Grace Notes


A book about Tami Briggs’ most profound and deeply spiritual experiences playing the harp at the hospital and hospice bedside. Having facilitated and witnessed hundreds of harp therapy “treatments,” Tami’s anecdotal stories detail many dramatic accounts of using harp music as an integrative therapies modality. An inspirational journey into the world of comfort care, the book poignantly tells of the harp’s healing properties. The stories, selected because of their powerful impact, illustrate music’s role in the healing process. Music that is referred to throughout Grace Notes is available on CD (in the paperback book) or as a download (to support the e-book).

Ready to order? Purchase the paperback book/CD, e-book, CD download or an individual song download by selecting a product option below and add to cart.

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Book Description – Grace Notes: Reflections on the Harp and Healing book by Tami Briggs:

Grace Notes: Reflections on the Harp and Healing is a book about Tami Briggs’ most profound and deeply spiritual experiences playing the harp at the hospital and hospice bedside. Having facilitated and witnessed hundreds of harp therapy “treatments,” Tami’s anecdotal stories illustrate many dramatic accounts of using harp music as a complementary care modality.

An inspirational journey into the world of comfort care, this book poignantly tells of the harp’s healing properties. As the population ages and health care changes, Ms. Briggs offers creative ideas on how the harp and therapeutic music can change the medical environment, specifically how we experience illness and death. She weaves her personal experiences and clinical training together to:

  • Define harp therapy.
  • Explain the harp’s unique healing qualities.
  • Discuss research on the effectiveness of music and its benefits.
  • Show how music triggers memories and elicits emotional responses.
  • Suggest musical applications to optimize your well-being.
  • Describe how the harp can be used to create sacred space, facilitating a healing experience.
  • Detail how the harp can bring intimacy, depth and tenderness to the sacred experience of dying.

Table of Contents

Chapter 1: Harp Therapy
A. Inclusive Attention
B. Entrainment
C. Pain Distraction
D. Individualized Attention
Chapter 2: The Harp’s Attributes
A. Vibrations
B. Penetration
C. Relaxation
D. Comfort
E. Beauty
Chapter 3: The Art and Science
A. Vital Signs
B. Health Care Staff and Professionals
Chapter 4: Music and Wellness
A. Healing
B. Wholeness
Chapter 5: Music and Emotions
A. Love
B. Communication
C. Celebration
D. Caring
E. Calming
F. Waiting/Boredom
G. Hope
H. Fear
I. Grief
J. Family Memories
K. The Gift of Family
Chapter 6: Spirituality
A. Angels
B. Ritual
C. Magic
D. Connections
E. Intuition
F. Meditation
G. Prayer
H. Sacred Space
Chapter 7: Death and Dying
A. Perinatal Bereavement
B. Transitioning
C. Hospice
D. Saying Good-Bye
E. “Going Home”

Ready to order? Purchase the paperbook book/hardcopy CD, e-book, CD download or an individual song download by selecting a product option and add to cart (above).

What readers of Grace Notes have said…

I have had many people read parts or all of your book and they are all touched, too. It is so well put together – the chapters, the quotes, the symbolism in the pictures … BRAVO!!”

I just finished your magnificent book, and wanted to write to say ‘Job well done!’ I am so impressed how you have vastly spread harp therapy around the country, and your belief and dedication to this important work.”

Thank you for your beautiful book, Grace Notes. Ever since my daughter was born I have read to her every night as she falls asleep. Reading your book out loud to her was a special experience. It is a beautiful book and your stories are so touching. Thank you for sharing your experiences with us. What a gift! The enclosed CD is amazing, too.”

I wanted to write you a short note to thank you for writing your beautiful book, Grace Notes. You mentioned that the vibration of the harp with a patient was a help to release their deep feelings. Music therapy certainly has a place in medicine.”

Excerpts from Grace Notes:

Denise (from Chapter 3: The Art of and Science) — Denise was a 25-year-old woman in a coma from attempting suicide with an overdose of anti-depressant drugs. As I set up my harp, Denise’s nurse moved beside her and tried to get her to wake up. Denise’s lack of response was typical of her two-week hospital stay. I began playing and the tension began slightly melting out of the room. After 15 minutes of playing, Denise lifted her head off the pillow and turned it toward the music. Further, the nurse commented that her vital signs had improved: her heart rate decreased from 78 to 69. Denise’s mother said, “This is the only positive sign we have seen since she was admitted to the hospital.”

Melissa (from Chapter 5: Music and Emotions) — Melissa was 28 years old. She had brain cancer and the cancer had spread so much, the doctors could no longer operate. As I walked onto the surgical intensive care unit, her dad informed me the medical staff were going to withdraw her from the ventilator later that afternoon. I set up my instrument and began playing softly. Something beautiful was happening in the room. There was an incredible feeling of love — love coming from every person, spreading into every part of the room. Instinctively, those present knew to support and care and attend to each other and to Melissa at this most painful, yet beautiful, time.

About 15 minutes later, Melissa’s husband came into the love-filled room. He was visibly touched by the beautiful feeling. He buried his face in Melissa’s pillow and almost crawled into bed with her as he, too, said good-bye. Through my own tears, I continued to play. Melissa looked relaxed, calm, peaceful, content. She was filled with love and radiated “all is well with me.” Everything (medicine, prayers, speaking and touching) that could be done had been done. Music was the final gift, perhaps touching her where nothing else could and giving her family comfort seeing her in such peace and love during her last minutes. The music softened the environment and helped create a sacred space where love, in its most beautiful earthly form, was present.

