Lyre Notes
Spring 2014

2014 Summer Lyre Intensive

Lyre_Cedarwood“Playing the Lyre with Joy” 

We are very pleased to have an opportunity this summer of 2014 to host our lyre conference in beautiful Portland, Oregon, at the Cedarwood Waldorf School ( from Wednesday evening, July 30 through Sunday morning, August 3. Save the dates! 

We will be welcoming an internationally-recognized master teacher – Hajime Kira from Tokyo, Japan! Hajime was trained as a lyrist in Germany and was subsequently instrumental in bringing the work of the lyre to Japan and building it up in an extraordinary way. Japan is now one of the flagship locations in the world for lyre teaching and playing. Hajime has presented workshops at all of our international lyre conferences, and those of us who have attended them have been introduced to remarkable techniques and exercises that have addressed all aspects of lyre playing, from technical skill building to tone production.

As most of our members and friends know, every three years, the Lyre Association of North America hosts a lyre intensive for our summer gathering. Intensives such as this one are specifically designed to support lyrists of all ages and stages in their individual work with our amazing instrument, the lyre. To guide us in 2008, we welcomed master teacher Anna Prokovnik Cooper from Northern Ireland, and in 2011, we were privileged to have Gerhard Beilharz from Germany. Hajime is our choice for this intensive.

In addition to alternating the focus of our summer conferences in a three-year rhythm, LANA has sought to vary the conference locations in an effort to reach as many lyrists or would-be lyrists across our vast country as possible.  

Soon we will have more detailed information about our conference, as well as links to registration. In the meantime, we want to share our excitement for both the content and the venue for what we are confident will prove to be one of our most valuable and enjoyable conferences ever! Please plan to join us.
~ Sheila P. Johns,
for the LANA Board


From Suzanne in North Carolina

2013 started off with signing up to be the local coordinator for the Annual Lyre Conference that was held in Chapel Hill, NC in July. That task kept me immersed for the next seven months, working out the many details for arranging a venue, housing, meals, publicity, and transportation. 
NC Conference Butterfly 4

My lyre playing has been primarily solo, playing weekly at an intensive care unit at UNC Hospital, as well as bringing the lyre to the seasonal festivals for our local Anthroposophical Branch during the Holy Nights, Easter, All Soul’s Day and four Advent Sundays, playing for the Christian Community Services every other month, and playing for the Waldorf School Spiral of Light Gardens at Advent Time.
Two other accomplishments this year included advising and bringing to graduation two lyre musicians who are now Certified Music Practitioners of the Music For Healing And Transition Program and the start up of my eighth year working with the music director at the Emerson Waldorf School for teaching lyre to grades one through four.
– Suzanne Mays, Chapel Hill, NC

From Rosamond in Vancouver, BC

Here are some of the lyre happenings in the "Wild West" – Vancouver, British Columbia, that is....  
I play at the Vancouver Christian Community and have joined a group of three other lyrists (Ruth Tschannen, Marianne Moser, and Barbara Mundy) from Camphill Cascadia to play for the Madonna Series at a recent medical conference. I also play for Advent Gardens and first grade eurythmy classes at the Vancouver Waldorf School.  I am delighted to report that I have a new soprano lyre made by Alan Thewless!
Rosamond Hughes, North Vancouver, BC

From Diane in New York/ Connecticut

I am enjoying my music teacher role and one day/week of doing therapies at Housatonic Valley Waldorf School in Newtown, CT.  I showed the Madonna Series to all the classes in December with lyre accompaniment, and we did the Shepherds' Play, which I directed as well as playing the part of the angel. I also played at the early childhood Advent Garden at the Hawthorne Valley Waldorf School.

The Hawthorne Valley Singers and I gave a concert on Dec. 8 at the Taconic-Berkshire Christian Community, which included seasonal choral arrangements; a new instrument improvisation with gongs, iron rods, klangplatt, and finger cymbals made by Manfred Bleffert; music by Morten Lauridsen accompanied by Dorothy Haller; as well as music for the lyre. My husband and I also sang in the church choir for Christmas Day. It was a busy end-of-the year for many of us!

