Lyre Notes

International Bridges

BridgesBy Martin Tobiassen, Witten, Germany -

There are a lot of famous bridges all over the world – which one do you imagine first? The Golden Gate Bridge? Rialto Bridge? The bridge in Mostar? We find them on countless photos and paintings, and most of us have at least one that is very beloved to us.

Highway bridges are often crossed unconsciously – there is hardly a change to the broad road surface, but for sure you have to watch the traffic. In Germany, a huge number of bridges are in repair these days, all at the same time because they were built around the 70's and are now at the end of their lives and have to be fixed. On the way from Dortmund to Frankfurt (normally a two hour ride), you have to add at least one hour because of this. I never thought about that many bridges crossing the “Sauerland” before, and having to slow down so much and so often!

Our bridges in life have to be cared for and sometimes fixed as well, and we often become conscious of them only when we notice that there is a problem. But different than bridges for traffic, they stay better in shape the more we use them, because using the bridges between us is what they consist of. It’s the same “material” that intervals are made of, but there is a common aspect with bridges of stone: above them, there is only sky, only heaven.

I am so happy that bridge-building between lyre players of different countries and continents has steadily increased since the year 2000, when Maria Hollander and Peter Rebbe invited us to come to Hamburg-Harburg, and we played “An Interval Fair” together, written and conducted by Christof-Andreas Lindenberg. All the lyre builders stood together on stage to the applause. Nowadays, our task is to build more and more bridges to and with younger people – and it is happening! It was such a joy to have twelve young lyre players from South Korea in our youth conference in Lubeck/Germany last spring, and there is still contact with them. We hope to meet again next year, and we are looking forward to Zeist 2018, where many of us will meet again. These conferences are like big pillars in the bridges between us!

Finally, let me say that there is something special about the bridges on our instruments. The wooden bridge between the strings and the top carries the burden of the strings and further on to the body of the instrument. It also carries the impulses of the strings to the top, where they are answered by way of “comprehension.” It is different if the body is massive, or thin, hollow, plain, big, small…. It is a “tool of communication," selflessly committing to such different things as the strings and the body. So, this bridge does what bridges for trains and cars should not do, for goodness sake: it swings! But the strings themselves are true bridges as well, and our “walking” upon them is playing our musical “tightrope acts.”

So, thinking about bridges… I wanted to share this with you all in America and elsewhere this Advent! Hope to see you in Zeist next year – my best wishes for you.

Martin Tobiassen, Witten, Germany

International Lyre Conference 2018 in the Netherlands

The next World Lyre Conference will take place in the Netherlands at the Stichtse Vrije School in Zeist from Sunday, July 22nd until Friday, July 27th. The theme of the conference will be Space ... Listening, Moving, Exploring in all its different facets. Before the main conference, there will also be a pedagogy conference from Friday, July 20th until the start of the main conference. For more information, registration, and updates, please go to the Lyre 2018 webpage here.

Season's Greetings from LANA!

Dear LANA Members and Friends
The Lyre Association of North America is looking forward to an exciting year in 2018!  A highlight will certainly be the International Lyre Conference in the Netherlands in July, where we hope to meet many lyrists from all parts of the globe. 

In these darkening days, we are grateful for our lyre circles, sharing music together in our communities. LANA’s mission is to inspire the sounding of the lyre and help promote the various applications of this unique instrument. In doing this, LANA provides members with ways to connect with others as they uncover the many gifts of the lyre. Music sales continue, along with assistance with instrument rental and purchase. Members receive Lyre Notes, the print journal Soundings, and new arrangements of music for the lyre. These endeavors all require financial resources. 

As we look forward to 2018, we ask for your support for the on-going work of LANA. Donations from our members and friends are extremely important in defraying costs, such as publication expenses. Already we are planning fundraising efforts to help those who want to attend this summer’s international lyre conference. When we all contribute to the Lyre Association of North America, there is much more we can accomplish. We greatly appreciate your financial as well as your soul support! 

As a special gift to you  ...
... we include music by Christof-Andreas Lindenberg:  

With heartfelt and warm wishes for your Holiday season 
The LANA Board 
Sheila Johns, Nancy Carpenter, Colleen Shetland, Margo Ketchum, Debbie Barford, Julia Elliott, Wendy Polich, Channa Seidenberg, and Seeya Zheng

We invite you to remember LANA in your end-of-the-year giving. Even modest contributions can make a real difference. LANA has a 501(c)(3) designation, so all gifts are tax deductible. You may send a contribution to our registered PayPal account -, or a check by postal mail to: LANA, c/o M.Ketchum, 2237 Kimberton Rd, Phoenixville, PA 19460. 
Thank you. 

Let's Get Creative!

