Embarrassment?

Posted In: Amateur Harpists

  • Participant
    natalie-g on #157765

    I LOVE my harp to death. I love playing it, etc. etc. like any harpist would.
    But I’m what you might call a closet harpist. If someone were to ask my if I played any musical instruments or had any hobbies, I would probably say no.
    I’m just so embarrassed. It’s not like the harp is a strange instrument, but… it’s rare. I’m afraid people would think I was a freak/loser/etc. for playing it.
    It’s not that I’m ashamed. Not at all! But I just can’t imagine telling anyone I play the harp. Not even certain family members. Self esteem issue? Maybe. High school silliness? Probably.
    I have friends who play guitar/piano and aren’t embarrassed at all about it. Why am I about this??
    Do any of you have this problem? 🙁

    Participant
    Saul Davis Zlatkovski on #157766

    People do react unpredictably, it is true. But you should be proud.

    Participant
    Philippa mcauliffe on #157767

    If you love it think very hard why you would be embarrassed about it?

    Member
    Sylvia Clark on #157768

    http://www.harpsociety.org/Chapters/Index.asp

    Find your local chapter of the American Harp Society and join.

    Member
    kreig-kitts on #157769

    I have no idea why someone who think

    Participant
    jessica-wolff on #157770

    Well, I can’t understand why anyone should regard you as a loser for playing the harp. I regarded it as a great triumph when I finally acquired a harp after years of longing for one. (Not that I love the guitar less…..)

    Member
    kay-lister on #157771

    Natalie,

    You have a rare pasion and gift

    Participant
    don morin on #157772

    seriously- im a guy and 18 years old

    Participant
    Pat Eisenberger on #157773

    All you need to do is get out in public and play once. The awe the harp inspires enchants people. One good experience and you’ll be hooked!

    Member
    tony-morosco on #157774

    I can understand that. Early on I had similar issues. I didn’t want people to know, but once I started to let it be known I received mostly support and in fact people were often impressed. The real problem is that it seems people assume if you play the harp you must be a virtuoso concert harpist in an orchestra. The general public doesn’t get that harp is just like any other instrument and you can play just for fun.

    But once word got out I received generally positive response. In college there were people who only knew me as “the cool guy with the harp”.

    In fact I only once ever had anyone be negative about it, and they did that behind my back. I only found out about it through someone else. And honestly, the person was a small minded, racist who’s opinions I have no respect for anyway. So I consider it a badge of honor that someone so warped disapproves.

    Participant
    lydia-sander on #157775

    Don’t get embarrassed! Make yourself tell that person when they ask you. You’ll find that they’ll go, “Really!? That’s neat!”, and then ask you more about it. The harp is becoming more, and more popular. It’s not an instrument that you hear being played every day, but people are usually very interested! I hope this helps! Try it…..

    Lydia Sander

    Participant
    Natalya Zarraga on #157776

    There’s no need to be embarrassed! The harp is such a beautiful instrument, and you having the passion and skill for it should no less than impress people. Not everyone gets to see a harp. Judging from your post, I can guess we’re not too far from each other in age? I’m 20 and have only been playing for about 9 months, and the first time I played harp (and sang while playing) in public at a “touristy country”-type venue in Nashville with other fellow student songwriters, I think it was fair to say that most people, if not everyone, was enthralled and enchanted. It’s just, you have all these people playing standard pop and country fare on their guitars (no offense, I play guitar too, as well as piano), and you show up all of a sudden with a HARP! People’s eyes widen and their jaws drop. At the show, the owner told me I was the first harp player on his stage and he was honored. I was really nervous that day because it was my first time playing in public, but it was so rewarding.

    If anyone EVER says anything rude to you, they have no idea what they’re talking about. Believe me, most people will respond with great interest when you tell them you play harp. People who don’t are either jealous, ignorant, or just unimportant. Love yourself and your instrument. 🙂

    Participant
    clh-h on #157777

    Well, one of the big reason’s I wanted to play the harp was [i]because[/i] it’s so unusual. There were plenty of people in my high school who played things like the guitar, the flute, and the violin, but I didn’t know anyone else who played the harp. I remember the first time I mentioned to a fellow highschool student that I wanted to play the harp, she laughed and said she couldn’t see me playing the harp because harp players wear long flowy dresses. I don’t actually mind long flowy dresses (I certainy prefer them to short tight ones) but I don’t wear them much.

    But I think if anything that only encouraged me. I didn’t actually start playing the harp until after I graduated high-school. It arrived in the mail the very day before I started college, actually. All the people who I’ve told I play the harp since (who have said anything) have said that they thought that it was really cool. But only one of those was around my age and it could be that all those in the vicinity that stayed quiet thought it was weird. I’m not of a disposition to care though. As far as I’m concerned, the cool ship sailed years ago. After foolishly trying to board during middle school, I was fortunate enough to realize that I didn’t want to be part of something that tried to control what I did and what I wore and just about everything else about me so I waved it on its way. Then shot fired a few canon balls at it and sank it just for good measure. Now I do what I like instead of what everyone else likes, and even feel a certain glee when on occasion they find it strange.

    But that’s not to say that your just a good for nothing conformist. Not at all. I understand that it’s not as easy for some people to be so flippant about their social lives. I know that I’m anti social to a fault (I like it that way but it’s not for everyone). But aside from that, you’re not letting peer pressure stop you from actually playing the instrument you like so that’s one point in favor of you not being a hopeless trend follower. 😉

    I don’t think playing the harp is anything to be ashamed of, uniqueness is a good thing, but if you don’t feel like telling everyone that’s up to you. By the way, I don’t think people are likely to ostracize to much if they know you play the harp. Maybe a little more if you’re a guy but I don’t think even idiotic high-school students will hold it against you if you’re a girl. I doubt it would have any effect on your social life in the long run.

    Participant
    natalie-g on #157778

    Thanks for your amazing response!
    You’re right; I guess I am being a bit silly to be embarrassed about something like this. Performing in front of my whole school seems… impossibly scary, which is funny because I go to an all-girls school. I guess it seems like they would be accepting and might think it was pretty cool, but… probably not the case. Girls can be so unpredictable!
    I really respect you for being so brave and proud of your talent. I think I’m getting better about it too, though slowly.
    And good luck saving up for your next harp! I hope you get it soon 🙂

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