Bright blue skies. Verdant fragrance of evergreens. Golden evening sun. Mountain reflections in the tranquil alpine lake. The peacefulness of the surroundings invites you to step out of the distractions of your daily life; the quietude fosters a longing to slow down, to feel, to listen; to be inspired - and to play.
Standing at the water’s edge, your fingers move effortlessly over the strings of your harp. You feel the soft breeze on your skin; hear the water quietly lapping on the sandy shore, adding it’s gentle whisper to the music of your harp. The breathtaking colors of the setting sun become deeper and even more brilliant as you play the sun down.
In this perfect moment of inspiration your spirit soars; your heart fills with gratitude for the beauty of Nature and this gift of music.
Designed to give rise to heightened creative, musical and improvisational skills as you navigate the harp with ease and artistry – all while revealing a deeper, more imaginative and inspired you!
There is a beautiful place, where “Forever Wild” is not only an ethic, but an official designation - The Adirondacks; your portal to your innately creative self…
There is something magical in the energy of this lovely region that will inspire you. Taking your harp and music outdoors, to the forest, to the water’s edge, under the open sky - will have you relaxed and inspired and ready to be open to your true creative potential.
Here, you can be enveloped by the beauty of mountains, lakes, streams, gentle forests, sunsets & sunrises.
New York State's Adirondack Park covers more square miles than Glacier,
Yellowstone, Grand Canyon, and Yosemite National Parks combined. Nearly the size of Vermont,
it includes mountains, lakes, rivers, bogs, fens,
and one of the finest temperate deciduous woodlands in the world. The wildlife is diverse,
the scenery grand, the atmosphere crisp, balsam-scented, and moody.
Just a stone’s throw away, in the lush forests, lakes, & wetlands that are home to an amazingly diverse array of native and migratory birds, you delight in the magical music of birdsong as their graceful flights inspire you to new heights of creativity and connection.
The Adirondack region is like no other place on Earth.
Turning your face towards the lake, you relish the freshness of the air and the sounds of nature. This is an absolutely perfect place to delight in playing your harp outdoors, opening yourself to incredible inspirations born of this wondrous setting!
Lake Clear is the PERFECT place to spend 3 delightful days of discovery...
In the companionable company of a select, small group of kindred spirits - friendly, enthusiastic harp players - who, like you, love and long to continue to explore and grow musically and creatively.
The peaceful environment provides time, space and mindset to acquaint yourself more deeply with your harp - the partner in your journeys of music and creativity.
Content-rich-yet-relaxed hands-on-harp activities each day are designed to help you cast off limiting beliefs you may have about yourself, the music you play and how you play it.
Imagination stimulation activities that are fun and wonderfully productive
Improvisation explorations will help you leap joyfully “off the page” and take you into delightful new musical spaces.
Personal time for rest, journaling, ensemble playing, outdoor activities, exploring the region, whatever you wish to do or not do ♥
Self-directed ensemble playing is a time of connection; new friends playing music together in an enchanting place.
On the shores of lovely Lake Clear we will delve into our natural creativity and innate connection to Mother Nature.
❊ Revealed your dynamic musical artistry
❊ Attained priceless “tools” and techniques that will catalyze your creativity
❊ Discovered the amazing versatility and musically creative power of the harp and you
We’ll spend three fabulous nights in the charming comfort of Lake Clear Lodge and Retreat Center
; a quintessential Adirondack Lodge. Stylistically rustic, wonderfully comfortable and warmly welcoming
- with culinary offerings that are out of this world!
Enchanting cabins, cozy rooms, inviting reading/relaxing areas - both inside and out, an Old World Rathskellar - complete with beer and wine cellar, a magical dining room plus acres of on-site trails to wander at your leisure and a lovely natural beach on the lake.
Hiking trails abound; mountain bikes, kayaks and canoes are available for guests to use. While feeling delightfully secluded, the Lake Clear Lodge is not far from shopping, dining, art galleries and family activities.
Our hosts, Cathy and Ernest Hohmeyer, are delightful folks who will make sure your experience at their Lodge is a fabulous one. Friendly and helpful, they are a wealth of knowledge and information on the region and activities for all interests, activity, fitness and age levels
This gorgeous, tranquil setting is the perfect place to bring your mind, body and spirit into perfect alignment to experience your profoundly uplifting musical transformation.
