MMC Faces Behind
Speech Pathologist - "An Instrumental Influence"
Fallon's Photography Studio
Miriam grew up surrounded by music. Her musically talented father taught
her how to play the piano and saw something in her that made him believe
she had the traits necessary to become an accomplished harpist. “My
dad did a lot of research and purchased a pedal harp from a company in
Chicago. At the cost of $15,000, I knew I had to take it seriously,”
Miriam recently recalled with a smile. With a limited number of harp instructors
available, her father was fortunate to locate one who resided in Westfield,
New York, where Miriam began taking lessons at the age of 11.
During her middle and high school years, Miriam played with the Junior
Erie Philharmonic. This premier youth orchestra consisted of students
from eight to 18 years old, representing grades two through 12. Many hours
were spent preparing for their on-stage performance with the Erie Philharmonic,
which was both an honor and a thrill.
After her graduation from high school, Miriam ventured off to Duquesne
University in Pittsburgh to follow her dream of becoming a professional
harpist. “I was involved with the Duquesne Orchestra that played
various venues, but my most memorable event was playing for a production
of the Nutcracker. During the summer, I traveled to San Francisco to participate
in a competition. After a year and a half of making Pittsburgh my home,
I became more and more homesick. I came to the realization that I didn’t
want to play the harp full-time. While some people think playing the harp
is a stress reliever, it was quite the opposite for me. My perfectionist
tendencies made it hard to relax,” Miriam said. “However,
playing the harp makes me feel as if I am doing something productive and
it gives me the opportunity to be creative.”
Changing career paths, Miriam decided to attend Edinboro University, where
she studied speech pathology. “I am sure this sounds cliché,
but I enjoy helping people,” she said.
Her other interests include reading and genealogy. She has traveled with
her mother in search of more insight into her family’s lineage and
history. No matter what details are uncovered, it makes the curious eager
to uncover more about their ancestry.
Miriam has had the pleasure of working for Meadville Medical Center as
a speech pathologist for nearly three years. Fellow employees are fascinated
with her skill on the harp and suggested she perform for Meadville Cardiology
Consultants’ “Songs of the Heart,” an annual event that
celebrates survivors of cardiac disease. Since music is known to ease
the anxiety felt by former heart attack victims, selecting Miriam to play
angelic tunes on the harp was the perfect choice for the occasion.
What do harpists and speech pathologists have in common? “Making
a direct impact on people’s lives,” answered Miriam. “People
are fascinated by the full sounding notes of the harp and how they resonate,
creating a sense of calmness and wonder.” Whether it is making her
own beautiful music or helping a patient with their ability to create
a beautiful sound, Miriam finds her career choices to be very rewarding.
We are proud to introduce our March 2019 Faces Behind
Your MMC, Speech Pathologist, Miriam Lutz, MA, CCC-SP.