grade 2 piano first

Posted In: Teaching the Harp


  • Participant
    Alison on #142571

    Let’s close this thread now. I’ll conclude that children who have 2-3 years of piano or guitar are likely to have developed certain motor skills which present greater challenges for the transition onto the harp and teaching the hands to play in ‘different modes’ isn’t easily achieved. Perhaps this is actually easier for adults who have a broader outlook.


    Participant
    Alison on #219894

    4 years later and I am returning to this topic. I have been teaching a piano grade 5 teenager who wants also to play the harp in orchestra, now that’s an interesting reason for starting out. So in a record 9 months she has made the transition from hands that could not play to a very accurate and careful player who still lacks the strength to perform. Her reading is excellent but acquiring harp skills cannot be hurried, playing 3 fingered straight chords needs developing, in scales her 4th finger would crash into her 3rd & she found spread chords in the right hand counter intuitive. However her patience and easy familiarity with the harp’s string pattern and compass are great and as a piano to harp guinea pig we have found out what the commonalities and the differences are. She’s very lucky to he moving onto a local orchestral centre for youngsters which provides a pedal harp and a graduated introduction to orchestral works.


    Participant
    Alison on #219895

    Tomorrow a 72 year old grade 8 pianist is coming to see me, she’s finding the harp more tricky than she had imagined and once school resumes I have a 10 year old pianist who has been waiting 6 years to play the harp and obliged to play piano first so all very interesting…


    Participant
    Gretchen Cover on #219900

    Alison, I, too, started off with piano around age 6 and did not start harp until 18. If you want to play the harp badly enough you will figure things out. My main thought for the transition is to focus on how the harp is different from piano. It gets you away from piano think. Once I stopped comparing similarities and looked at the harp as distinctly different from piano (except for reading two clefs) I started grasping harp concepts much quicker.

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