Fundraising for Lyre 2018 
As we look forward to coming together in the Netherlands for Lyre 2018 this July, many will have concerns about how to make the trip financially possible. The Lyre Association of North America will be working to create a scholarship fund, seeking the support of the lyre community in the U.S. (you will hear more from us on that in the coming months!). But as lyrists, we are also fortunate to be able to use our musical gifts to fundraise in creative and fulfilling ways. We would like to offer a few suggestions on raising money for your own travels or for the LANA scholarship fund as we daydream about being in the Netherlands this summer: 
  • Host and/or perform in a benefit concert 
  • Defer gratuities from musical services provided to a travel fund 
  • Hold a bake sale with musically themed goodies 
  • Suggest to family and friends that a contribution toward a trip to the Netherlands is the perfect holiday gift! 
  • Busk on the street in your town center (when the weather is warmer!) 
The possibilities for creative fundraising are many, and we are here to support you. Reach out if you would like further suggestions – or can share others! Looking forward to seeing you this summer!
Juliia Elliott, for the LANA Board

Notes from the U.S.

All Souls Festival and Retreat in the Central Region

By Debbie Barford, Chicago, IL -


The lyre was present at the All Souls Festival and Retreat of the Central Regional Council and the Twin Cities Branch of the Anthroposophical Society in America.  For the past year, the Central Regional Council sponsored a study called The Bridging Project, focusing on Rudolf Steiner’s lectures on The Influence of the Dead on Destiny. The culmination of the 2017 study was a weekend workshop in St. Paul, MN, attended by about thirty people from around the region. Another thirty from the local community also attended the Saturday evening festival. 
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Four Women of Advent

playing at 4 Women of Advent eveing 12-6-17By Nancy Carpenter, Detroit, MI -

This Advent season I joined women of the St. Louis Catholic Church in Clinton Township, just north of Detroit, for an evening event called the "Four Women of Advent." Leah, Rachel, Elizabeth, and Anna were represented by four members of the group. They shared stories of the lives of these women of the old and new testaments.

Their harpist, who was supposed to play between each presentation, backed out at the last minute.  A  friend of mine thought of me when they were looking for someone else to play.  I had only a week to prepare so I played music that I already knew: Colin Tanser's "Enchanted Wood" as an intro and closing piece, Bach's "Sheep May Safely Graze" and "Jesu, Joy of Man's Desiring," and Channa Seidenberg's "Pastorale for Bell Choir." These are all pieces that I have played for patients when volunteering at a hospital and for the Christian Community over the years.

The audience of around 80 women were very interested in the lyre, and many expressed a desire to hear more lyre music in the future.

First Steps on my Journey to Become a Therapeutic Musician with the Music for Healing and Transition Program

MHTPBy Wendy Polich, Littleton, CO -

Ever since the lyre came into my life, it has given me wonderful experiences and opportunities. It has also asked much. It seems a simple instrument, yet it's not necessarily easy to play. It has beautiful tone and resonance, but actually to free its tone beautifully requires my attentiveness and generosity. It also has great healing potential.

Through much practice and patience, alone and with lyre friends and teachers, I'm becoming more skilled at playing. Through attending the Resonare music course and the various lyre conferences, I'm being given a deep wellspring from which continually to draw inspiration.

Recently, I've decided to take everything I've done and learned so far with the lyre to another level and put its healing potential to use in the wider world.  I'm exploring this through the Music for Healing and Transition Program (MHTP).  It was introduced to me through several lyre friends who are currently in, or graduates of, the program. Graduates of MHTP become Certified Music Practitioners (CMPs) playing at the bedsides of patients in hospitals, hospices, and nursing homes. CMPs are not music therapists, but therapeutic musicians creating an environment that fosters healing through live music.
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Lyre Work in Review: Durham, North Carolina

By Joanna Carey, Durham, NC -

ester-marie-doysabas-253267This year the lyre has been used primarily for festivals, for the Dead and for the Christian Community.

During Holy Week: Each day during Holy Week, eurythmist Eve Olive and I worked with the planetary tones, scales, and movement for each day. Roger Schultz brought reading material, and together we provided a daily offering for contemplation during the week. As a beloved member of our community had just crossed the Threshold, we also included her in our efforts. In addition, we offer a special eurythmy/lyre musical event for members in their first three days after crossing the Threshold. We play and move with all the planetary spheres as a recognition of the journey of the Dead.
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St. Michael, the Crescent Moon, and the Lyre

From a Polish legend - The Deeds of Michael: A Collection of Tales and Legends from Around the World; Submitted by Sandi Zeese, Silver Spring, MD -

starrynight 7Have you seen, gleaming up in clear and exalted autumn nights, the sparkling stars in the sky? They rise like hope in a human soul; and they dive down in radiant force, like a human heart’s resolve. Then they are called “falling stars” by human beings. Yet whoever loves their angel, and from childhood on knows no fear, recognizes their true being. One sees in the clear autumn nights amidst the stars, the “Great Warrior,” who is called “St. George” on earth, but “St. Michael” in the heavens, and one sees his countenance shining in golden wisdom, which, unconscious of itself, reflects the heart of the highest Godhead.                                                              [READ MORE]

Notes from Brazil

From Brazil:  Songs and Christmas Stories for Children!

