino). A beautiful small hotel near the train station provided me with all kinds of beautiful ideas for decorating my dream building of the White Rose Library for the future. Each day, my dream plans would formulate based on 3 pictures that I chanced upon one day while surfing the net. It amazes me when traveling the trains how one’s imagination can hope and plan for future activities. Whether or not they materialize, it is always fun to have those dreams.  Here is my dream of the White Rose Library that will someday house all the literature we can find and portfolios of students on the subject of Sound Healing and Therapeutic Harp!

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Finally, I arrive in Rome – the Eternal City. I’m met by singer-son – Andrea and whisked immediately to the best place to experience Italian foods!  Yum!  Another very hot day but we made our way over to the Marriott Hotel where the World Conference of AMORC was taking place. I was invited to provide harp music for the meditations for this very special Ancient Mystery School of Egypt. 2500 people living their lives for LOVE were present. The lectures were ever so inspiring. The history fascinating and the future ever so hopeful. It was a week of solid beauty, ritual and LOVE. On the last evening, Andrea, our newly discovered guitar player Samuele and I offered our best for the CONCERT FOR LOVE. To say that our music was well received with standing ovations was not as powerful as the people standing before us with their hands on their hearts and tears running down their faces. It will be engraved in my heart as one of the most powerful performances I have ever given. And to think that because we were unable to locate an available concert sized harp, that I chanced it and played it on my small Blevins half wood and half carbon fiber 28 stringed harp, truly worked with the addition of Samuele’s guitar picking up bass lines. This was truly a MUSIC IS LOVE evening!

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Saying goodbye to Europe pulled at my heart strings. But I know that so far, I have been able to return each year to a place that adores and encourages musical endeavors. It is a place of restoration and respite for this soul of mine. Each year, amazing new ideas bubble up whether from a labyrinth walk or a crazy conversation about eggs and bananas!

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IMG_9866I got home 2 days before my 5 interns from Hong Kong arrived and 1 from Ohio. We were all pretty jet lagged but we began the week with some of them participating in a concert on top of the Volcan Mountain range. I was awarded the Rubenson Endowment Scholarship to compose music this summer and present it in concert to those people who are working hard to preserve the mountain range from being developed in the San Diego area.  After visiting the top of the mountain I had decided my theme would be THE FOREST based on the area at the top of the mountain called Serenity.  We managed to get 9 harps including my large gold pedal harp to the top of the mountain. I interspersed my new compositions along with other songs that fit into IMG_9874the them of the The Forest and times of the year.  I thank the Volcan Preservation Committee and the Rubenson’s for choosing me as their musician recipient for this year. The event was very special to be playing out in nature and hearing the birds sing along with tunes. Even the gnats flying around our heads were drawn to the music much to our trying to shoo them away.  Here is a picture of what it felt like trying to play with them in our faces, eyes and mouths!  I have decided to compose a song called the GNAT JITTERBUG!   As a follow up, I provided the same concert material to the public at the Julian Library where interest was high to offer beginning harp lessons this autumn season.

Here is a recording of the Volcan Mountain CONCERT













Christina Lo
Brenda Choi
Kathy Chan
Julie Parsell
Celia Lau
Candy Tse

Interns for Therapeutic Harp Training
(Stay tuned for next group in Nov.!)

That brings me now to sitting here before you writing of my recollections of this amazing summer. I have been so fortunate to have my health back, to be able to put one foot in front of the other again relatively pain-free. I count my blessings but most of all I am grateful for all the LOVE that prevails around us. It is there for accepting it and being part of it and offering it. That, I wish for all the people of the world!

Light, Life, Love,

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