Cathy Hohmeyer is a renowned Wellness Chef; her meals are not only fabulously delicious,
but are also wondrously nutritious. From our scrumptious Pub dinner in the Rathskellar
to a fabulous 7-course Adirondack History Dinner in the Dining Room, we will be immersed
in incredible food and dining experiences. Leisurely meals lead to many an interesting
discussion and much marvelous camaraderie.
The scrumptious meals at the Lake Clear Lodge are made fresh each day, using produce, cheese, and meats from local farms. Cathy is a consummate baker, so fresh bread daily is a delicious given.
Cathy is happy to offer vegetarian meals; it is best to contact her directly in advance regarding other dietary needs and restrictions.
Are you hungry yet?!
Enjoying gatherings with your new harp friends - lakeside, in pub or around the table - with a glass or cuppa, laughter ringing through the air, sharing newfound insights, inspiration and the excitement sparked by our creativity/artistry and Nature sessions that have set your imagination on fire.
Savoring the irresistible aroma of our delicious Adirondack-inspired dinner wafting
through the evening air as you wend your way peacefully from your cozy cabin across the
peaceful grounds to the magical, twinkly light-lit dining room.
Dining on scrumptious fresh, local cuisine morning, noon and night - YUM!
Taking your harp into the woods or to the water’s edge, wandering at your own contemplative pace, playing along with morning birdsongs that ripple amongst the trees or accompanying an intoxicatingly spectacular sunset across the tranquil lake.
Tapping into your newly discovered - or deepened - creative “voice,” you celebrate your artistry by creating in-the-moment music that mesmerizes you and anyone within earshot - and fills you with joy
Drawing on experience and knowledge gained through enlightening self-discovery explorations, terrific teaching experiences and remarkable harp journeys, Martha shares her creative expertise,
harp mastery and total delight in playing the harp with a select gathering of harpers and harpists in the beautiful Adirondack Mountains.
During this retreat she will lead you in unlocking the expansive potential of your creativity, while delighting in the beauty and wonders of the Lake Clear region of the Adirondacks.
Harps, music, inspirations, cozy cabins, beautiful Nature, delicious cuisine, beach, lake, forest, mountains - and the camaraderie of harp friends - new and old - together will fill this illuminating, rejuvenating retreat!
❊ What if you received all the help you needed to discover, recognize, embrace and celebrate your own vibrant artistry and inspired creative spirit?
❊ What if you had access to expert assistance in learning the art and science of improvisation?
❊ How would it feel to be given the keys to unlocking the connection between physical movement and creativity?
❊ How wonderful would it be to discover your deep connection with Nature and how transformative that can be?
❊ What would it mean to you if you were simply given the secrets to being able to play with freedom and flair? A skill that will fill you with joy for years to come!
Would THAT be worth coming to the gorgeous Adirondack region for?
You Bet It Is!
Martha will guide you through learning skills and techniques with reliable, repeatable, proven methods that illuminate the expansive musical possibilities of the harp. And as you assimilate and start to use these methods you will be opening up to the realization of your own creative potential.
TRAVEL ❊ EXPERIENCE ❊ CREATE
Allowing yourself time to absorb new ideas, while having diverse experiences
in new, distinctive and inspiring surroundings, with the presence and
support of an uplifting, knowledgable retreat leader/teacher,
is a recipe for your genuine enjoyment and success.
Our retreat will be a gathering of a select, small number of players, allowing for plenty of time, energy and space for each person to receive personal attention during our group activities. No one need feel rushed or frustrated for any reason. This will be a time of patience and joy.
“I loved the fact that this retreat focused on our wholeness as harpists. Oh, and all the laughter!”
“Great music, food, location, discussions, laughter, spirituality; kindred spirits!”
“The time was generous for the unfolding, getting to know one another."
“It was helpful to have personal time between scheduled things.”
“I loved the mix of music, nature and all the various ways to open our creativity and relax - lots of great harp time, yummy food, small group, personal time, beautiful location...”
“The camaraderie was terrific!”
“Loved all the hands-on harps time but it wasn’t too much, so it kept a great “retreat” feeling and not a “workshop” feeling.”
This retreat experience is for you if...
You’re harp playing experience level is Beginner to Advanced.
You’re excited to gather with a select group of enthusiastic harp players who, like you, love and long to continue to grow musically and creatively.
You’re looking forward to learning reliable ways and strategies for finding the musical and creative potential that lies hidden within you!
