A unique project to introduce harp therapy into Perth residential aged care centres has been launched by Amana Living.

Based on residents’ positive response to the bedside harp performances during the 2018 Amana Living Arts Festival, the organisation has decided to introduce harp therapy on a regular basis.

The eight-week project has started at Moline Care Centre and involves group and one-to-one Reverie Harp sessions delivered by volunteers. The Reverie Harp was chosen because it’s a small instrument which can be played by anyone regardless of their musical background.

The project is being overseen by Amana Living music therapist, Giuseppe Reina, and volunteers are being trained by therapeutic harpist, Shamarra de Tissera. Shamarra is the President of the Harp Society of WA and has extensive experience in using the harp in therapeutic environments.

Giuseppe Reina, said: “The Reverie Harp provides a variety of health and wellbeing benefits. The music is calming and can help to decrease anxiety, agitation and depression. It also brings joy, pleasure and comfort, as well as a tactile experience that can alleviate boredom.

“We’re keen to see families get involved too, playing the instrument with their loved one when they come to visit.”

Amana Living will recruit volunteers from nearby Moline Village in order to foster new connections and friendships between the two groups of residents. The volunteers will become the harp champions, responsible for teaching more people at the centre to use the harps. Moline Care Centre residents will also be involved in the training, project design and delivery.

At the conclusion of the project at Moline Care Centre, Amana Living will review the results and determine whether it can be expanded to other Amana Living locations.