Basically, I incorporate lyre (kinder harp) playing in my grades 1 and 2 music classes, and I have only had a little time to teach diatonic lyre in 3rd grade, where we are now working on Arnold Logan's musical "Johnny Hears the Call," about Johnny Appleseed. I accompany it simply with the lyre. 

I am looking forward to reading about all that you have been doing :). "Without music life would be death."
Diane Barnes, Hillsdale, NY

From Cate in New York/Massachusetts

LANA Celebration, October 2013  –Spectacular colors flanked our passage from the Hudson Valley over the Berkshire range to the Pioneer Valley in western Massachusetts. The vibrancy of the brilliant landscape accompanied us as we prepared for our musical presentation, “Music in Tone and Word.” Offered by the Hadley Lyre Ensemble, this was the first of two performances of music and poetry.

Conceived in recognition of 30 years of the Lyre Association of North America, these offerings were part of a larger celebration that spanned the U.S. throughout the past year. Under the direction of Channa Seidenberg, the Hadley Lyre Ensemble has played on various occasions in the Amherst and Hadley region, as well as in Hudson, New York. 

Lyre group laughing
We carted our instruments to the second floor of the Northampton Quaker Meeting house where large windows on three sides allowed the autumn light to stream into the room. Entering the open, high-ceilinged chamber, one sensed the calm and simplicity that pervaded. To begin the afternoon, the audience was introduced to the history of the modern lyre and how it was first developed in Europe. Channa shared the story of how the Lyre Association of North America was formed in the early 1980’s. She spoke about the therapeutic, pedagogical, and artistic aspects of the instrument. 

A diverse musical program followed, ranging from Bach to contemporary composers. Included in the afternoon’s selections were pieces by two members of the ensemble. Our venue was transformed into a resonant space for the freed tones of the lyre. Members of the ensemble read poems as well. 

At the conclusion of the musical offering, we invited the audience to stay afterwards for refreshments. Genuine interest and enthusiasm poured in. People who had no familiarity with anthroposophy or Waldorf education were fascinated to hear the special quality of the instrument. They were intrigued to learn more about the lyre and how they could experience more music of this sort. Some spoke of the peace and relaxation they felt. One woman said that as soon as the music started, she experienced all the tension leaving her body. A man commented that “the whole program, from beginning to end, was like a prayer.” 

We offered the same program the following weekend at Solaris Camphill in Hudson NY. Again, the members of the audience, numbering more than 80, spoke of feeling nurtured, as they were invited to open their listening space. Those who had not previously heard the lyre were moved by its resonant quality. 

Taken together, the two performances served as a testament honoring the impulse behind the lyre, and acknowledging its use in schools, at the bedside, and in life-sharing communities. Moreover, it reminded us of how the pure tones lead us to the future, and how this instrument has everything to do with spreading seeds for what is to come.

More happenings . . .
On Christmas Eve, the Hadley Lyre Ensemble played a piece by Arvo Pärt to open a local performance of The Christmas Carol in Hudson, NY.  Channa Seidenberg played lyre accompaniment to the Madonna Series during several occasions during Advent and the Holy nights in Columbia County, NY (Philmont and Camphill Communities). 
Catherine Decker, Philmont, NY

From Sheila in Washington/ Ecuador

In 2013, I spent a number of months in Ecuador with my family. There, in the city of Cuenca, I have had the opportunity to connect with people who are very interested in seeing Waldorf education come to this part of Ecuador. Further meetings with a group of local families who are currently homeschooling their children resulted in great interest in the lyre, among other things, for their families and children. I made a promise that I would bring a pentatonic children’s lyre with me on an upcoming visit there (which I hand-carried there in January). During our last visit, I was invited to play my soprano lyre for an international Sunday service, and people were very enthusiastic about the instrument and its special sound. I will definitely be playing there more often in 2014. 

