Friday, July 18, 2014

Looking For Love? Find it in Ireland!

The Lisdoonvarna Matchmaking Festival is Europe's largest singles event, and you are bound to meet your true love there, or ask Ireland's only remaining true matchmaker, Willie Daly, to find the perfect partner for you.

For the entire month of September every year (for 150 years!, the music starts up at noon and continues into the wee hours. Join in with couples dancing, set dancing exhibitions, and sit back and sing along to pub music. The little town of Lisdoonvarna, in western Ireland, swells to several times its size. 

The festival isn't just for the Irish--It draws singles from all over the world. All ages and nationalities attend, and they'll even queue up at the Matchmaker Pub (Willie Daly's office) for help in seeking a mate. Even those who are married or not looking for a partner attend to enjoy the revelry. 

There's still time for you to reserve your flight and accommodations! Dates are August 29th-October 5th. Check the schedule to decide which days interest you. The official Matchmaking Festival website also includes accommodations links. Or simply phone +353 65 7074005 for more information. 

And if you found love at the Lisdoonvarna Matchmaking Festival, tell us all about it here. I love a good love story.




Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Take a Break--Take a Celtic Quiz


You're bored or you need a break from sifting through your inbox or working on your next bestseller. You're surfing the 'net for something interesting, and you come across a quiz...And you go for it.

Testing your knowledge is a great way to take a break from computer work. Take a break right now and test your knowledge about the secrets of the U.K. and Ireland in this short quiz.

I scored a dismal 70%, but if you are into history or have traveled to these lands, you'll stand a better chance. Have you recently taken a fun Celtic quiz? Please include the link below in the comments.

Would you like to share your love of Celtic culture, Celtic music, and Celtic harps? I'm always happy to feature guest bloggers, even if you'd just like to share a delicious recipe, a fun tune, or a short quiz. Contact me through the email address on my website at celticharpmusic.com to submit your article. 



Saturday, March 8, 2014

How to Get Free Music for St. Patrick's Day

Happy Saint Patrick's Day! Looking for a way to make it magical? Celebrate with FREE Irish music! 




Introducing my newest album download, "The Heart of Ireland". Pick up your heals and dance a jig or fall into your love's arms with this glorious collection of traditional Irish tunes. 

And here is my Saint Patrick's Weekend Special: Order any item in my CelticHarpMusic.com store from March 15th through March 17th, and you'll receive this digital album for FREE!

You'll also find additional album downloads, CDs, CD book collections, books, and even Celtic jewelry in my CelticHarpMusic.com store. Feel free to ask for complimentary gift wrapping at check out for any book or CD order. 

So what are you waiting for? Go shopping! 

Would you like to share your love of Celtic culture, Celtic music, and Celtic harps? I'm always happy to feature guest bloggers. Contact me through the email address on my website at CelticHarpMusic.com to submit your article. 

Saturday, February 8, 2014

Celtic Festivals are Magical!

Opening street parade from the Australian Celtic Festival

Have you had the fantastic opportunity to attend a Celtic festival? Whether you are a fan of the culture of Ireland, Scotland, Wales or Brittany, you can get immersed in the music, food, and fun of these countries. Celtic festivals occur around the globe. Guest blogger Sally Smith describes the magic of the Australian Celtic Festival:  

"Every year, on the first weekend of May, Glen Innes hosts the Australian Celtic Festival--A celebration of song, dance, music and Celtic heritage. This is its 22nd year, and thousands of visitors will again descend on the Glen Innes district for rousing non-stop entertainment. Glen Innes is on the Norther Tablelands in the New England region of New South Wales, Australia.

While events of the four-day festival occur throughout the town, the festival show grounds are situated between the two main event locations of the festival, the Australian Standing Stones and Grey Street in Glen Innes. The Standing Stones is the official national gathering site for Celtic descendants of the clans. Forty granite monoliths, each standing 3.7m tall, rise proudly on a hilltop in the Centennial Parklands. 

Four outdoor stages host a mix of entertainment: two venues feature Celtic music performed by musicians from around the world, the third focuses on pipe bands, while the fourth is all about Celtic dance (including River Dance).


Popular events include a jousting contest, where knights wearing historically accurate armor charge at each other atop their mounted steeds for blow-to-blow action. Attendees also enjoy perusing the medieval village, where they can view more feudal activities. 

