Lyre Association of North America

St. Michael, the Crescent Moon, and the Lyre

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

Have 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.

One sees his arm, with its shimmering weapon, which strong and pure, seems to be hardened by divine justice. And with his valiant hand, St. Michael strikes the sword, which will destroy the crawling, the desirous the wallowing, the corroding impurity. And when St. Michael strikes his sword, the stars tremble and diamantine sparks fly through the air.


Have you seen, gliding in the dark winter nights, the delicate moon crescent above the gossamer white clouds? There is around them something like a rustling of distant grass growing on the wide and fair meadows of Heaven.  The hearts of human beings looking at the crescent on wintry nights are seized by a longing to be far, far away. Yet whoever loves their angel, and from childhood on has harbored purity of heart, sees something else. That one sees the heavenly Virgin Mary standing on the narrow sliver crescent, and knows that she is a queen. For she smiles at those who are longing and hungering on earth. And she bestows on them heavenly wheat-corns which fall down from her rosy hands and bring blessings to earth.

She prays the depths may become filled, and may become good, and may become penetrated with the miracle harbored in the heights. She bestows blessings with hands that are folded in prayer.

And one day it will happen that the birch tree, when its leaves are falling in autumn, will not weep because of its bereavement. Then the leaves will joyously fall down to earth.

And one day a stairway, whose steps resemble milk-white stone, will appear above the moon. And Maria, waving her hands in a promise of redemption will walk up the white steps to a golden table spread from Heaven with the Thanksgiving of human beings on whom the harvest has been bestowed. And it will seem as if her feet were treading on the fluttering wings of doves.

Thenceforth the moon’s crescent will not be forsaken. A song will resound from it, such as has never been heard in Heaven or on earth. St. Michael will stand on the crescent. As a heavenly smith, he has forged his sword into the frame of a lyre, whose strings are fashioned from human beings’ valiant thoughts. The dragon slayer will play and sing. He will perform his office as “heavenly lyrist." Strength is alive in his song, and he will sing of consolation and fulfillment of his old promises. He will sing of the outflowing of the highest light, encompassing the smile of Maria.

And the birch tree will tremble down to its very pith in its joyfulness, whenever this song is sounded. And autumn will be the same to it as spring.

Many a person will not see it; and many will not hear it. Yet whoever loves their angel and harbors faithfulness in their heart, such a one knows the song full well, and will want to be better.

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

By 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 to actually free its tone beautifully requires my attentiveness and generosity. It also has great healing potential.

Through much practice and patience, alone or 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 to continually 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.

The program takes place through five modules, or intensive weekends, and a practicum. In between the modules there is reading, study, putting together a repertoire, and lots of practice. The modules are where students come together to learn, to practice what they've learned with their instruments, and to support one another. So far, I've completed two modules here in the Denver area, which, I'm happily told, is a welcoming place for CMPs.

It's a bit lonely being the only lyrist in my class, and at times my confidence wanes in the presence of a roomful of accomplished musicians, but I couldn't ask for a more supportive and encouraging group of people to be learning with. Harpists, guitarist/vocalists, keyboardists, flutists, dulcimer players are my classmates and teachers. Most of them have never heard the lyre, but everyone recognizes its very special tone and resonance.

What I'm learning is that there are different patient conditions that call for different types of music in regard to tempo, rhythm, melody, pitch, etc. It matters what you play, but not specific pieces because it also matters how you play. There are times when you want to play familiar music and other times when you don't. We are being trained to observe each patient moment by moment, to be open and receptive to their physical, emotional and/or spiritual needs, to adjust the music accordingly for each one, and to use our intuition.

For example, we might adjust tempo, rhythm and meter by how the patient is breathing, how stable they are, how much pain or anxiety they have or how they are responding to the music. We are learning how different modes affect different moods. We might begin playing in a mode that matches their mood, then move to another mode that helps them to relax or gives them more energy. We might lower the pitch or play very simple melodies if they are very fragile. And for the actively dying, we accompany them with very simple tones and silences, unstructured yet beautiful, being present with what is needed in every moment. When all else fails, and we don't know exactly what to play, we are encouraged to trust the music and not underestimate the power of beauty.