In the summer of the year, I once again had the opportunity to teach both "mood of the fifth" and pentatonic children’s lyre for two conferences sponsored by the Association for Waldorf Music Education, followed by participation in the LANA Summer Conference on the lyre and the human voice. I have very much enjoyed returning to the US in time to use my alto lyre to participate in two recent lyre musicales in our local area, several Christian Community services in the Washington-Baltimore chapel, and to join a lyre colleague in playing for nearly 26 separate Advent Gardens in three different schools – the best possible way to spend the Advent season! It is a privilege to be able to continue to work with LANA Board members Channa Seidenberg and Cate Decker in teaching Resonare, an Orientation Course in Music out of Anthroposophy, now in its seventh year, where lyre playing, listening, and improvising make up the core of our work. 
Sheila Johns, Cuenca, Ecuador

From Colleen in Washington DC

“Freeing the Tones—Deepening Our Listening” – On the weekend of November 22-23, 2013, lyrists from the area in and around Washington DC had a wonderful opportunity to offer two public programs of lyre music. It was a beautiful fall weekend, and attendance at both performances was excellent. Local members of our ensemble arranged the beautiful venues, an assisted living facility and a local church, which were part of their communities. The musical offerings had been conceived as an opportunity to highlight publicly the sound of the lyre and to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the founding of what we know now as the Lyre Association of North America. 

Friends from the Kimberton, Pennsylvania area three hours to our north enthusiastically joined our efforts, allowing us to draw on the musical gifts of nine lyrists, a violist, an oboist, a flutist, and a recorder player who, for one piece, also accompanied our lyre playing with an iron gong. We named our resulting group “The Aurora Lyre Ensemble” after a local lyre quartet that had been active in the DC area several years ago. 

We shared a variety of music from different style periods, some for lyres alone, others for combinations of instruments with lyres, and some for lyres and singing. We included transcriptions of music for the lyre as well as original lyre music. Among many other things, listeners experienced lyres accompanying Baroque pieces for both oboe and viola. We opened the program with a brief description and demonstration of the sound of the lyre, and we ended both programs by inviting the audience to join us in singing a three-part round celebrating music in our lives, which we accompanied with our lyres. 

We played joyfully, and our music was enthusiastically received!  It was wonderful for all of us who were involved to be reminded, once again, of the magic that the tone of the lyre creates, re-affirming our commitment to continue to offer such experiences to both lyrists and the general public, in support of this music for the future and the re-awakening of the Muse in all of us.
Colleen Shetland, Hyattsville, MD

From Debbie in Illinois

My musical life in 2013 was quite active. In January I played lyre at my grandmother's bedside during her final illness and then at her funeral and memorial service. I played the lyre for a Madonna Series in February and another one in December. I played and taught lyre at a Robert Saradello conference in September. Then, in early December I played for the Chicago Waldorf School's Winter Gardens (lyre, recorder, gemshorn, chrotta). I participated with lyre and metal instruments in several Rudolf Steiner Branch festivals: in November, the All Souls Festival, "Journey from Death to the Cosmos and Back" (lyres, metal instruments); in December, two Holy Nights' festivals, which included leading a group in the Olaf Asteson composition, and a star formation with Bordun lyres. 

I also participated in five concerts and conventions for Sacred Harp Singing in locations around the country, including Virginia, Texas, and Missouri. I'm also principal oboist for the Oak Park River Forest Symphony in the Chicago area. I play in five performances a year, plus it was my thirty-second year playing oboe in the Mozart Un-Birthday Chamber Music Party. A highlight for me was joining with other lyrists for the July LANA Conference in Chapel Hill, NC!
Debra Barford, Chicago, IL

From Veronika in Pennsylvania

Whitsun (4)

The lyre group of the Kimberton area, together with friends from Washington DC, presented a lyre concert of a three-fold nature:  in recognition of LANA's 30th birthday, in celebration of Whitsun, and as a fundraiser for The Christian Community in Pennsylvania. The concert had two parts: the first, a performance of various pieces for lyre ensemble, some with oboe and/or viola, like the Telemann viola concerto, Schwedeler's variations on a theme by Mozart, a "rather tricky" summer piece by Christof-Andreas Lindenberg, and more. 