Another popular event is the Highland Strong Man (and Woman), a race where athletes carry two 50kg sections of railway track in each hand, followed by lifting and carrying a 100kg section, and then a caber toss (female competitors have it easier and enter just the first section of the contest with lighter weights). 


Accommodations for the Festival is at a premium in Glen Innes, so make your reservations now. Choices include hotel, motel, apartment, bed and breakfast, camping, and svn staying in the homes of local residents, where you can experience the warmth of "Celtic Country" hospitality.

The 2014 Festival program will be available this month. It includes a complete listing of all performers' times and venues. The official Examiner Festival Guide will be available in April. Other things to do while in Glen Innes include visiting the Land of the Beardies History Museum, the Gibraltar Range National Park, the World Heritage listed Washpool National Park, and several beautiful waterfalls." 

--Special thanks to our guest blogger, Sally Smith with Skedattle Car Hire, which can assist you with a car rental when visiting Glen Innes. Sally wishes you a great time when you visit the 2014 Australian Celtic Festival.


Are you interested in visiting a Celtic festival near you? Make your travel reservations now, because accommodations for these yearly festivals fill up quickly. Here are some links you'll want to visit:

List of Celtic Festivals around the World
List of Irish Festivals in the U.S.
List of Festivals in Ireland
List of Scottish Games in the U.S.
Events and Festivals in Scotland
Festivals in Wales

Would you like to share your love of Celtic culture, Celtic music, and Celtic harps? I'm always happy to feature guest bloggers. Contact me through the email address on my website at CelticHarpMusic.com to submit your article. 

Thursday, January 30, 2014

How to Soothe Your Doggie's Nerves with Harp Music

Guest blogger David Drasnin's little rascal Shih Tzu, Roxane
We've all heard the saying that music can "soothe the savage beast", but there are very real findings that harp music has an effect on man's best friend. My friend and guest blogger, David Drasnin, explains...

"Throughout the years, music has proven its therapeutic effects. It's significant role in healing and rejuvenation of the mind, body and soul is indisputable. Many listen to their favorite bands, solo artists, and composers the minute they feel down, stressed out, or simply when they've just had a bad day at work. Others recommend listening to special tunes when trying to relax, meditate, and read, or when practicing light breathing exercises. Some even prefer leaving their music player on when going off to sleep, while selecting ambient sounds of ocean waves, birds singing, and soft background harp music. 

The power of music influences our mood and temper. Keeping that in mind, we could select just the right music for our own benefit and channel positive emotions, thoughts and feelings. Recent studies prove that this is the case with animals, too!

It turns out that dogs--man's best friends--have a taste for music and specific music genres. For instance, according to the study conducted by R. Kogan, “Behavioral effect of auditory stimulation on kenneled dogs”, dogs tend to like to sleep when you play classical music to them. Sleeping is generally associated with feeling relaxed, calm, and secure. Therefore, we might also conclude that classical music actually calms dogs down. As another behavioral psychologist puts it: “Long, continuous notes were universally used to soothe or calm dogs."


Today, there are a number of music therapists that attempt to help people (as well as pets) overcome stress and depression without drugs and harsh medications. For instance in Austria, harpist SonjaGrace, preps harp therapy sessions for animals and particularly dogs. She found that dogs which are known to be hostile changed their attitudes thanks to her harp music. She quotes medical authorities like Dr. Diane Schneider to explain that, “Harp music lowers the pulse, blood pressure, and respiration in animals, increases oxygen and endorphins to relieve pain, relaxes muscles, improves digestion, induces sleep, reduces anxiety”.


So, if you prefer the more natural approach, find the best harp players, whose works are available for download online--Including music from harpists like Anne Roos-- and play it to your puppy. Help your pet overcome fears and tension. You'll bring happiness to your pet and you’ll feel utterly refreshed and relaxed just as well."

--Special thanks to David Drasnin, a frelance writer and a sworn music fan from London. He loves animals, especially his little Shih Tzu rascal Roxane, who is full of surprises. Currently he is involved with a fascinating project on puppy adoption at San Antonio Dog Life.


Anne Roos' little parrot, Pippin
Would you like to share your love of Celtic culture, Celtic music, and Celtic harps? I'm always happy to feature guest bloggers. Contact me through the email address on my website at CelticHarpMusic.com to submit your article.