Offbeat: Autoharp Player

March 3, 2008---Posted at 8:15 a.m. CST

PARAGOULD, AR (KAIT)--Clara Bowles always wanted to play a musical instrument, but as a child was not musically inclined.  Then at the age of 62, Bowles discovered the autoharp and has been playing heavenly music ever since.

Bowles says she just decided one day it was time to see if she's got what it takes to strum the strings of an autoharp.  She enrolled in a harp class in Moutain View and a few days later was playing her new love.

Bowles says it wasn't as hard as she thought it would be and just like anything you want to be good at, you've got to pratice.  And with practice, Bowles is now proficient enought to play at church, nursing homes, and at Pickin' in the Park in Paragould on Saturday's.

She says there nothing like the feeling she gets when she's playing and folks are raising their hands and praising God.  Clara says it was the power of prayer that got her this far and without it, she knows this would have been impossible.

Clara is a breast cancer survivor and says she hopes her story will encourage people to try something they'd like to do, no matter how old they are.