I am also learning (and through practice actually beginning to understand) that being able to play "by heart" and to improvise, what one teacher calls "untethering yourself from the sheet," is the best way to be present and observant to what is needed in the moment.

I'm still in the first stages of learning how to be a therapeutic musician and have quite a ways to go and a lot of practice, but I'm grateful that my lyre is, once again, giving me this opportunity and asking much.

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 & 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, 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.

When I first read of this event, I wished to attend, but found that a packed schedule and other commitments would not allow me to participate. Our lyre colleague, Nancy Carpenter, was part of the planning and was to be there to play lyre for the event. At the last minute, Nancy was unable to attend due to some extenuating circumstances, and reached out to the LANA board to help. There arose in me an inner ‘yes’ and in speaking of what would be needed for me to attend, I found that all I needed was provided. I am very grateful to the Central Regional Council for providing my transportation, and to Marianne and Dennis Dietzel for providing a place to stay. I was delighted and honored to play lyre with Marianne Dietzel, Yushi Zhang, and Joan Daelande, with our singer, Dawn Spanton.

The planning group had committed to the integration of eurythmy, lyre, song, poetry, and art in the weekend events. For the group’s own exploration and preparation for the public event Saturday evening, we experienced the planetary realms the soul meets after death with both the lyre and eurythmy. Lyres first played the planetary tone and mirrored scale with a brief improvisation, then the related planetary song from Songs of the Seven Planets by Colin Tanser was sung. Eventually, the participants also sang these songs accompanied by lyre. Raven Garland guided us in the eurythmy gestures and colors for each planet, and spoke inspiringly of the questions each planetary realm presents to the soul on its journey through the spiritual world.

These eurythmy and lyre sessions with the planetary realms were interspersed with small and large group discussion and sharing, exercises for listening from behind and connecting with our beloved dead, planning for the All Souls Festival, and shared meals with opportunities for more individual conversation.


The hall of the Minnesota Waldorf School was transformed with a beautiful 450' hand dyed silk rainbow banner hung from above around the entire meeting area. At one end, artistic work was displayed, some done during the study preparation, and a memorial table held photos and objects representing loved ones of the gathered whose journey after this life was already underway.

For Saturday evening, another beautiful rainbow silk was unrolled – this one dyed in rainbow stripes and so large (150') that it could be placed in a lemniscate form on the floor. The oval at the lower end had the purple moon stripe of the rainbow on the inside and moved outward, the same order experienced in life between birth and death. The point of crossing represented the threshold, where Raven stood as Guardian, and the upper oval had the rainbow reversed with the purple stripe on the outside. The planetary realms were represented twice – once going outward, and again in reverse order on the descent to earth. One person as moon (or other planet) gave the eurythmy gesture, and the opposite person gave the gesture for the vowel. In the pause in the area of the zodiac, when the soul comes to the “midnight hour,” a large crystal bowl rang out before the descent back to earth.


With the lights dimmed, each person had an opportunity to walk the path inside the lemniscate from earth to spiritual realm and back while the lyres played a ‘tone bath’ of the planetary tones up and down the intervals, the eurythmic movements resounded, and the crystal bowl rang out. All this was a very powerful experience, one which I will revisit again and again.

Sunday morning we had the opportunity to reflect on our time together before we left for our various earthly homes. Many expressed how the sounding of the planetary scales and related music on the lyre added a whole different dimension to the experience of life after death and the planetary spheres, giving them a whole new appreciation of dissonance. See more photos here

News from Brazil - Songs and Christmas stories for kids!


By Flávia Betti, Belo Horizonte, Brazil -

Dear friends!

In gratitude to the beautiful musical path we walked this year we will make, on December 8th, in our little school, a Festival where each group will present 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. We´ll also be offering, at the end of the year, 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.

Attached 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!

Singing is a human gift! It can bring calm and cheer! Songs are what most tightly connect 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

Nossa página no facebook:

tel: (31) 3344-3236  -Rua Mangabeiras 275 - Sto Antônio Belo Horizonte -


All Souls Festival and Retreat in the Central Region

By Marianne Dietzel, St. Paul, Minnesota

The Central Region of the Anthroposophical Society in America is concluding a year of The Bridging Project: Between Life and Death from Soul to Soul with a weekend retreat in St. Paul, Minnesota, on November 3-5. We will be working throughout the weekend with eurythmy, color and music to create a Saturday evening festival depicting the journey of the soul between death and rebirth. Participants will have an opportunity to walk a lemniscate path through life, beyond death, and back to earth again in remembrance of loved ones, but also to reflect on their own journey and prepare for the one beyond.

