Begin With the Basics


Doug Rioth has been principal harpist with the San Francisco Symphony for 40 years and principal harpist with the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra for six years prior to that. He has taught at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music since 2007, and has been the harp coach of the San Francisco Symphony Youth Orchestra since it was founded in 1981.

The ABCs of music study can provide a foundation for a lifetime of success

—by Doug Rioth

The study of music is one of life’s greatest gifts. This much I know from my own experiences. Music study at a young age can instill a lifelong interest and appreciation of music. Some young music students pursue  a life and career in music. Many progress to wonderful and impressive proficiency, studying music throughout their school years, but moving in a different direction for their life’s work. Many more study music for a limited time, often with their parents’ encouragement, and then decide they would prefer to do other things with their busy young lives. I believe  lots of those in the last category regret their youthful decision to “quit” music lessons, as evidenced by the many, many people that have shared with me their regret in not continuing with their music studies for longer than they did. Regardless of the type of music student, everyone can benefit from learning the ABCs of music study:

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