Harp for a very, very young child

Posted In: Amateur Harpists

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    HBrock25 on #157495

    So I know this probably sounds ridiculous, but my 2 yr. old really wants to play harp. I am a piano teacher and she has been fooling around at the piano for the past year. She gets general music concepts and sings all day long. She’s a pretty smart kid. I am also a choir director and one of my accompanists also plays the harp (which is where she got the idea). For the past two weeks she has been telling us that “Maddalena wants to play harp.” She gets all excited every time she sees one.

    Let me start off by saying that I don’t have high hopes of starting her this early so that she becomes this incredible musician or anything….I just want her to play an instrument that she loves and always have music in her life. I begged my mom to let me play piano until she finally gave in around age 3, so this isn’t a completely strange concept for us.

    1. Would it be totally ridiculous to get her a small harp to start experimenting with?

    2. I was thinking about getting a flatsicle harp so that I could also learn and play some simple hymns at church with my choir. Would a flatsicle be a good starter harp for both of us?

    3. If I get the stand for the harp will she be able to play it? I liked the size of the flatsicle because it looked manageable for her. However, I’ve been reading on here that it’s really hard to manage while playing.

    4. Anything else I should be thinking about with all of this? I’m a little worried that she won’t have the motor skills to do this yet and that if I get her a harp this early she’ll get frustrated. But I know that as a music teacher they say you can never expose a child too early to an instrument. So, thoughts?

    Thank you for your help!

    Maria Shollenberger on #157496

    oh, please let me also specify…I’m not looking to start her on lessons or anything yet. I know she’s WAY too young for that.
    Just more exposure to the instrument, listening to Mommy play it, that sort of thing.

    So, let me rephrase I guess.
    1. Would a flatsicle harp be a good harp for me to get to start learning on and playing simple Church music?

    2. If my daughter wanted to learn how to play harp as she got older, would it make a good first harp?

    3. Any suggestions on how to keep her interested? She LOVES music!

    sherry-lenox on #157497

    Take a look at Backyard Harps and Muscmaker’s “cardboard” harp too. The only reservation I’d have with the harpsicle is that it’s entirely wood, and would hurt if she ever fell on it or over it.
    The cardboard harps sound very nice, light tension, low initial cash outlay. Although the backyard harp wouldn’t work for you, it might be just right for a tiny prodigy!

    sherry-lenox on #157498

    The very best beginning music instruction there is (MO) is Kodaly, but she’s actually a little too young even for that. You are probably doing what she needs right now with singing, listening, and playing.
    Kodaly plants the seeds beginning at about 4 for music literacy and appreciation, and it’s so much fun!

    Maria Shollenberger on #157499

    I have my Level III Certification in Orff, so I’ve been teaching her a lot of music concepts using that type of instruction. She can play steady quarter notes and eighth notes, alternates hands while playing the drums, etc. We play pitch games where we differentiate between high and low and if it is rising or falling. She matches pitch while singing and probably knows the words to over 30 songs. She likes to “accompany” herself while singing by playing piano.

    So, you can see why I’m not totally throwing away the idea even though it’s a very expensive one for a 2 yr. old!

    Kodaly is great too! A lot of the theories are the same as Orff!

    Tacye on #157500

    I agree with Sherry that I have been favourably impressed by the ‘cardboard’ harps for the price.

    Philippa mcauliffe on #157501

    The Cardboard harp can sound surprisingly good – I have heard a

    Maria Shollenberger on #157502

    I looked at the cardboard harps – they look great, but one of the posters say that I wouldn’t be able to really use that for my own uses at church. Are they very sturdy? I just worry that something that says “cardboard” wouldn’t really hold up to a toddler.

    The Andrew Thoms are a bit out of my price range unfortunately….

    Are the harpsicles a good beginner harp? I was thinking of getting a flatsicle so that we could both use it.

    Thank you for the lesson book suggestions! I hadn’t even gotten that far yet…but it’s good to have suggestions for both of us!

    diane-mcclung on #157503

    Just a suggestion, I am a beginner and I have a granddaughter who likes to play at the harp.

    diane-mcclung on #157504

    I should have said that the blevins is the one I happen to have, not one you should get.

    Dwyn . on #157505

    For a toddler/preschooler, I’d recommend one of these:


    sherry-lenox on #157506

    Dwyn’s response is so yummy that I wish I had a grandchild!

    The cardboard harps, at least the backyard harp, are not fragile at all. Mine has been through “the wars” without mishap, including a period of time when it was rented.

    I am thrilled that you have had Orff training, so you know that Orff and Kodaly march along hand-in-hand, and what you’ve done so far sound just delightful.

    I think the cardboard harps,again the Backyard ones, are still going for less than $300, and I doubt that the investment would be a waste of money. If you decided having gotten it that you’d want to get into levers yourself, the little harp would still be a perfectly usable harp for a little girl until she were ready to graduate to your bigger one.

    Lucky Maddalena that she has a musical mom who is ready and able to encourage her dreams!

    Tacye on #157507

    The ‘cardboard’ harps are stronger than they sound, and readily repairable.

    shelby-m on #157508

    I can’t offer an opinion on the Harpsicles, since I have never played one.

    Maria Shollenberger on #157509

    Thank you everybody! I think we’ve decided on a Dusty Strings Ravenna. We’re probably going to get the 26 string since we’re on a pretty tight budget, but hopefully that’ll last all of us for the next 10 yrs or so.

    I appreciate the advice! If you have any more advice, I’d still be happy to hear it!

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