You want proven approaches for expanding creative thinking and playing that you can continue to build on long after you’ve returned home from this transformational retreat.
Your love of travel and understanding of how new environments and routines can jumpstart your imagination… powerfully override your usual homebody inclinations.
You’re ready and open to allowing music to simply flow through your fingers without sheet music to direct your inspiration or hinder your artistry!
You’re excited to unlock the mysteries of making more music with less effort and an abundance of spontaneous joy!
You’re yearning to free your Muse, cutting loose your creativity through improvisation.
This journey is not for you if:
You are content being stuck where you are in your creative process.
If you don’t like magical adventures and beautiful places.
You don’t care to connect and form friendships with other harp players.
The Adirondack Mountain region of Northeastern New York State is a unique place. Designated by NYS as a “Forever Wild”region, it is six million plus acres of private and public lands. Technically called The Adirondack Park, it is unlike any other state or national park. Strict development and building regulations keep the region free of rampant building.
Beautiful mountains, lakes and rivers, perfect for hiking, skiing, rock and ice climbing, kayaking, canoeing,
fishing and many more outdoor activities, draw tourists and seasonal residents each year from all over the globe.
About 20 miles away is the awesome Wild Center in Tupper Lake - a great place to learn about the flora
and fauna of the Adirondacks. Terrific exhibits, wildlife talks, and a super Wild Walk - a Trail Across the Treetops -
perfect for families with kids.
The history of the region is rich with native culture, conservation, and the arts. Saranac Lake, a 15 minute drive from The Lake Clear Lodge, is a mecca for visual artists and art lovers. The Lake Placid region is rich with Olympic history, having hosted the Winter Olympics in both 1932 and 1980. Famous writers, composers, musicians, business magnates, theologians and philosophers have a long history of spending time in the Adirondacks to ponder, refresh and rejuvenate.
Roads are generally in good shape, but it’s rare where it’s a straight line from one place to another, and roads can be winding, so just allow a little more time than mileage might indicate.
We will be ensemble harping lakeside (outside) several times, weather permitting.
This is an amazing experience and I’m certain you will love it! You may also love
taking your harp to the lake to play on your own - it’s truly a magical experience.
Having small harp with a strap to hold the harp while standing is helpful, but not necessary.
We will not be outside in any weather conditions that would compromise our instruments. If you are able to carry your larger harps, you are welcome to bring them to the shore. The lake is a short walk from the cabins and lodges, over ground that can be a little uneven. There is a grassy road that brings you very near to where we’ll be, so that makes it easier.
Our indoor sessions involve exploring creative approaches to improv, music creation and more. Harps can be safely left in the retreat center for the weekend.
There are several harps available for use if you are unable to bring your own. Small harps can be rented for $30 for the weekend and larger (30+ strings) harps for $50. Harps are available by advance reservation. When you register, please email me if you need to rent a harp. Also, please feel free to email me if you have any questions or concerns.
Transformational experiences of playing and creating music in imagination-
energizing settings such as; playing your harp while strolling lakeside, playing while standing in the shallows,
harping in the woods while walking the trails on the Lodge property, sitting in the shade of the pines
outside your cabin, playing as the birds sing - enjoying many settings that will reset and revitalize your
Content-rich-yet-relaxed hands-on-harp activities with Martha each day are designed to help you cast off limiting beliefs you may have about yourself, the music you play and how you play it.
Divine daily meditation/movement sessions designed to help you open and access your creative channels. (Nothing strenuous; you decide what you wish to do).
Learning, exploring, creating, dining, relaxing and playing harp with a fantastic group of like-minded souls creating the perfect conditions for forming lifelong bonds of friendship.
Illuminating sessions with Creativity Movement Specialist Karen Montanaro, exploring and discovering your deep wells of imagination.
Enlightening session with Wellness Chef Cathy Hohmeyer exploring nutrition rich cooking and more.
A consciousness-expanding Forest Bathing experience with Suzanne Weirich, co-founder of Adirondack Riverwalking.
A Centering time with spiritual guide Susie Allen, who will lead us in our intention-setting for the weekend with musings, chants and prayer (non-denominational).
A Welcome Reception lakeside (weather permitting) on Thurs., followed by ensemble improv playing led by Martha - easy and loads of fun!
