Originally from north eastern Victoria on the Murray River, Vasudha moved to the Byron Bay area in 1997. She has extensive experience and training in Music, Therapy, Performance, Education, Theatre and Yoga. A professional and creative artist, she offers a unique combination of skills and services in performance, education and the healing arts. She is singer songwriter and multi instrumentalist with the eclectic two piece Dinkum Bohos.
As a child I was encouraged to explore the creative arts by my grandmothers: one loved the theatre and the other was a pianist. Together they showed me the joy of unabashedly undertaking and sharing artistic pursuits….one had me dressing up and dancing around the lounge room to the jagged ragtime piano of Scott Joplin and the other always requested we play the fast and furious Can Can Duet together. My mother also played piano in which she seemed to find solace midst a sometimes painful and difficult world and my father loved to sing anything anywhere anytime, imparting a sense of fun and ease around musical expression.MUSIC
PIANO was Vasudha’s first instrument and love. Her sensitive and adventurous approach to playing reflects the diverse styles she has explored over the years: ambient, jazz, tango, blues, modern, classical, folk funk and freestyle. Whilst attending boarding school she was classically trained by catholic nun Sr Concepta Leonard whose stern and exacting tutelage would often lead to lessons ending in tears. Although tough, her teacher was compassionate and a great influence, steering her protege onto the path of studying Music Therapy at Melbourne University. A fledgling yet pioneering career path in the 1980s, it was the only course of its kind in Australia at the time.
SINGING did not come easily at first and Vasudha spent the first years of her life thinking that making pleasant vocal sounds was what other people did well. As a Music Therapy student she learnt to “fake it til you make it”, developing her singing voice in order to encourage clients of all ages and abilities to express themselves vocally.,
GUITAR Travelling around Australia in her 1972 orange Kombi van in her twenties, Vasudha developed her guitar and songwriting skills by playing around many a campfire. After teaching herself a few chords from a book she found in the Melbourne University library, Vasudha developed a large and varied repertoire and gradually began to perform as a solo artist as well as in duos, trios and bands.
PIANO ACCORDION Always attracted to Gallic culture, Vasudha took up the squeezebox in order to have a travelling keyboard and delved deeper into the world of French, Celtic, Gypsy and World music. With this nostalgic “band-in-a-box” she has played in folk ensembles, gypsy orchestras and bands as well as French restaurants and on the streets.
SONGS Upon experiencing the death of people close to her Vasudha turned to songwriting as a natural way to process and express her grief.
SINGNG BOWLS I was totally fascinated when I first played a singing bowl, experiencing some inexpressible moment of magic in the corner of a crowded shop in Melbourne in the nineties. Imagine my delight years later when a friend gifted me a large Tibetan singing bowl. I slowly gathered a collection and love to play and share these special instruments.
MUSIC THERAPY: With a keen interest in Sound Healing, Vasudha presented an experiential workshop on the subject at a National Music Therapy Professional Development Conference in the nineties.. After working in several Music Therapy positions in Australia: Early Intervention, Special Education, Community Work, Hospice and Aged Care, Vasudha was employed to Singapore where she developed and facilitated programs for children and young adults with special needs. She also worked on performance-based projects including a Special Arts Camp and a Choir that performed for the President.
INTERNATIONAL EXPERIENCE: I sang with the Singapore Symphony Chorus, played solo shows with guitar and voice and was Musical Director for a Dance Performance in the Singapore International Arts Festival. I eventually lived in a Meditation Centre where I met many brilliant international healers, therapists and meditators who came to stay and subsequently I participated in many workshops and sessions and also ran my own Music and Meditation Workshops. Many of these practitioners were in transit to and from India and spoke of the incredible music and musicians there, so my interest was piqued and I decided to visit “the mother land”.
Visiting Pune India for six months was a deeply transformative time. I played music in many different situations, including Dance Therapy Intensives, Active Meditations, Art and Music Workshops and Gurdjieff Sacred Movements. I sang in front of thousands of people for evening meditations, participated in classes, workshops and trainings including a Zen Theatre Intensive, became a Reiki Master and danced and moved my body more than I ever had in my life.
BYRON BAY: Since 1997 Vasudha has lived, studied and worked in Northern NSW, Australia, a veritable melting pot of artists and healers who combine and intertwine skills and energies. She facilitated “Dynamic Meditation”, an early morning active meditation, daily for a year in the Byron Bay Community Centre, as well as One Day Meditation Workshops, and played live music for mediation events. Whilst undertaking courses in Music and Drama she slowly gained more courage and experience as a performer and by the turn of the century had played hundreds of solo gigs, collaborated with many different musicians and artists, become a Musical Director and was performing with a touring band.
RADIO: Community Radio has always played an important part in my life and soon after arriving in Byron Bay I became a member of Bay FM 99.9 The eastern most station in the nation!
Vasudha has presented and produced various different shows from classical music to magazine style to breakfast programs, interviewed poets, artists, musicians and environmentalists, worked in the music department and helped out with fundraising events. The last program she presented was the popular long running breakfast show “The best Dressed Chickens in town” with Jem Edwards.
POETRY: After being a feature poet at many poetry events and various festivals in Australia and the UK, Vasudha published and launched her first book of selected poems “you near verse”. She hosted Poetry at the Paradiso in Byron Bay for two years until its demise following the death of fellow poet David Allen. While still a lover of the spoken word, she is increasingly interested in exploring the potential of sound and the non verbal.
TEACHING MUSIC: As I was initially trained in Music Therapy I like to keep the idea of meeting people where they’re at as the basis of teaching. I am continually learning as I teach. I’ve taught music in schools and workshop situations for many years and in 2008 completed a Grad Dip Ed (Music).
Vasudha currently teaches private lessons in piano, singing, ukulele, guitar and accordion around the Byron Shire and in her home studio. www.musicteacher.com.au/vasudha-harte
YOGA: While growing up in rural Victoria in the seventies and eighties, Vasudha’s mother developed an interest in yoga and alternative medicine and took her young daughter to yoga classes and weekend retreats. At eighteen Vasudha began attending classes in Melbourne and continued to develop her own practice amidst exposure to many great yoga teachers from around the world. In January 2016 she completed Nada Yoga Teacher Training (Yoga Alliance 200 hours) in Rishikesh, India and continues to study, practise and teach this ancient healing art.
SOUND HEALING: I am passionate about learning and sharing knowledge regarding the science and mystery of sound and its tremendous healing powers. Over the past few years I have been conducting individual and group sound healing sessions and the response has been profound. Individual sessions seem particularly powerful as there are so many levels and layers that sound frequencies penetrate and operate on and when people are open and receptive the effect is always deep and transformative.
Vasudha is an experienced and inspiring workshop facilitator in Yoga and Sound Healing.. Since 2016 she has led weekly Sound meditations at Gaia Retreat and Spa and has presented Sound Healing events at Yoga Festivals and studios. She offers Individual and Group Sound Healing Journeys at yoga centres, health retreats. private homes and community workshops in the Byron Bay area and beyond.
OM: Music and meditation are always at the centre of what I do. It is with great respect and immense gratitude that I walk this path of Nada Yoga and Sound Healing.
Thank you for joining me here.