Nancy Carpenter, from Michigan, will join local lyrists Yushi Zhang, Christina Martinez and myself in bringing an experience of the tone and scale for each planetary sphere. Dawn Spanton will lead the group in singing Colin Tanser's Songs of the Seven Planets with lyre accompaniment.

More information and registration for this event can be found here. All are welcome!


Reflections on the 2017 Summer Lyre Intensive in East Troy, Wisconsin


By Holly Richardson, Carbondale, CO

I had the great privilege of attending the Lyre Intensive this summer in East Troy, Wisconsin. This was my third LANA conference and it proved to be inspiring and challenging as well as fun.

Once again I was welcomed by all of the lovely lyre ladies who are wise, smart, and inspiring in so many ways. Many of them have been working together for many, many years. A highlight of my time was when Margo said to me in the kitchen, “I am so glad that you are one of us now!” I suppose that since I have made the effort to come to three conferences and since “All good things come in threes,” according to Hartmut Schiffer, my lyre patron, that I am officially a lyre lady as well.

The conference took place in a lovely building that felt like a contemporary barn with wonderful acoustics, plenty of space, air-conditioning, and places to walk where beautiful fruit trees and flowers grew. There was even a beautiful stained glass window of a rose in the large room where we gathered. In the farm house, just a stone’s throw from the barn, amazing meals were prepared for us by two more lovely ladies.


Our teacher, Martin Tobiassen, was unlike any music teacher I have ever had. He encouraged us to play with strength and to touch the strings of the lyre in ways I had never considered. He also worked with us by teaching us songs by ear. After much practice in this way, we would eventually get sheet music. Being a music student who long, long ago learned to play first by reading music, I found Martin’s approach refreshing and challenging in a way that strengthened my ability to both listen and play.

My fingertips ached where they touched the strings due to the intensity and duration of our practice sessions during our days together. I had never played so much and with such strength before ever in my short lyre career! My aching fingertips inspired me to take a field trip with a few of my lyre friends to the Uriel pharmacy and buy a special cream for blisters and soreness! I also purchased some of Uriel’s Aurum Lavender Rose oil which Kerry Lee showed me how to apply around my heart for maximum benefit, morning and evening. I am happy to report that my fingertips are fine now and that my heart is also happy, thanks to all of my lyre playing, as well as the added element to my self-care regime inspired by Kerry Lee.

At the lyre conference, we learned about next summer’s international lyre conference. Martin said that he would be there and that perhaps those of us at East Troy could continue working on some of the music that we began together at the next conference. He also made the simple statement about how we only improve when we practice. So, I made a pledge to myself to practice regularly. I decided that if I practice regularly than I will earn the privilege of going to the international conference. Hartmut is in total support of my plan! I have been practicing, working on both Martin's "Tarantella", the Marylynn Wilson piece that is reminiscent of the theme from Close Encounters, The "Cattlefold of Kintaile" and more. I have been practicing regularly with Hartmut, who is my listener. I am also playing folk songs that Hartmut sang as a child in addition to some other seasonal songs.

The Carbondale Lyre Choir has just reconvened for the school year and I am hoping to bring some of my Colorado Lyre friends to the international conference so they can experience a real teacher! We hope to see you all next summer!

More Conference Reflections


By Marianne Dietzel, St. Paul, Minnesota

When I sit down to play my lyre, feeling frustrated at my lack of progress, many of Martin Tobiassen's words from this summer's lyre conference come sounding into my consciousness: “Play slowly and strongly"..."Don't be afraid to make mistakes”...“Do this over and over.” The way he worked with us in finding the patterns in a new piece of music and working through them in a systematic way was a great reminder of how to practice economically.