Three delicious breakfasts and two scrumptious lunches at Lake Clear Lodge (specially-priced retreat dining plan purchased from Lodge)
Fabulous dinners - a Pub Dinner in on-site Rathskellar, a Seven-Course Adirondack History Dinner, and an Order-From-Menu Dinner (specially-priced retreat dining plan purchased from Lodge)
Comfy lodging in cabins or lodges on Lake Clear Lodge property (Special retreat pricing for lodging booked only from Lodge)
Use of Lake Clear Lodge bicycles, kayaks, paddles, canoe, and life jackets, on-site trail network.
GETTING TO PARADISE:
The Lake Clear Lodge and Retreat Center, Lake Clear, NY
Adirondack Regional Airport (SLK): 2.4 miles to Lake Clear Lodge
Albany International Airport: (ALB): 150 miles
Drive (rent car) - approx. 2.75 hrs.
Bus (Trailways: https://trailwaysny.com) - 4 hrs.
Burlington (VT) International Ariport (BTV): 85 miles (w/ferry)
Drive (car rental) - approx. 2.5 hrs.
Plattsburgh (NY) International Airport (PBG): 56 miles
Drive (rent car) - 1.15 hrs.
Bus (Trailways: https://trailwaysny.com) - 6.5 hrs.
Syracuse (NY) Airport (SYR): 190 miles
Drive (rent car) - 3.5 hrs.
If you want to come earlier or stay later for some exploring, visit
I am also happy to make suggestions about places to see, stay, dine, etc., as are our hosts at Lake Clear Lodge.
A joyful “inspirista,” Martha Gallagher is founder of Retreats for the Harp & Heart, Small Harp Adventures Retreats, creator of Seasons of the Harp Virtual Retreats, Martha's Music Monthly (a sheet music series), and Just A Moment Music. A renowned singer, harper, performer, songwriter, recording artist and retreat leader, she has worked with hundreds of spirited harp players across the US and Canada, helping them to cultivate their creativity and elevate their artistry.
For nearly 40 years she has been enjoying her own harp journey, exploring, discovering and developing her signature sound and “joie de vivre” style of playing. Her renewed love affair with the small harp has brought forth for her a wealth of creative explorations and music creation - and lots of new friends that she has met while playing harp in unusual settings.
A life-long student in the school of experiential learning, Martha has created a series of uncomplicated yet reliable strategies for learning how to improvise, jumpstart creativity and discover/develop artistry. She generously shares the many skills, methods, motivations and revelations that fuel imagination and expression - maintaining that the joy of playing the harp is a talent and skill to be refined, relished and celebrated always.
A singer, folk guitarist and classically trained flautist, Martha discovered a newfound musical freedom when she began playing the harp just as she finished college. A self-taught harper, she started by by playing trad. Celtic (performed nationally with the Chieftains), moved into folk, blues and jazz (national tours, radio features, 7 indie recordings).
The evolution of her original music, eclectic playing style and her freedom through improvisation has attracted harp players of all levels and music styles, who seek her out (harp festivals galore, guest artist at Berklee), to learn how they can create their own "harp voice” and gain freedom of expression on the harp. Martha developed specific methods to teach “those lovely intangibles” - creativity, improvisation, and expressive artistry.
Martha loves being a grandma and currently finds being with her 19 month old grandson to be more fun than a barrel of monkeys. He loves singing, dancing and plucking away on the harp! She loves playing on the floor, making silly noises, and splashing water all over the bathroom at bath time - his, not hers...
Please feel free to email Martha with any questions you may have.
Karen Montanaro is a world-renowned dancer and mime artist, an award-winning choreographer,
and the innovator of "mimedance" (the fusion of two classical art forms).
Karen currently tours the world with her one-woman show entitled "Tanzspiel." Karen is a teaching artist and offers residencies in movement, mime and dance in public and private schools throughout the United States. She studied ballet at the Cantarella School of Dance, the Ram Island Dance Center and on scholarship with the Joffrey Ballet School. Karen danced professionally with the Ohio Ballet and the Darmstadt Opera Ballet in Germany. For more than a decade, Karen toured and taught internationally with her husband and teacher, mime master Tony Montanaro.
In 2008 Karen was awarded an Individual Artist Fellowship grant from the Maine Arts Commission. Donna McNeil, director of the arts commission, wrote:
"Our distinguished panel of judges was impressed with Karen's phenomenal technique and control but most importantly they recognized that Karen has fused her prodigious skill in both mime and dance into a new art form, using the body as a descriptive tool -- painterly, narrative and lyrical."