Bringing the harp into a classroom to promote interest

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    I will be going to a Montessori school this coming week to show the kids the harp (and hopefully get some new students).

    If you have done something like this before some ideas would be helpful! I would also like to give the kids some kind of little activity to take home like a harp to colour or something like that. If you have any ideas of where to get something like this, please let me know!

    Ideas of what to play would also be helpful! This opportunity came up quite suddenly so I have not had much time to think it over.

    Thank you harp friends!



    Silent Night in C and Amazing Grace in G are just two examples of many pieces that have just three harmonies, or chord changes, throughout the work. This would enable you, if you bring a pedal harp, to play them the first time through “straight”, or as sung; and once more using LH harmonics on the melody, along with RH glissandos with easy double pedal changes. For an activity you could bring along printed cards, small enough for pockets. with the outline of a harp on them.On the back in a small size, could be your contact number or e-mail address, if you like. They won’t have access to colored pencils during your presentation but you could demonstrate where the red and blue/black strings are on your harp while there. You could pluck and name the C scale saying both C,D,E, and also Do, Re, Mi. Most important is that you could play a piece you know very well, from memory, that is under three minutes. Have a question period after your demonstration. Mention how the harp changed from early times in many different countries, until today’s harps.Time will fly, and you will enjoy this experience as much as your young audience.


    Thank you for the tips! I appreciate your help.


    I’ve done a couple of sessions in a junior school taking a small harp which I was happy to let them touch and play (NB: needed a higher stool for them and a low one for myself). Starting with a few opening questions, (they seemed to know what it was called), I introduced the string colours etc, middle C and four fingers. Played Andres’ Charades, Thomsons’ Raindrops (for very young children) and Cuckoo to sing along to, or Hasselmans Petite Berceuse for the older ones. I used the trick of a small ball to show them all how to make a rounded fist, with thumb and finger pointed out, then turnover and tilt forearms with elbows out for the correct approach to the harp and let 2-3 children have a go to play simple notes. I found out that if you ask for ANY questions…. you get just that, questions about ANYTHING !! Older children who were musically accomplished asked intelligent questions including what the strings are made of and since I was in the middle of rural farmland in Devon (yes, near Emma!!) I was able to gently explain about steaks, beefburgers and using the leftover beef gut, the stretching and winding process. When I made a point about harps coming in different sizes… & ‘the right size for you’, a fidgety young boy at the front, desperate to show me that he was ‘tall enough’, jumped up, stretching himself on his tiptoes against the harp until his toes nearly left the ground so eventually I had to ask him to sit down, all very funny/enjoyable…!! Once, when I asked them what you call someone who plays the harp they just started repeating my own name amonsgt themselves……..

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