Before the concert, Colleen gave a wonderful short introduction about LANA, the lyre, and in particular about the special new sound quality, the "free tone" of the lyre. Colleen gave this introduction in such a way that the audience was prepared to receive the performance with active listening. 

The second part of the event was an English Afternoon Tea, with scones, jam, delicious little sandwiches, and tea, with live entertainment in the form of light lyre music (it does exist!). In general, I don't care too much for background music, neither live nor canned, and certainly not lyre background, but this time it seemed to work, probably because the audience had been tuned to the lyre sound during the previous concert. 

Another remarkable aspect was that despite the Kimberton Waldorf School having an all-school-community event at exactly the same time, there was a large audience at the concert, most of whom I didn't know. I hope that these kinds of events will happen more often and regularly, that they can become annual events one looks forward to, and that they will become part of the fabric of the annual tapestry.

Update December 2013:
Last summer, my family and I left Camphill Village Kimberton Hills and moved 1-1/2 hours north. In preparing for life after Camphill, I have been wondering how my past musical experiences in Camphill and my skills might be fruitful in the future. I hope to become more involved in the Lyre Association, and I want to perform more on the lyre. (I was able to participate in the concerts in Washington in November.) I have started to do some translating of German books about lyre and related topics. The most exciting new development has been my involvement in a brand new charter Waldorf School near Allentown, PA. The school started this past September, with two Kindergarten classes, two first grades, and one second grade. The music teacher, a very dynamic, enthusiastic, and engaged woman, had asked me to be her mentor, which I gladly and gratefully accepted. 

I have great hopes that in this young school, where everything is still very open and in the process of becoming, a music program can be built on the new instruments, particularly (but not only) the lyre. 

At this point, the school has practically no musical instruments. I am going to lend the music teacher my Bleffert rods, metal gongs, and other instruments I have. If there are any unused Bordun lyres, Choroi flutes, drums or other instruments lying around somewhere, please let me know.
Veronika Roemer, Lehighton, PA

From Sheila in Michigan

Music is just about everything to me. My compost pile sings the blues, but I tend her anyway. A male pintail duck sang "free at last" after floundering in snow drifts near my ski trail and then spending a few hours boxed and transported to the Carp River. (With help, he finally made it to a relatively warm environment outside a water treatment plant.) Behind the wheel of my car, I sing "ning, ning, zing."  And my piano gets a workout in preparation for a duo piano recital on February 22nd. 

So where does the lyre come in? Oh, how my life is divided!  As of February 23rd my plate should be clean and ready for lyre tones. It is great to be living within three hours' drive of the International Dark Sky Park in Emmet County. It has put Colin Tanser's "Songs of the Seven Planets" at the top of my learning list, as well as anything star-related. 

Since all of May will be spent traveling by car or ferry, study will be with only sheet music, pencil, and an imagination of how strings might lie under which fingers. Right before that trip to Haines, AK, I'll have the opportunity to drum for Dances of Universal Peace at the Christine Center in WI. They welcome lyre sounds between dance sets. 

The Joy Center in Ishpeming has heard my lyre and iron rod "bells" once each, my stories and rhymes twice, and my songs three times. Their "Outloud" night is a fun venue. 

