December 3, 2013 at 4:48 pm #89853rose-grotjanParticipant
I have been volunteering at my grandson’s Montessori school. I take my harp, or a guitar, or a few open tuned ukes….
now the school is willing to buy a harp! YEAH! For little ones 3-7. SUGGESTIONS?December 3, 2013 at 5:23 pm #89854jennifer-buehlerMember
I have two different suggestions. Harpsicles are relatively cheap, have a decent tone and if the kids rough it up, it’s not too sad. I brought my yellow harpsicle into a Headstart classroom once and the kids raved about Miss Jennifer’s “Golden harp”!
Stoney End harps are a little more expensive but have a good tone and are ridiculously sturdy.December 3, 2013 at 5:42 pm #89855Angela BiggsMember
I would recommend a Harpsicle. I have several, and have used them with young children. Like Jennifer said – if a Harpsicle gets scratched or dinged, it’s not the end of the world. An added bonus is that Tasty Harps Co. sells an adjustable stand — so you can adjust the height of the harp to every child.
Harpsicles are $399, the case is $85, the adjustable stand is $79 (then add shipping). I wouldn’t want to invest any more than that for children ages 3-5, and the string spacing on Harpsicles is close enough to higher-end instruments that it will be useful for the older children too.December 4, 2013 at 5:32 am #89856erin-woodParticipant
My five year old plays on my Dusty Strings FH-26 and it is perfect for her. It sits on the floor and she sits in a small chair. I think a Ravenna would be great. Most importantly I think it should be a harp that balances on the floor. Not something that requires a lap bar or stand. Just too precarious.December 11, 2013 at 6:42 pm #89857randalParticipant
I would think durable is the prime factor hear–harpsicle. Unless of course the school wishes to spend more. My 8 year-olds love to play on my 22-string lap harp, so I wouldn’t think a larger harp is particularly needed in your environment
Rose, I would be interested in hearing about your experiences–the activities you use, structure, etc. I’ve worked some with groups in this age range–with a variety of interactive approaches. Usually, percussion instruments are effective, and musical games. I’ve used ukes–which of course are deployed as percussion and rhythm instruments in this group. I’m intrigued about employing harpsDecember 12, 2013 at 11:34 am #89858lyn-boundyParticipant
Another recommendation here for the Harpsicle but if durability is the issue (and how could it not be where kids are concerned?) then I don’t particularly recommend their accessories; my stand started falling to bits within just a few weeks of buying it. I’m not sure who makes sturdier accessories that are suitable for Harpsicles but perhaps others will have suggestions.December 12, 2013 at 3:04 pm #89859Angela BiggsMember
Lyn, I’ve found that the Harpsicle stands do require some upkeep. Mine get a lot of use, and they tend to start sticking at the bolt attaching the stand to the harp. I instruct my renting students to bring their stands in when they start to stick; I give the student a working one to take home, then take the sticking stand and swap out the t-nut and bolt for new ones. Regular lubrication with powdered graphite may also help. I keep some on hand for the stands I use myself, and when I first notice a little reluctance I puff some into the nut and onto the bolt.
It is annoying, but easy and very inexpensive. I wish the stands were of higher quality, but I haven’t found a substitute, and I find them useful enough (and the Harpsicles cheap enough!) that I’m willing to do the work.
It may be worth noting that very small children probably don’t even need to use a stand. They could kneel on a pillow or on the floor, and the Harpsicle could sit on a mat. Slightly older children may be able to sit on a low stool, with the Harpsicle still on a mat on the floor.December 14, 2013 at 10:19 pm #89860patricia-jaegerMember
Rose, I have no experience teaching with Harpsicles (TM) but on their web site: harpsicleharps.com, the FAQ heading will take you to questions and answers. To the question: Can I get a quantity discount—-if I am a teacher? The company answered: Yes, harp teachers, we have a special discount program just for you Please inquire to receive the details.
Since you are the teacher, perhaps by ordering the minimum number of harps to qualify for the discount, you could let the school buy a discounted harp from you, and use the rest of those harps you ordered, in your own teaching. To see and try harps before purchasing, there are many dealers in the U.S. and around the world, all listed with contact information on the web site. Perhaps other makers of small harps would also offer a discount on a quantity purchase; it doesn’t hurt to ask. 🙂
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