By Flávia Betti, Belo Horizonte, Brazil -

image002Dear friends!
In gratitude to the beautiful musical path we walked this year, on December 8th we made a Festival in our little school where each group presented a song to the whole Cântaro School, prepared with great affection. In the last weeks before the holiday season, in each class we will have a Christmas ritual with the Advent spiral and the sound of liras. At the end of the year, we´ll also be offering lectures and meetings for parents, teachers, and those interested in preparing a beautiful Christmas with their children. Meetings where adults can nurture themselves, where we can pause and look inside, prepare our manger, clean our stables, and pour these inner actions into our songs, filling the voice with love and pouring them into our children. Little stories will be presented, accompanied by Kántele and small songs. 

Below is a Christmas song, with the central A, that says: 
Open your heart! Open your heart! 
For the light that will be born! 
For love, for love to grow! 

BrazilSongAdvent 6
Singing is a human gift! It can bring calm and cheer! Songs are what most connects children to the true Christmas meaning and can protect them from the hustle and bustle of the Holiday season, reminding us of the true meaning of birth that takes place within us at this time of the year. The Bethlehem of today is conceived in the heart. No CD or technological device can replace a soul that sings.

Warm regards from Brazil!

Cântaro-Centro de Desenvolvimento Musical
tel: (31) 3344-3236 - Rua Mangabeiras 275 - Sto Antônio Belo Horizonte -


English-Language Therapeutic Singing Practitioner training in Germany beginning March 18, 2018

This is a 4-year training that meets twice a year in Bippen, Germany - once in Spring and once in Summer. Stefanie Aurig, a certified trainer authorized by Thomas Adam, will be leading the course. Application deadline is January 10, 2018. See program details here.  See application here

The Sacred Gateway: Conscious Living, Conscious Dying, and the Journey Beyond, April 6-8, 2018, Sacramento, CA

A national conference on death and dying sponsored by the Anthroposophical Society will take place in Sacramento, CA, on April 6-8, 2018. This conference will honor Nancy Poer, especially, and all the threshold work she has contributed over the years. Hopefully it will be the first of three conferences, one in each region. It will be of interest to anyone contemplating their own transition or caring for loved ones approaching the threshold. Early in the planning stages, the committee clearly wished for artistic activities to be a big part of the conference and are very enthusiastic about the involvement of the lyre. We are forming a group of lyrists, mostly on the West coast for this first conference, who want to be a part of a performing group or contribute to a workshop on Music at the Threshold. If we have missed you and you would like to be involved, either in the first or future conferences, please contact Marianne Dietzel at We hope the collaboration between eurythmists, lyrists, and speech artists will bring to life in a beautiful way the journey of the soul between death and a new birth.

Summer Lyre Academy at Seehaus Castle, Wurzburg, Germany, July 12-18, 20018

With Christian Giersch and Martin Tobiassen.  A program of intense studies - plenum, groups and solo lessons - with a public concert at the end. Main languages will be English and German. See more at



  • To foster the experience and recognition of the freed tone
  • To foster the rediscovery and the deepening of the capacity to listen
  • To initiate, inspire, and support the sounding of the lyre for artistic, pedagogical, and therapeutic activity
  • To support the development of a movement for musical renewal in all its manifestations.


Membership in LANA

We invite you to join the Lyre Association of North America!   LANA members receive a subscription to Soundings: A Lyre Review (containing substantive articles and a music supplement) and a discount on fees for all conferences and workshops sponsored by LANA, as well as on music bought through our service. Membership runs for one year from the time dues are received or one year from the expiration of current membership, whichever is a later expiration date.

Regular membership dues are $40. We also have a Supporting Membership option for $50. Although regular membership dues are not tax-deductible, for the additional $10, the full amount of your Supporting Membership actually is tax-deductible. The Lyre Association of North America is a 501(c)(3) organization. Any support in addition to the minimum membership is greatly appreciated.