Well, that's it from Shot Point in Lake Superior. The growing light puts joy in one's step. Here's a verse in anticipation of snow-free sidewalks:  "Making Songs" by Mary Black/ Louise Garnett:

Up and down I walk on the street Hearing music made by my feet. When my footsteps ring on the pavement There's an echo after each beat. 
Words that rhyme I make as I go Words in time now fast and now slow So my feet and I go a singing Making songs no other can know. 
All the best... Sheila Devlin, Marquette, MN

From Barbara in upstate New York

After a major move and adjustment to a new life in retirement at Camphill Ghent, I have taken up my lyre work with a renewed energy. I joined the Resonare training and began meeting with new and old friends in Philmont, NY in September of last year. I am learning a lot and having great fun playing with others in the course. I have several friends here at Camphill Ghent that I meet with regularly to practice and play for special events. My old lyre buddy from Michigan, Nancy Carpenter, visited me in December, and we played lyre together most days. 

Life here at Camphill Ghent is amazingly busy in retirement. The area is beautiful and the social life helps get through this long, snowy, cold Winter.
Greetings ... Barbara Patterson, Ghent, NY

2014 Activities

Tone of the Day at the AAMTA Conference 

AAMTAIn March 2014, the Toronto Waldorf School in Ontario, Canada hosted a large international gathering of anthroposophic physicians and therapists for the biennial conference of the Association for Anthroposophic Medicine and Therapies in America (AAMTA) and the Physician’s Association for Anthroposophic Medicine (PAAM), co-sponsored this year by the Canadian Anthroposophic Medical Association (CAMA). The focus of this years’ conference was trauma and was entitled “Healing the Wound”. This theme was addressed in remarkable ways by internationally recognized professionals from Europe and North America. Presenters and workshops explored physical, mental, emotional, soul, and spiritual support through medicine, art, massage, eurythmy, counseling, and music.

Each morning opened with a full conference experience of the tones of music. Led by Elizabeth Chomko, former music teacher at the Toronto Waldorf School and current student in the Resonare Orientation Course in Music out of Anthroposophy, we gathered with the full assembly in the two-story school rotunda. We began with a few moments of silence, into which was sounded the tone of each day on iron gongs, tubes, and lyre, offered by music therapists attending the conference and representing the North American Association for Anthroposophic Music Therapy (NAAMTA) and the Anthroposophic Therapeutic Singing Association of North America (ATSANA) – Diane Barnes, Sheila Johns, Juliane Weeks, and Sandi Zeese from the Eastern U.S. and Audrey Paquin from Montreal, Canada. Following the listening experience, all participants were invited to go into silence again and then begin to sound whatever tone they were inwardly experiencing, which produced an amazing array of tonal color that had been inspired by a deep listening to the tone of the day. Afterward we sang a few simple rounds and part songs. Many people commented on the experience, feeling it was a profound and centering way to begin our days that were filled with images, word, and movement. We look forward to being able to offer a focused presentation on the therapeutic use of the elements of music experienced through voice and instruments at a future AAMTA Conference. 
Sheila P. Johns, for ATSANA and NAAMTA
PS from Diane Barnes:
I was fortunate to attend the Healing the Wound conference in Toronto and was able to play the lyre for part of the eurythmy class I was taking. This was very special. It was a wonderful group of people at the conference.


Please enjoy three pieces of music, compliments of LANA: 
a choral piece composed by Kerry Lee and 
two songs arranged for lyre by Veronika Roemer. 

CrocusEaster - by Kerry Lee (words by her father, Curtis Jones)
Canzonet - by Christian Gottlieb Neefe (1748-1798)
Little Song- by Dimitri Kabalevsky (1904-1987) 


  • 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.

