Hi there! Do I have to go through a harp performance program to build the confidence and skillset of a professional harpist? Or,can I get there with private lessons?
I would like to one day play with an orchestra (not the majors, smaller orchestras), play weddings and formal events and teach.
I have been taking harp lessons for about 5 years and at the end of last year progressed to a pedal harp. I am in my early 30s and am a digital marketer by trade. I earned my bachelors 10 years ago and am considering a career change and going back to school for harp. Right now I take weekly lessons with a private teacher but I crave more.
I’m scared to pursue this interest because one person told me that it’s hard to support yourself financially as a harpist. In addition, I’m scared of taking on school debt. I currently am debt free after a lot of hard work. So I could afford to go back to school but I’m trying to weigh if it’s worth it…especially taking all the gen eds.
Is it possible to reach a professional level doing private lessons only or do I really need a degree? What types of viable jobs are there for harpists other that teacher, orchestra member, performer (weddings, funerals, special events) and studio musician?
Any insight, advice or encouragement is much appreciated!