The two pieces composed by Martin and the stories behind them were delightful in their reflection, in my mind, of a very European way of life. “Unter Eichelberg” portrayed the many anthroposophical endeavors going on in a certain area of Germany around the mountain called Eichelberg. I picture little villages with a curative home here, a farm there, a school here, a clinic there...with anthroposophists working away, giving their best and doing their part to make the world a better place...with all the moments that maybe push them beyond their comfort zones, as well as those that bring joy or satisfaction.

The short and lively “Tarantella” depicted a dance that we were only able to imagine at the intended, dizzying speed.

Perhaps we will have our opportunity to play or hear these pieces again in the Netherlands!

Report from the 2017 Annual General Meeting (AGM) of the Lyre Association of North America


On July 16, LANA held our 2017 Annual General Meeting (AGM) just before the opening of the summer conference in East Troy, WI. Among items of business was election of three LANA board members who renewed their three-year terms: Channa Seidenberg, Margo Ketchum, and Nancy Carpenter.

The board is seeking names for consideration as nominees for future election to the board. Any member of LANA may recommend a name for the board’s consideration. See the criteria for board membership here.

The board will be working to update our By-Laws in the coming year.

The 2017 slate of LANA Board officers was announced: President Sheila Johns; Vice-President Nancy Carpenter; Secretary Colleen Shetland; and Treasurer Margo Ketchum.

A treasurer’s report was presented by Margo Ketchum. There were also reports on lyre rentals, soundings, Lyre Notes, the website, and music sales.

Members gave regional reports on lyre activities in the Northeast, Midwest, Colorado, and Ecuador.

Regional Reports:


· Julia Elliott reports playing with friends at the House of Peace in Ipswich, MA.

· Cate Decker reports Christina Porkert and Diane Barnes are active in the Hawthorne Valley, upstate NY area. Cate is in contact with Channa Seidenberg several times a week by phone. Channa has remarkably increased strength, using a walker, going inside and outside. She has an uprightness and willpower back in full force. She will resume teaching the Resonare course in the fall.

· Kerry Lee reports from PA that in May, she visited the countries of Georgia and Armenia, and gave a talk about music therapy to a fledgling Camphill. Back in the US, she gave instruction to Lifeways students about Mood of the Fifth and Werbeck singing.

· Veronika Roemer reports from PA that she has translated from German into English, Gerhard Bielharz’s book about playing the kinderharp. She also has two lyre students and is also returning to China to teach for the second time.


· Sandi Zeese reports from Maryland that she, Anne Frances Martin, and Pat O’Connor recently gave a small concert at a rehab unit in Pat’s elder care village, Riderwood.

· Colleen Shetland reports from Maryland that she has completed her classroom requirements in the Music for Healing and transition Program, and is now halfway through her internship, playing weekly at a hospice in the DC area.

· Samantha Embrey reports from Virginia that she held a lyre retreat last November at her home in Piney River, VA.


· Mary Lynn Channer and Nancy Carpenter continue to play for the Christian Community in Detroit. They both also have lyre students.

· Debbie Barford in Chicago has done less with the lyre this year because of illness in the family.

· Marianne Dietzel in Minnesota plays lyre and sings with people in a Memory Care unit. She plays with Yushi Zhang and helped her learn to read music. She is also assisting Yushi with making videos for people in China who want to learn to use kinderharps. Marianne is also active for festivals and threshold work and is part of the planning committee for the conferences on Death and Dying.

· Minnesota: Marianne Dietzel and Sheila Devlin are active in Minnesota.

· Chicago: Carol Eisen, Beth Kelley, and Debbie Barford held a workshop in Madison, WI entitled “Lyre Space,” with Colin Tanser’s music.

· Detroit area: Mary Lynn Channer continues to teach and play the lyre with the community around southern Michigan. She hosts festivals which include lyre playing and community singing, often with pieces she has arranged for lyres or composed herself. The Greater Detroit Branch went to the Channers for the St John's Festival which included five lyres, classical guitar and Chopin before going outside for the traditional bonfire. Mary Lynn also gave kinderharp classes for the kindergarten children at the Rudolf Steiner School of Ann Arbor last spring. Michael Brewer continues to compose music for the lyre, both for the Christian Community services and his expanding collection of blues and ragtime pieces. We have played for the festivals and Nancy Carpenter continues to play for the Christian Community services most Sundays. She continues to play for the pre-K to 5th grade Eurythmy classes at the Detroit Waldorf School. Nancy had 2 six week kinderharp sessions for first and second graders after school. The third graders wanted more so they had a third session in the spring. Her three six and seventh graders have continued to improve and are enjoying Colin Tanser's music. The seventh graders and Nancy accompanied the eighth grade Eurythmy performance of "The Crystal Ball" at the end of the last school year.