Please make your check for $40 (or $50 as Supporting Member) payable to "LANA" and send to: LANA, c/o M. Ketchum, 2237 Kimberton Rd, Phoenixville, PA 19460. Or pay with PayPal by sending gift money to  To fill out a form online, click this link: LANA Membership Form


Instruments and Accessories

For Sale -

Full-sized Soprano Gartner Lyre,
35 strings,1984

In perfect condition. Hard Case, tuning lever, humidity control included. Carefully stored and used gently. $1,500 plus shipping charges. Contact by email: Susie Steele: tel: 360 565 5524, 1023 W 10th St Port Angeles, WA 98363
thumbnail_front of lyre 3thumbnail_certificate from inside lyre 2

Lyre Rentals
The Lyre Association has lyres of various types and sizes that are available for LANA members to rent. Monthly rent is typically $30$35, depending upon the size and quality of the lyre. Contracts are usually for one year, and some lyres may be available through our rent-to-own program. LANA is happy to assist new lyre players in finding a teacher in their area.  Please contact us regarding availability, or for more information on lyre rentals. Contact: Julia Elliott: 978-352-5581 /
  • Small soprano Gärtner lyre, (27 strings)

      –  Contact Margo Ketchum:             (610)

New Lyres for Sale
LEIER_INSTRUMENTECurrently, most new lyres must be purchased directly from the builders, although we are exploring the possibility of having an American representative for some of the builders in Europe, etc. Please see our website for a list of builders, along with the ads below.

Lyre Builders:
Alan Thewless
  • A full range of handcrafted Soprano & Solo lyres plus Kinderharps, designed and built by Alan Thewless. 
  • Derscheid lyres faithfully reproduced in the Tir-anna workshop as Derscheid Legacy Lyres. 
  • Lyre repairs and restringing 
  • A small selection of secondhand and restored instruments. 
  • Strings for most lyres, good quality, made by Pyramid Strings in Germany 
  • Located in Pennsylvania, in the US 
Contact Alan Thewless: 610-970-3047 / /

Martin Nies
  • Handcrafted lyres in a German workshop. 
  • Kinderlyre, solo soprano, alto, tenor, new: bass A1-c, soprano H-e
  • Handspun metal strings. 
Contact Martin: Website


(Send us your want ads or instruments for sale, and we'll be happy to post them for you!)

LANA Board Members

• Sheila Johns, President – Cuenca, Ecuador; 301-681-6546 /
• Nancy Carpenter, Vice President – 17155 Sioux, Detroit, MI 48224; 313-879-1212 /
• Colleen Shetland, Secretary –3307 Cool Spring Rd, Hyattsville, MD 20783; 703-998-5264
Margo Ketchum, Treasurer – 2237 Kimberton Rd, Phoenixville, PA 19460   610-608-9281 /
• Debbie Barford – 934 W. Carmen #2W, Chicago, IL 60640; 773-561-7910 / 
Julia Elliott – 11 Anderson Dr, Boxford, MA 01921; 978-352-5581 /
• Wendy Polich – 6418 S. Acoma St, Littleton, CO 80120; 303-618-6879 /
• Channa Seidenberg  84 Camphill Rd, Copake, NY 12516; 518- 329-2982
Seeya Zheng – 84 Camphill Rd, Copake, NY 12516 518-329-7971 /

Lyre Teachers

Quebec, CANADA – Audrey Paquin~819-507-0079,

Sebastopol, CA – Robin Elliott ~ 707-829-2409,

Fair Oaks/Sacramento, CA – Andrea Pronto ~ 530-637-5970,

Detroit, MI – Nancy Carpenter ~ 313-879-1212,

Toledo, OH (possibility in Ann Arbor, MI)  MaryLynn Channer~734-856-5380, 

Chicago, IL  Debbie Barford ~ 773-339-8707,

Temple, NH  Juliane Weeks ~ 603-291-0447,

Ghent, NY  Monika Talaya ~ 518-610-1420,

Hillsdale, NY Diane Barnes ~ 518-325-1113,

Copake, NY  Channa Seidenberg ~ 518-672-4389,

Kinderhook, NY  Christina Porkert ~ 518-758-2428,

Chestnut Ridge/ Spring Valley, NY
Christiane Landowne 914-425-8589
Laura Langford-Schnur ~ 845-469-2227,

Kimberton, PA  Kerry Lee ~ 610-948-5026,

Quakertown, PA Veronika Roemer ~ 267-999-1262,

Washington, DC  Colleen Shetland ~ 703-998-5264

Central Virginia – Samantha Embrey ~ 434-277-8180,

Chapel Hill, NC
 Joanna Carey ~ 919-885-7569,
 Suzanne Mays ~ 919-929-1073,

• Skype from Ecuador
 Sheila Johns ~ 301-681-6546,

Music Sales

Check out LANA's website ( for a list of our available music to order as well as information about how to order. 

For inquiries, contact Samantha Embrey at
434-277-8180 or

Send us your stories!

For the Spring 2018 issue of Lyre Notes, please send news, announcements, reports, and photos by March 1st to Wendy Polich:

LYRE NOTES, c/o Wendy Polich: Email:
Membership, c/o Margo Ketchum:
2237 Kimberton Rd, Phoenixville, PA 19460 /

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