Please make check for $40 (or $50 as Supporting Member) payable to "LANA" and send to: LANA, c/o M. Ketchum, 13 Morgan St, Phoenixville, PA 19460. Or pay with PayPal by sending money to  To fill out a form online, click this link: LANA Membership Form


• Resonare Orientation Course in Music out of Anthroposophy:
Click here for the Course descriptionFor more information:

 Raphael School for Singing and Singing-Therapy –  Introductory Singing Course with Thomas Adam in Maryland, July 5-7th
The aim of this training is to understand why singing is healing and how it can be used in a rational and responsible way! Besides the chance to meet and know each other, we will work intensely on a general therapeutic theme. For detailed information, please read the flyer:
Raphael Singing Course– With best and heartfelt regards, Thomas Adam

 North American Anthroposophical Music Therapy Association

Instruments and Accessories

Lyre Rentals
The Lyre Association has Choroi and Gärtner lyres of various sizes that are available for rent. Monthly rent is $30-35, depending upon the size and quality of the lyre.
For more information on lyre rentals, contact Rosamond Hughes: 604-985-3019 /

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. Contact Sheila Johns (301-681-6546 / with questions. Choroi lyres may be purchased through Mercurius ( Also, see ad below for Tir-anna lyres.

Tir-anna Lyres
• Soprano & solo lyres, and Kinderharps, designed and built by Alan Thewless.
• Strings for most lyres, good quality, made by Pyramid Strings.
• Lyre repairs
Contact Alan Thewless: 610-970-3047 /

Lyre and Accessories For Sale

1)  Gärtner Flugel Kantele, model 1955, used but in good condition, with case 
2)  1 bottle of Choroi String Oil 
3)  1, almost complete, set of Choroi Kinderleier strings 
4)  Individual Gärtner Kinderleier strings, model 1926/40+53.

Call Anita Warren for prices: 610-847-6882 / 
267-245-2492 or email

Music Sales

For inquiries, contact Samantha Embrey at 434-277-8180 or
Read more on LANA's website.

Send us your stories!

For the Summer 2014 issue of the Lyre Notes, please send news, announcements, reports, and photos by June 1st to Nancy Carpenter at

This issue of Lyre Notes was produced by Margo Ketchum and Nancy Carpenter.

LANA Board Members

Colleen Shetland, President –3307 Cool Spring Rd, Hyattsville, MD 20783; 703-998-5264 /

Channa Seidenberg, Vice President – PO Box 925, Philmont, NY 12565; 518- 672-4389 /

Sheila Johns, Steering Committee; 2059 Seaman Ct, Herndon, VA 20170; 301-681-6546 /

Margo Ketchum, Treasurer – 13 Morgan St, Phoenixville, PA 19460   610-608-9281;

Nancy Carpenter, Secretary – 17155 Sioux, Detroit, MI 48224; 313-886-4863 /

Catherine Decker, Corresponding Secretary – PO Box 87, Philmont, NY 12565; 518-392-4692 /

Debbie Barford – 934 W. Carmen #2W, Chicago, IL 60640; 773-561-7910 /

Rosamond Hughes –310-1641 Lonsdale Ave, North Vancouver, BC V7M 2J5, Canada; 604-985-3019 /

• Suzanne Mays –5622 Brisbane Dr, Chapel Hill, NC 27514; 919-929-1073 /

Christof-Andreas Lindenberg, Emeritus – 1784 Fairview Rd, Glenmoore, PA 19343 610-469-2583

Lyre Teachers

Quebec, CANADA
 Audrey Paquin~819-327-5075,

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

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

Detroit, MI
 Nancy Carpenter ~ 313-886-4863,

Ann Arbor, MI

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

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

Copake, NY
 Monika Talaya ~ 518-329-0249,

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

Harlemville, 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,

Allentown, PA
 Veronika Roemer ~ 610-377-3086,

Washington, DC
 Sheila Johns ~ 301-681-6546,

• Colleen Shetland ~ 703-998-5264,

Central Virginia
 Samantha Embrey ~ 434-277-8180,

Chapel Hill, NC
 Joanna Carey ~ 919-403-7060,
 Suzanne Mays ~ 919-929-1073,

LYRE NOTES, c/o Nancy Carpenter: (313) 886-4863, Email:
Membership, c/o Margo Ketchum:
13 Morgan St, Phoenixville, PA 19460 /

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