Rocky Mountain area:

· Holly Richardson and Wendy Polich play together in a three-lyre ensemble in Colorado. Wendy also played at a Sardello conference. They realize that seeds planted in one beautiful tone, can grow into something greater.

Cuenca, Ecuador:

· Sheila Johns will begin giving anthroposophic music therapy at the new Uriel Center for Human Renewal through the Arts and Education, which also sponsors events, speakers, festivals, study groups, and an Advent Garden and Spiral.

Criteria for Board members of the Lyre Association of North America

Criteria for Board members of the Lyre Association of North America

I.  To prepare for the future, LANA is looking for new members who are aligned with the mission of the lyre in our time, particularly as expressed in LANA’s mission statement:

The Lyre Association of North America is a non-profit corporation, the mission of which is to promote the modern lyre and support the lyre community on this continent.

II. LANA is seeking Board members who have energy, initiative, vision, and enthusiasm for our mission. Board members should be willing and able to contribute at least one or more of following to this initiative: work, wisdom, or wealth.

III. LANA is seeking Board members with communication skills, who can work within a group    process.  The board is geographically spread out, so communication takes place via email and telephone. Participation in monthly conference calls is a major part of our work.  

IV. Other skills that would be appreciated in a new board member include legal expertise,  financial oversight, and website content management.   

V. Board members are asked to serve on various sub-committees as needed for the smooth running of our organization. In addition, Board members are expected to be involved with the planning and execution of our annual summer lyre conference, which may also include serving in an ad hoc mandate group of the Board.  

VI. LANA Board membership terms are for three years, with the option to continue serving if re-elected. Officers of the Board are selected internally by the serving Board members each year.

VII. LANA is seeking for more board members from the Midwest and Western US, as well as  from Canada, because at this time most are located in the Eastern US.

 How are nominees selected?

Any member of LANA can recommend a prospective nominee at any time by communicating with a current member of the board. The executive committee and LANA board assess the extent to which a recommended person meets our criteria, and the full board then makes the final decision. 




News from Brazil


By Flávia Betti, Belo Horizonte, Brazil

Dear friends!

Our music school, Cântaro, is very beautiful this year! We have four singing groups and one of them with teenagers only.

May was the 9th anniversary of Cântaro, with the reunion of all students of singing, lyre and kântele of the school.

In July, we opened the Anthroposophy Congress with the lyres and the teenagers singing.  It was a success! A very good partnership.

In the first semester we had two concerts with Cantaro's advanced lyre group to raise funds to help the lyre players go to the World Lyre Conference in 2018 in the Netherlands. Here is a picture of the rehearsal.


In the second semester we have prepared a children's story in which we will tell a story with singing, lyres and kânteles for the children here at Cantaro, kindergartens and schools. The story is called “O menino que queria aprender a cantar” (The boy who wanted to learn how to sing). The teenagers will speak the characters' parts and between one act and another we will play a song. All beginners and advanced students will participate.

We also will do some plays with the fingers for the children in the middle of the story .


We are sending an advanced music for Kântele called “Para Voar” (To Fly), written in the pentatonic scale.


We are at Spring and our school is very flowery!

Warm regards from Brazil!

Flávia Betti

Cântaro-Centro de Desenvolvimento Musical

Nossa página no facebook:

tel: (31) 3344-3236

Rua Mangabeiras 275 - Sto Antônio

Belo Horizonte

News from Israel

Teachers and students in the opening of the first year of a new anthroposophic music therapy training in Israel.

Teachers and students in the opening of the first year of a new anthroposophic music therapy training in Israel.

