Therapists Helping Comfort Patients With Soothing Harp Sounds

By John McDevitt

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – A couple of area hospitals have contracted some special therapists who help comfort and, many say, help heal patients by way of a hand-held-harp.

“It’s very soothing,” says Abington Memorial Hospital patient, Cecilia Johnson, 62 from Hatboro, who was visited in her room by a certified harp therapist.

“It really brought me back to Earth in an inspirational way. And that’s what I needed — just what I needed.”

Edie Elkan, founding president of Bedside Harp Inc., says, “We’ve trained and certified over 80 harp therapists who now give healing notes all over the world.”

Listen to John McDevitt’s interview with Edie Elkan in this CBS Philly podcast:

“Of all the sounds Amazing Grace is the most requested song in all of our hospitals in both states, Pennsylvania and New Jersey.”

Elkan says it’s been around for more than 10 years.   Nearly 100 therapists have been certified through the program.

“It’s a way of taking the patient away from the here and now and giving them a moment of healing.”

You can find harp therapists roaming area hospital halls at Abington Memorial and Cancer Treatment Centers in Philadelphia.

For more information, go to

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