About Our Harpist

Daniella Clark Ph.D.

Lifelong Musician & Friend to the Community

Throughout her life Daniella has been devoted to helping those with disabilities and the treasured members of our elderly community. Her educational training is centered around helping those in need and the disabled. Her music is the vehicle she uses to bring peace, comfort, compassion, and beauty to community members who are experiencing physical and emotional pain. She shares love and a connection with the most fragile individuals on the Palouse through her gift of music. Learn more about Daniella’s educational background and her incredible story below.

My Journey InMusic & Medicine

Musical Beginnings

Both of my parents are musicians and music has been a part of my life from before I can even remember. I began playing the harp at age 4 and was the youngest student my harp teacher had worked with. Even then I was very motivated to become a harpist.

Why I Chose the Harp

In the early 1980’s, my mother would rent records from our local library that featured concertos performed on different orchestra instruments. When she rented the harp concerto record, I would play it constantly. When my mother finally showed me the cover of the record, featuring a lovely concert harp played by a women in a ball gown, I knew that was what I wanted to be someday.

My Journey as a Concert Harpist

I continued formal harp studies through my initial years of college and was fortunate to have a very accomplished concert harpist from San Francisco as my teacher. In college I studied both music and special education, ultimately melding my two passions of playing the harp and serving those with disabilities. I performed solo concerts and played with several different symphony orchestras and ensembles.

My Passion to Serve Those in Need

I first began playing harp in a medical setting at age 9. Spokane’s Sacred Heart Hospital had a volunteer program called “Musicians Gift” and I had seen one of their pianists playing in the foyer. When my mother told the hospital that I wanted to play my harp there, they were concerned about my young age. However, they did allow me to play in the rehabilitation unit of the hospital, St. Luke’s Rehabilitation. It was there that I first began playing for elders and those with disabilities.

In my late teens and early 20’s, I served as the primary caregiver to a family member with cerebral palsy and seizures, giving me a unique perspective on serving the medically fragile. My harp music was also present in my grandmother’s ICU room when she passed away. At age 23, I became a special education teacher serving children with special needs. I integrated music into my classrooms on a daily basis. Ultimately I earned a Ph.D. in Special Education.

Healing Crisis

In 2010, I was involved in a near-fatal ski accident. I went from having no health problems to barely surviving in the ICU, having multiple major surgeries, and finally needing care in a nursing home. That was the beginning of extensive rehabilitative therapies and surgeries.

During my initial months of recovery harp and healing music played continuously, giving me great comfort and distraction from the intense pain. I made a commitment to myself that if I survived my injuries and regained the ability to play music, that I would once again use my music to comfort other patients. I know firsthand how much music can help with the healing process.

Recognition of My Life’s Calling

I realized that if I wanted to begin frequent volunteering with my concert harp in medical settings, I would need to leave my privately owned concert harp onsite at a facility. This led me to storing my harp at Avalon Nursing Home, where I would go in to practice multiple times weekly throughout the years. I quickly became the most active volunteer at the nursing home. During this same time, in early 2011, I founded the hospice volunteer music program for the Palouse, and also became the first volunteer musician at Pullman Regional Hospital.

I stored my harp at the nursing home for 2.5 years. I then transferred it to Pullman Regional Hospital—where it has remained since late 2013. Later, in 2014, I began volunteering in the weekly Oncology clinic for cancer patients. In each setting, I continue to provide comfort to many patients and their families. I have successfully melded my extensive training in disabilities and music to help others.

My Commitment to Those In Need

I have witnessed many times over the incredible benefits that my music has had on the medically fragile, cancer and hospice patients, and our community elderly. My music and harp has comforted cancer patients waiting to begin their chemotherapy drips, nursing home residents who never receive visitors, hospital patients who are struggling with pain, patients and their families in surgery waiting rooms with high anxiety, and hospice patients.

Through the years I’ve been present in the room playing my concert harp for multiple terminally ill patients at their time of death. I will continue to provide beautiful concert harp music to the most vulnerable members of our community. I feel a deep connection and love for those I serve.

This is my calling. This is my contribution to the community. This is my passion. This is my promise.

Throughout my life I’ve been devoted to helping those with disabilities and the treasured members of our elderly community. Not only is my educational training centered around helping these populations, but my music is the vehicle I use to bring peace, comfort, compassion, and beauty into the lives of community members with physical and emotional pain. I share love and connection with the most fragile individuals on the Palouse through my gift of music.

My FormalEducation

Professional Concert Harpist, Proficient Playing at the Advanced Level

College Courses and Private Instruction

  • Major Ensemble (Symphony Orchestra Performance and Studies)
  • Chamber Ensembles
  • Professional Music Skills
  • Music Theory
  • Aural Skills/ Musical Ear Training
  • History of Music
  • Music Literature
  • Musical Performance Studies
  • Topics in Music Education
  • Advanced Instrumental Harp Performance and Technique
  • Dalcroze Institute Masterclasses:
    The Juilliard School, New York, NY

Ph.D. in Special Education

Advanced Training in the Following Areas

  • Human Growth and Development
  • Developmental Disabilities
  • Hearing Impairments/Deafness
  • Orthopedic Impairments
  • Traumatic Brain Injury
  • Neurologically Impaired
  • Deaf-Blindness
  • Multiply Disabled
  • Intellectual Disabilities
  • Speech Impairments and Disorders
  • Individuals with Mental Illnesses
  • Abnormal and Behavioral Psychology
  • Introductory Counseling Practices
  • Autism
  • Visually Impaired
  • Medically Fragile
  • Learning Disabilities
  • Emotional and Behavioral Disorders
  • Functional Behavior Analysis For Challenging Behaviors
  • Analysis of Human Behavior and Modification Strategies
  • Nonviolent Crisis Intervention Training/CPI
  • Survivors of Abuse
  • Chronic Pain—Impact on Behavior and Learning
  • Physical Disabilities
  • Substance Abuse in Juvenile Populations
  • Pediatric and Parental Post Traumatic Stress Disorder

Currently Enrolled in a Therapeutic Music Certification Program

Endorsed by the National Standards Board for Therapeutic Musicians (NSBTM)

  • Emphatic Listening Skills/NLP
  • Living Anatomy
  • Hospital Etiquette/Infection Control/Clinical Attire, Security and Codes/Self Care
  • Introduction to Death and Dying/Palliative Care
  • Music Therapy Practices for Mental Health Services and Rehabilitation
  • Terminology, Principles, Concepts and Applications of Therapeutic Music
  • Scientific Developments in Sound Research
  • Information on the Complimentary Modalities Used in Healthcare Facilities
  • Acoustics/Cymatics and Introduction to the Theories of Resonance
  • Music Development – Including Repertoire, Improvisation, Composition
  • In-depth Resonance Studies
  • Inclusive Attention
  • Hospice and Palliative Care Further Training
  • Music Development
  • Developing Individualized Resonance-based Music for Clients and Patient
  • Additional Repertoire Used in Therapeutic Settings

Please ConsiderSupporting Us

Concert Harpist for Compassion relies on the continuous support and generosity from the community in order to help maintain our mission and vision for the future.