By Yael Barak, Harduf, Israel

Marlise Maurer, from Switzerland, and Yael Barak, from Israel, have begun an anthroposophic music therapy training in Israel.  A group of 17 students from Israel, pictured above, finished their first year of training and the second year is underway.  This is part of a new initiative, the Tal Hama (Mercury Dew), Therapeutic Center for Cancer Patients in Harduf, Israel. The training is given once a month as a block of intensive 2-3 days, and will last three years.  It is the first one in Israel, and we are very excited about it!  To learn more about Tal Hama, see our brochure here.


The Lyre at Hawthorne Valley School, Harlemville, NY


By Diane Barnes, Harlemville, NY

I have just started a new job teaching music to grades 3, 4, and 5 at Hawthorne Valley School in Harlemville, NY.  The lyre hasn’t been used there much in the past few years, but now it is back.  In grade 3, I have a few children streaming on kinderharps during parts of a song, and others playing chime bars, triangles and shakers in other sections of the song.  In the end, all of the instruments play together.  It is quite lovely.  In the first music class with 5th grade, I had chosen students to raise long silks in the air and other students to stream on Bordun lyres as they passed under the silk.  I will build on this activity as we go along.  It has been a good, light-filled experience so far, and the children and class teachers are wonderful.  The Bordun lyres will come into the 4th grade soon.

All the Best to you all,
Diane Barnes

Support for Lyre 2017

As a part of our mission statement, The Lyre Association of North America has a commitment to make our annual conferences available to as many members and friends as possible. One of the ways we seek to achieve this goal is by arranging to host our conferences in a variety of geographic locations. In this way, we are able to attract local members and new friends who have an interest to learn to play the lyre. This commitment does come at a cost, however, since our country spans over 2000 miles from East to West, and in years like this one when we are holding our conference in an entirely new location in the middle of the country, members and friends from both coasts are having to bear a significant transportation cost. In a year when we are also bringing a master teacher from Europe, the Lyre Association likewise has to bear higher than normal costs and therefore has less available to offer toward financial aid scholarships to those who are finding themselves challenged because of transportation costs. Because of our commitment to offer as much support as possible, we are appealing especially to you, our members and friends who are not attending this years’ conference, to consider making a modest donation to LANA in order to offset the costs of our support to those who have appealed to us for financial aid scholarships. Any amount, small or large, makes a difference, and we thank you in advance for your continuing support of our efforts to bring the joy of the lyre to as many people as possible!

Final Notice: Summer Lyre Conference in East Troy, WI

It is with great excitement that we send out this final notice as we are making final preparations to welcome master lyrist and teacher, Martin Tobiassen, to our 2017 Lyre Conference in East Troy, Wisconsin. The Board of the Lyre Association, in conjunction with our Conference Steering Group and our dedicated local host Gail Sauter, have been working very hard over these last several months to prepare a conference that we hope will inform, instruct, and inspire all who attend!

We will spend our mornings working with the elements of listening, improvisation, playing by ear, lyre technique, and good ensemble playing. In the afternoons, we will separate into experience-based groups to practice some of the things we have done in the mornings, to learn our designated parts for the conference music, as well as to enjoy new repertoire designed for each group. In addition, we will have separate afternoon sessions devoted to experiencing the conference music with the full group, Spacial Dynamics, and singing together! In the evenings, we will hear from Martin and share some individually prepared lyre music, we will have a special Lyre Jam Session, and we will have a public evening of sharing some of the fruits of our conference work.

All of these stimulating musical activities will take place at the beautiful Michael Fields Agricultural Institute, which will provide a harmonious and supportive context for our experience together. We are very much looking forward to the opportunity to get to know Martin, to meet new music and new lyre friends, and to renew acquaintances and to play again with others, as we joyfully make music together from Sunday evening, July 16th to Thursday noon, July 20th. ALL are welcome to join us for this memorable week ahead!

Coming Next Spring!The Sacred Gateway: Conscious Living, Conscious Dying, and the Journey Beyond

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 especially honor Nancy Poer and all the threshold work she has contributed over the years. It will hopefully 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 spoken word artists will bring to life the journey of the soul between death and a new birth in a beautiful way.

