Damage in rental harp

Posted In: Amateur Harpists

  • Member
    Ouhna Donovan on #159451

    Hi Everybody!
    I am a novice harp student and loving it! (BTW – I have learned SO much from this forum and the wonderful harpists who contribute!) I had been taking weekly lessons using one the instructor’s 29 string “kit” lever harp
    (monthly lease). This has been a very nice harp to learn on, but being a student/rental, had/has the obvious wear features: scratches, small dings, varnish beginning to show its age, etc. But a very nice starter instrument until I can find a larger lever harp. However and most regrettably, I must take a break in my lessons because my life has suddenly become overloaded w/ too many distractions. (The most serious being my mother developing leukemia in addition to other health probs. and my 25 yo nephew, a Marine, who is to deploy next month. Apologies for dumping this stuff here but the “selfish” me feels really bummed because something I wanted to do for a long time must take a back seat.)

    What you may be thinking does this have to do with the subject? This past weekend, as I was preparing to return the harp

    anita-burroughs-price on #159452

    Many people who rent instruments take photographs before each rental and there is a good chance

    Ouhna Donovan on #159453

    Thank you so much for your kind words of encouragement. Unfortunately, I forgot to bring a camera with me the day I finally picked up the harp, so I don’t have any pre-use physical evidence other than the “scratch” comments indicated by the instructor on the contract. She has been teaching for a long time and is truly a nice person and patient instructor and I did not want to be one of those creeps. (See the thread containing disturbing harp renting anecdotes from instructors in this forum.) Whether T/F or simply embellished for drama, even one bad apple can wreck dreams for those who can barely afford even the rental. I could probably have purchased a harp prior to the intro lesson. But through forums like this one, I learned of the pitfalls for that. What if you really don’t have the aptitude, physical ability, time, etc.. As pointed out in other threads, after playing awhile you may find that you prefer a different harp sound, size or function. And that usually happens only after playing a variety of instruments. Which means leasing AND specialty insurance. (Apparently I missed that last class!)

    Karen Johns on #159454

    So how did it go? It sounds like your instructor is really nice. I’m so sorry to hear that you have to give up playing for the time being, but I hope you consider taking the harp up again in the future when things settle down for you. The world is just a little less brighter with one less harpist…


    Ouhna Donovan on #159455

    It didn’t. Because it has been cold here, I took the harp to an unused & cooler room to acclimate for approx. 2 hours. And to check it one final time to see if maybe the harp fairies had fixed the crack. Not!

    Minnesota Harpist on #159456

    Well, it’s Tues. pm- hoping it went ok for you!

    Ouhna Donovan on #159457

    Hi Carol and thank you for your interest!

    Sadly Tuesday AM, (as I was getting the truck padded exra well PLUS
    trying to figure out the best placement that would not cause the
    plywood to splinter into powder!), I received a call from my instructor
    informing me that her mother had died.
    She had to leave a message as I was outside, downstairs and on the
    other side of the house, so I did not hear my cell beep. By the time I
    got the message it was 10 AM (I was to meet her at Noon). Of course I
    was quite affected and although she said she would be at home until
    about 1200, I decided not to contact her. Partly because I knew she
    must of had a million things to do before flying out again and I just did not
    want to add one more distraction; and partly because of the unsettling parallel to my own
    situation – not to mention feeling guilty that I had yet to inform her of the damage.

    My worry now is that while I want to give her whatever time she needs, I am concerned that similar events may unfold on my end (and in spades). Plus, I will have to travel (business) out of state next month (ugh! the itinerary for that is giving me an ulcer). If not for the damage, I probably would have a luthier (w/in 30 mi) examine it, dx, have him pack it and then ship it to her.
    Life goes on.

    michael-rockowitz on #159458


    Here’s something you might try:

    Audrey Nickel on #159459

    I second the idea of posting a pic here for comments.

    michael-rockowitz on #159460

    Hi again,
    I kind of regret my previous post.

    kay-lister on #159461

    My thoughts are that if it were me, I would (after personal things settle) take the harp to her, explain that good care was taken of the instrument, and the crack was noticed. But since it was in my possession at the time, offer to pay for the repair or even make payments to her to purchase the harp.

    Tacye on #159462

    I cannot obviously predict how your instructor will react, people being people, but I can reassure you that the back of a harp is not one of the most critical areas.

    Karen Johns on #159463

    I agree with you, Tacye. In fact, I have a small crack in the back of one of my harps resulting from it falling over. Little wood glue, clamp, and some wood touch-up and you don’t even notice it. Could have been A LOT worse, thank goodness I was on the grass and not the concrete performing that day. Doesn’t affect the sound or structural integrity of the harp, so it’s all good.


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