Hello all, I am the mother of a young harpist who has been playing for four years (the last two on a really old harp in not great condition) who now wants to move to a pedal harp. Our family/economic situation has unfortunately dramatically changed recently so buying one is not possible. I have heard of programs for providing band/orchestra instruments to needy kids and I’m curious if there is something like that for harpists? There have got to be harps no longer played sitting around gathering dust, etc. that could be loaned at little or no cost. Does anyone have any ideas?
Hello, you do not say where you are located. If you are in the vicinity of the Atlanta Harp Center, they rent harps, which might help you out financially. All rental fees can be applied toward the purchase of the harp, and they offer trade-up opportunities also. They are located in Alpharetta, GA, USA.
My guess would be that programmes of the sort you mention deal in cheaper instruments than pedal harps, I’m afraid. If you’re looking at second-hand ones, be careful about getting something that is in good condition, as there are sadly plenty of harps gathering dust that are no longer playable, sometimes even if a fortune is spent on restoration. The advice I’ve seen is always to look at the harp yourself, or get an expert to look at it. The folks here will be able to give you lots of advice.
Is there any chance your child would be able to enjoy lever harp more if they got something better quality than the one they’ve been using, or are they certain they want a pedal harp?
I just want to say, I feel your pain! I want a pedal harp so much, and have wanted one for many years. I wish they were easier to get. There aren’t too many harpists in my neck of the woods. I don’t know of any programs to help get pedal harps into the hands of talented children, unfortunately. I’ve seen harps being sold as “rarely played” or they were bought by a wealthy person to be used as a decoration. It kills me! (That, and seeing musical instruments being destroyed on TV…I make myself feel better by assuming they were fake. Lol)
is there a professional harpist nearby? Is there an american harp society chapter nearby? That is a good place to start. If there’s a harp gathering dust whose owner may allow it to be rented or loaned, that’s where I would start.
What does your daughter do besides play harp? Does she make bracelets, cook, sew, etc.? Perhaps she could start an etsy store or sell things locally on craigslist or farmers markets. Or maybe she could play her harp for events and earn money that way. In certain places she may be able to put out a jar with a sign with a clever statement expressing her need for a better instrument. There are plenty of kids who have found ways to fund their own dreams. Maybe she can be one of them. :). It takes a little creativity and some hard work, but how much more she will appreciate it if she worked for it herself. Not to mention the life lessons she will learn along the way.
best of luck!
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