Kinderlyre Course in Minnesota Goes to China

By Marianne Dietzel, St. Paul, Minnesota

Yushi Zhang and Marianne Dietzel of Minnesota are working on a project together - "Twenty-five Lessons, Step by Step, Knowing your Kinderlyre." Thanks to modern technology, they do not need to travel to China, for they are reaching many people through videos. 

Since the Waldorf movement has bloomed in China, the Kinderlyre is becoming a part of many Waldorf families and new Kindergartens, but there are not a lot of resources to learn and practice. The videos start from getting to know the lyre and how to stroke the strings, and move to more practical aspects such as tuning the lyre, changing a string, and basic music reading skills, as well as understanding and playing mood-of-the fifth and pentatonic music. They are trying to give the audience a jump-start on discovering music with the Kinderlyre. They have been getting feedback that it is a very thorough course and the teacher is very thoughtful and understanding of where students are coming from, and the clear translations are appreciated!

The students are mainly from China, but some are Chinese speakers living in other continents who benefit from having this course available online in their native language. Yushi and Marianne are hoping to help more people understand their lyres through this course. For more information, contact Yushi at

Update on LANA Founding Member Channa Seidenberg

By Sheila Johns, Cuenca, Ecuador

As all of our members and friends have been aware, LANA Board member Channa Seidenberg, who was also one of the original founders of our Association, has been convalescing over the last several months from a broken leg, which she sustained while teaching lyre and singing near Beijing, China in early February. Many of you have made generous contributions to fund-raising efforts in her behalf, which continue to sustain and support the therapies she is needs for full recovery. 

We are happy to share that Channa is learning how to walk again and becoming more and more independent! For the time being, she has been graciously welcomed to reside at Camphill Village in Copake, New York. Although she is not earning any income, she is extremely active in the life of the Village, where she has been playing and singing for special events and festivals as well as teaching privately, offering music therapy, directing a choir, and teaching in the Camphill Academy, an accredited training for Camphill co-workers!  We are also very pleased to share that Channa is willing and eager to continue serving on the Board of the Lyre Association of North America.

Channa and her family have deeply appreciated all of the good wishes and monetary support for her care that have been gratefully received since the time of her accident.  She will have a continuing need for ongoing treatments and therapies, many of which are not covered by insurance.  Anyone who feels inclined to continue offering support through the YouCaring site set up in her honor by the Lyre Association would be welcomed with gratitude to continue doing so!


Camphill Lifetime Achievement Award Presented to Christof-Andreas Lindenberg, March 18, 2017, in Beaver Run, Camphill Special School, PA

By Christof-Andreas Lindenberg and Elizabeth Howe

Christof-Andreas Lindenberg:  Let me tell you a little about that evening on March 18, when guests had come from afar, like John Clark from Scotland, and three ladies from England – Susanne Steffen, Elizabeth Howe, and my eldest daughter Soleira Wennekes. Together, with Nicole Krutzke, Veronika Roemer, and Norma (Lindenberg), we practiced all day, mainly on lyres, and also other instruments to play pieces of music I had written in past years (the Trio Piece; Explore the Lyre), and some accompanied songs. We also went over the choral piece From Morn to Midnight. What joy to again play, with dear musicians, when my playing was so long inactive due to health. The evening went like a dream: music, speeches; speeches, music. After the lifetime achievement award was so warmly given by Onat Sanchez, who spoke on behalf of the Camphill Association, I was allowed some words, which went roughly like this:

“I was lucky to come to Camphill early, 66 and 1/2 years ago (I started in 1950 at the original Camphill Glencraig, Aberdeen, which opened in 1954) to still experience and work with the founders and with Karl König, but what matters is with whom I am building further now; and you all who are sitting here today with me, are part of the achievement. This is an ever more difficult time to achieve anything, seeing the anti-forces try their dark tricks to destroy what is built with good will, with our heart forces, and even with music. I thank you all as coworkers in this achievement. We can yet change much in the world!”

The speeches that followed were moving to hear; presents were shared; and to end we all sang The Light of Sun is Spreading, with Nicole on the violin and Soleira on the piano, a full and rewarding sound.

