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Reply To: How did you learn to play/read

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#60401
hannah-roberts
Participant

Practice reading simpler pieces first. Just reading the melody and adding in your own left hand will take you a good long way. Harp arrangements are pretty busy, even the simplest ones.
Practice reading something new every day or two. If you get stuck, play a tune and listen on Youtube. I taught myself neumes (Renaissance music writing) this way.
There are some Bernard Andrès pieces that would be great for practicing left-hand melody reading, in his first three books.
Also, many harpists work without sheet music. It may not even be a hindrance to your goals if it wasn’t on piano. There is no right or wrong way, it’s a very individual matter. I only memorize when I know that there’s too much going on in a piece for me to look everywhere at once, and even then I keep the paper in front of me in case something goes awry. Other people play the harp for years and never look at the printed page.
Oh, and another thing that helps, especially with reading rhythm. Find another friend who plays another instrument and play together. This will make it more fun.