Gladys (from Chapter 6: Spirituality) — Gladys had made a miraculous recovery and had progressed enough to be transferred from intensive care to a rehabilitation hospital. As I set up my harp, Gladys said, “I don’t deserve this, but nevertheless, I am going to thoroughly enjoy it!” I encouraged her to relax and just go into the music and allow it to take her wherever she needed to go.

As soon as I started playing, Gladys laid down and shut her eyes. A gentle smile formed on her lips as she carefully removed her oxygen line. In her own way, she was making a statement: “I do not want to be encumbered while I have this experience.” A few minutes later, she lifted her hands and they began gently swaying in the air to the beat of the music. And the longer I played, the bigger her hand movements became, until her arms and hands were making huge, sweeping motions. It was as if her whole body was dancing through her arms and hands. The circle of connection was between the rhythm of the music and the beautiful movement of her arms and hands flowing through the air. I sensed she was on a different “plane,” taking a spiritual journey.

As the time neared to end this session, I slowed and quieted the music, leaving long moments of silence between songs. Gladys’ movements became smaller until they diminished; she lay very still. Eventually, the room was perfectly silent. After a long pause, she said softly, “I just saw God. And I saw angels.”

Sarah (from Chapter 7: Death and Dying) – Sarah was dying of breast cancer. Two friends, a hospice nurse, and a cat joined Sarah for her farewell concert. Sarah was alert yet relaxed while I played.

Sometimes the harp accesses people’s deep, deep emotions, as it would in this situation. Sarah’s two friends, who were emotionally close to Sarah, took this opportunity to tell her what she had meant to them. One of her friends said, “You have been such a fighter and you came so close to winning your battle, but it wasn’t meant to be. Now, I am struggling with the finality. I will miss you so much my dear, dear friend.” She enveloped Sarah in a hug and both were heaving with sobs. The music was taking them to their deepest wound of grief and sorrow; it was a time for one final connection.

About 30 minutes later, as if to say “we have had enough heaviness,” the other friend started reminiscing about some of her lighter, fun-filled times with Sarah. All of the sudden, they realized they had just gone from the depths of their sorrow to laughing hysterically. They giggled like young school girls and laughed until they were in tears again! Finally, she said, “Sarah, you obviously have brought so much joy and laughter, too. You have touched many people, including me. I will miss you forever, but I know you will guide me with your spirit; I will listen for you. Thank you for your wonderful gift of friendship. I love you.”

Grace Notes’ CD/Download:

In some of the Grace Notes’ stories, music is referenced and included on the CD (if you purchase the paperback book) or as a download. Included in the stories are brief explanations why each song was selected. Total Time – 71:41 minutes.

Playlist: Grace Notes – All selections are harp solo, unless otherwise indicated.

Download Warm Sienna (3:16) *William Mahan
Download The Gifts (2:46) – LISTEN
Download Dream Waves (9:05) – LISTEN
Download Edelweiss (2:28) *Rodgers & Hammerstein/Williamson Music Co.
Download On Eagle’s Wings (4:30) *New Dawn Music
Download Amazing Grace (4:04) (harp and flute) – LISTEN
Download O Danny Boy (3:13)
Download I Was There to Hear Your Borning Cry (3:26) *John Ylvisaker
Download Etude (7:37) *William Mahan
Download Threads of Love (7:12) *Time Line Productions, Inc.
Download Illumination (18:51) (harp, flute and violin) – LISTEN
Download New World Symphony (4:32) (harp and violin)

* Copyright Permission Granted; All Rights Reserved; Unauthorized Publication Prohibited by Law.

Ready to order? Purchase the paperbook book/hardcopy CD, e-book, CD download or an individual song download by selecting a product option and add to cart (above).

What listeners have said about the Grace Notes CD/download

Just want to let you know that many of my friends and I love your musical style and compositions. I have never been able to relax as much as I can with your music. Thank you for this very special gift.”

Your musical interpretations really minister. Your fingers upon the strings are such audible extensions of your heart’s compassion. And, as a result, the heartstrings of many are touched.”

Your music helps all of us find the place within that longs to be filled with the music of the harp – the sound of our creative selves in harmony with the universe. Thank you for sharing your gifts and through it, helping us find ours.”

I have listened to your CD six times so far today and it is beautiful – full of healing for anyone who hears it. I have always been drawn to harp music as it soothes my soul!”

After listening to this CD, I became convinced that you are a great talented musician. I hope you keep it up. Be always assured of my prayers for your success.”

Additional information

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Product Options

CD and Book Hardcopy, Grace Notes E-Book, CD Download, Grace Notes – 01 – Warm Sienna, Grace Notes – 02 – The Gifts, Grace Notes – 03 – Dream Waves, Grace Notes – 04 – Edelweiss, Grace Notes – 05 – On Eagle’s Wings, Grace Notes – 06 – Amazing Grace, Grace Notes – 07 – O Danny Boy, Grace Notes – 08 – I Was There to Hear Your Borning Cry, Grace Notes – 09 – Etude, Grace Notes – 10 – Threads of Love, Grace Notes – 11 – Illumination, Grace Notes – 12 – New World Symphony


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