Elizabeth Howe:  It was the initiative of Onat Sanchez-Schwartz (himself an experienced lyre player, and the secretary of the Camphill Association of North America) to honor Christof-Andreas Lindenberg with this award. Few have ever been awarded, and it was felt that as Christopf-Andreas has contributed to the life and work of Camphill on an International level, Camphill colleagues, friends and family should be invited from the Camphill Movement to this special ceremony. In addition, the time set for the ceremony was at the end of the Association meetings so that many were able to attend from across the North American region as well as from abroad. It speaks for how highly Christopf-Andreas is regarded that 90 people of all ages were in attendance, many driving great distances just to be at this special evening for a beloved and highly respected mentor and coworker.

I was an outside guest from England, and I stood in awe of the amazing organization that went on behind the scenes. There were beautiful, grand flower vases round the room; roses, delicate thistles and green shamrock-like arrangements to represent Christopf-Andreas' connections with England, Scotland and Ireland (he helped pioneer Camphill in Ireland). An exhibition of photos, Christof-Andreas' music publications and Camphill-related articles covering a large table was displayed. Included was the impressive Book of Those Who Have Died, which is Christopf-Andreas' exhaustive research of the dates and places of all those whose destiny linked them to Camphill who had died between 1939 and 2005, from Dr. Ita Wegman and Count von Kaiserlingen, to the smallest child. The housemothers had arranged for refreshments and the setting of the room, and the musicians had spent the morning madly rehearsing a full program of Christopf-Andreas' memorable and challenging music for lyre, bells and voices. Onat himself had organized an impressive framed award, and others had made cards and written letters to express their appreciation.

Onat presented the award on behalf of the Camphill Association of North America and Christof-Andreas accepted it with a few gentle words. Five people then came forward to speak about their experiences living and working with Christopf-Andreas from different aspects. Soliera Wennekes, his eldest daughter, spoke about growing up in Camphill and the magic of the special family times, often early in the morning, and about “fairy toast” (a cornflake, with butter and jam!!!). John Clark (himself now an internationally renowned lyrist, composer and lyre teacher) spoke about Christopf-Andreas as his mentor of 40+ years, and the humble wisdom with which Christof-Andreas shared thoughts and research and listened to his students. I then gave an overview of Christopf-Andreas' many skills and attributes, placing them in a zodiacal and planetary format (he is a true Renaissance man), linking with John’s characterization by speaking of the sun-like quality of “Eternal Childlike Forces” that radiate through all Christof-Andreas’ endeavors. Next, Sonja Adams spoke for the Beaver Run housemother's group that Christopf-Andreas has participated in and advised in an honorary position for many years. Lastly Norma, his wife, spoke, bringing to light the many hidden ways that Christof-Andreas has served in Camphill for 66+ years. One outstanding fact is that Karl Konig commissioned CAL to make the foundation stone for the first Camphill Hall in Aberdeen. He designed and fashioned a double dodecahedron from copper, such that its proportions would nest exactly with the one Rudolf Steiner laid for the first Goetheanum. It took many rigorous geometric calculations, was a labor of love, and ensures the spiritual kinship of the two buildings in perpetuity.  

The evening was interwoven with Christopf-Andreas' music from all eras: Trio Piece (1967); From Morning to Midnight (1969); Lily’s Song for Voice and Lyre (2006) and The Bridge Song for Voice and Bells (2006-17), both composed for a production of Goethe’s Fairy-tale; three of Christof-Andreas’ now classic lyre exercise pieces, Explore the Lyre (1965-70); a seasonal verse of Rudolf Steiner’s set to music: The Light of Sun is Spreading (1962); and a final piece for lyre and bells, For Lent (2013-16).

Naturally, we ended with wonderful refreshments and a chance for some to speak personally with Christof-Andreas, recalling many special occasions where his music has crowned the events, while others explored the exhibition of publications and photos down the years. Yet, the outstanding memory is of Christof-Andreas’ “few gentle words”.  Not only did it feel as if we in attendance were the recipients of the award, but also the bearers of a legacy inspired, since 1950, by the work and ideals of Camphill that CAL passed on to us, endowing us with courage to carry it into the future. Truly the purest quietest tones resound the loudest in eternity!!!

Elizabeth Howe was a Camphill co-worker from 1971 to 2013 in England, Scotland and California.  She is now a self-employed therapeutic musician in the UK, playing the lyre in hospitals for the sick and dying.