NEW HARTFORD — Cheryl Campagne, formerly known professionally as Cheryl Maust, is the owner of Simply Guitar Studio and a member of ASCAP, SGA and the Academy of American Poets. She recently talked about an exciting new breakthrough in sound therapy for horses.
“Sound therapy for horses could be our new miracle,” she said. “My horse Dreamer is stabled at Sawhorse Farm in Harwinton and the owner was very concerned about another horse, Thor, who had not eaten any food for a week. I offered to bring my Reverie Harp to the stable since it produces soothing music. Thor and another horse came closer to me when I began playing my arrangement “Drake Passage” on my harp. After two minutes, Thor began eating his hay and 20 minutes later he was eating all his grain and hay. The other horse licked my arm, as though trying to eat the healing vibrations. Pythagoras said the highest goal of music is to connect one’s soul to their Divine Nature. Sound affects us physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually.”
She explained that the Reverie Harp, made of solid mahogany and cherry wood, is tuned to a pentatonic scale with the sound waves “connecting in a state of oneness.” When she handed the instrument to this writer, I first used a feather, then a guitar pick to strum it, feeling the soft vibrations in my bones. She is now offering music therapy and healing sessions with the harp, an ancient art that can be traced back 3,000 years.
Cheryl began her love affair with music and guitars at age eight when her father gave her an acoustic guitar. She studied in various master classes and guitar workshops under guitar legends, including Grammy Award winning song writer Robert Lee Castleman, at the Hartt School of Music in West Hartford and at the Music Conservatory with George Hadjimarkou, a classical guitarist from Cyprus, with whom she has kept in touch.
She worked as a guitar teacher, children’s teacher and helped backstage for the Warner Theatre for many years. When her husband built her spacious studio in New Hartford in 2014, she focused on teaching primarily beginner and intermediate level students in three styles of guitar — acoustic, electric and classical. There is a recording studio which is also for teaching.
Her original song titled “Pollinate” will be released Oct. 14. She composed it while hiking on The Hundred Acre Wood Trail in Brooklin, Maine. She was living there at the time and celebrating The Great American Outdoors Act. Cheryl said, “Portions of the proceeds from this song will be to benefit the restoration of wildflowers that are crucial to native forest conservation in the Northern Woodlands of Maine. Nature is our greatest teacher. E.B. White, author of ‘Charlotte’s Web,’ was my inspiration for the lyrics. Also, my ‘Yellow Wings’ song was inspired by time spent on E.B. White’s island in Maine years ago and has been arranged for full orchestra for a movie soundtrack. We just need the movie!”
She noted, “As a proud member of ASCAP, I am offering songwriting classes at Simply Guitar Studio in October.” On walking up the stairs to her studio, it is hard to miss all the photos of famous faces on the walls — musicians she has known, worked with and was inspired by throughout her long career, including Carly Simon; Joni Mitchell; Robert Lee Castleman from Nashville, a great friend who writes for Alan Jackson and Alison Krauss; Frederick Kewley, manager for the late Chet Atkins and Harry Chapin; Merle Haggard; Blues musician Clarence Gatemouth Brown; guitarist Chris Caffery from Trans-Siberian Orchestra; Broadway singer Rob Evan; John Denver, who she met in CT; film composer David Hamburger and many more.
She writes her own original songs as well as poetry, but these days she focuses primarily on her beginner and intermediate level students.
A strong believer in supporting community and non-profits, Cheryl encourages her students to give back as well. She and her students have performed in the Light Up New Hartford holiday celebrations and fundraisers that have provided them an opportunity to become involved in helping others, while showcasing their musical talents. Students often had their first live performances at Passiflora Tea Room in downtown New Hartford. Known as the local meeting spot for musicians, artists and writers, Passiflora recently closed after 15 years. Lesson plans are customized to the student’s area of interest, with an emphasis on proper technique.
Some of Campagne’s students have gone on to perform locally or sing in their church choir, and others have chosen a more serious path, attending schools like the Hartt School of Music or auditioning for “The Voice” television show. She is thrilled to be part of their journey.
For private lessons, please call 860-806-4638 or email firstname.lastname@example.org for more details.