Harp in the Public School Curriculum

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    Do I understand the US system correctly that the instrumental instruction being discussed is similar to an orchestral/band/whatever rehearsal where the conductor is simultaneously trying to teach everyone how to play their instruments?

    Allison Stewart

    In the elementary school I attended we could take an instrument in 4th grade.

    Leigh Griffith

    I grew up in Massachusetts, where beginning in 5th grade we had small
    group lessons on our instrument once a week. We were encouraged to
    continue with private lessons at our parent’s expense once in Jr. High.
    My parents never paid for any lessons beyond the free school lessons in
    5th and 6th grade. In high school, the band met three times a week for
    the last period of the day until 4 or 4:30 pm and 9 am to noon on
    Saturday. I think my parent’s attitude was, “When would you take
    lessons, you’re always in band anyway”!


    Response to 9:

    Jennifer, yes, in A Harp in the School, on page 29, I quote: “AHS Education Project 2000 ( published by the American Harp Society): This is a listing of pieces of published music for school ensembles (grades 1 through 12) that include harp parts. The music listed includes string ensembles, orchestral works,as well as selections for band and choir. The listing includes publisher information,


    I think a lot depends on the school districts budget and priorities as to what instruments can be bought and what teaching programs can be had. The string teacher in our district has to wait 3 yrs until she can purchase another violin.


    Correction needed: very, very sad story here.

    It’s such an emotional subject here, and it’s difficult to think straight.



    Yup….and happening everywhere. They cut our music program to the bare bones here last spring. After 18 years in the district I am now going from full-time in a middle school (which I took when offered as opposed to switching between high school and middle school 7 years ago so I could be in one building) to going to 4 schools/week. I see elementary students 50 minutes each week….about 350/week. Try to do a real high quality education with that schedule.

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