Feature photo: Harpist Anita Leschied photographed performing at a wedding at Willistead Manor. Photo courtesy of Emma Davidson / KaritasPhotography.com.
ANITA LESCHIED Hitting The Right Notes For Healing Harp Therapy
Follow your heart — such simple yet sound advice from local entrepreneur Anita Leschied. And her heart led her straight to the harp!
Leschied has been a professional harpist in the community since 1976 when she joined the Windsor Symphony Orchestra and went into business under her own name. Since then, she’s become a harp therapy practitioner, harp teacher and vibroacoustic harp therapy practitioner. She now teaches harp to adult and youth students at her studio in Woodslee under the handle, Harp On (HarpOn.net), as well as once a week at Julia’s Art Studio in Walkerville in Windsor.
Since moving to Woodslee in 2001, she has performed at many community events, Remembrance Day services, weddings (using a pedal harp) and more. She has also offered bedside vigils at
Hospices (using a Celtic or lever harp) and hospitals, and she is known at long-term care facilities (using a lap harp) as simply “the harp lady.” When Leschied’s husband’s parents utilized Hospice services in the 1990s, she took her harp to their bedsides and shared their favourite music on harp at their memorial services.
“I also had the chance to play for my own father at our family farmhouse in Midland, Michigan, a week before he died,” explains Leschied. “He sat up and watched me play for two hours.”
It was after these experiences with family that Leschied realized something — while she had studied harp as an instrument, she knew she needed to study harp as a healing instrument and start utilizing it for that purpose.
“After playing for my father and my husband’s parents, I knew there was something special about the instrument I had chosen and I followed other harpists to train in the International Harp Therapy Program out of the San Diego area,” recalls Leschied. “The founder, Tina Tourin, confirmed many of the things which I was already doing, but also guided me in how to play without music, to improvise, to alter the music to the patients’ mood, breathing rhythm, their resonant tone, to bring harmony to the room and being aware of the key or tone of machines or sounds within the room.”
Story continues here XX Files Biz X magazine May 2017