How many male harp players are there.

Posted In: Young Harpists

  • Participant
    unknown-user on #166515

    Im kind of embarrassed to post this…. my first post here….

    Im 14, and almost 15. I am from Omaha Nebraska..

    Im looking to play the harp… and not sure if I should. Although I do play the organ, and accordion…. and most people dont know that…. I would be playing the harp for SCHOOL though if I learn!!

    Is this a good idea? I mean is there really any other male teenage harp players around today???

    Participant
    unknown-user on #166516

    Hi Brandon

    Im 15 right now and I started playing the harp when I was 8 years old. I currently go to boarding school south of Boston. You ARE right that there arent many other male teenage harpists out there but I would highly urge you not to make your decision to play this wonderful instrument on this fact or any other stereotype about the harp. I would go by if playing the harp makes you happy. If it does then I would hope that this overrides anything that would go against your playing.

    If you want to start the harp I would recomend that you post here to find the names of some teachers in your area. Once you contact them they will be able to set you up with the harp and other essential accessories.

    In short – if you want to start and you feel that it will make you happy, then find and contact a teacher – if you arent sure then you might as well give it a shot because what could be so bad? – and if you are concerned that playing the harp is a bad idea I would urge you to reconsider but the decision is ultimately yours.

    Best of luck!

    ~Sam

    BTW here are some youtube videos of male harpists in action!

    Sivan Magen playing part 1 of Balade Fantastique: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=39M465jKgUU

    Xavier de Maistre playing Legende: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tN_yzFVHUHU

    Sasha Boldachev playing his own composition, Toccata (age 14 I believe) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2kn2FdB5akA&feature=related

    Josh Layne playing Grandjany’s Cadenza from the Handel harp concerto: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3VLDpztb7VU

    Participant
    carl-swanson on #166517

    Brandon- How far are you from Sioux Falls, South Dakota? There’s an excellent teacher there named Anna Vorhes.

    Member
    patricia-jaeger on #166518

    Brandon, go to http://www.youtube.com; type in Benjamin Creighton Griffiths. He’s 11 1/2 years old and in Wales. Hear especially his videos: New Blues, and La Source. You will find him a great inspiration to learn harp and practice a lot; he did.

    Member
    jennifer-buehler on #166519

    Are you a student of Mary Bircher?

    Spectator
    Sid Humphreys on #166520

    Brandon, it’s true that there are more female than there are male harpists. Don’t let that stop you though. If you want this, you will be great! I work in a fitness center with 67

    Participant
    brook-boddie on #166521

    Brandon,

    When I was your age, I wanted to play the harp, but my parents didn’t feel like it was something I should do.

    Participant
    Saul Davis Zlatkovski on #166522

    I know how you feel. Omaha is a lot like Minneapolis was when I wanted to play the harp at your age. There are lots and lots of men who play the harp professionally and otherwise. There is nothing innately feminine about the instrument, it’s what you bring to it or out of it, if that’s your concern. If you’re concerned about peer pressure, don’t be, or have a response prepared, like, “It’s a great way to meet girls” or some such pap. Douglas Rioth is principal harp of the San Francisco Symphony, Richard Turner is with the Winnipeg orchestra, Ed Druzinsky retired from the Chicago Symphony, Dan Levitan is in Bay area orchestras, and more. If you want to look for a male teacher in the future, if there are none in Omaha, you’ll be able to find several qualified teachers around the country.

    The fact that harps may be golden and heavily decorated does not make them feminine, there is nothing innately feminine about decorative art or gold leaf. Basically, a harp is in itself

    Participant
    Saul Davis Zlatkovski on #166523

    P.S., I was just about your age when I started, the beginning of my sophomore year, and I’d give anything to have started just one year earlier, so don’t waste any time and get started as soon as you can.

    Participant
    Michael H on #166524

    I turned 18 in September and it was then I finally gathered up my pennies and rented a harp, cause you know, it’s what I’ve always wanted…

    A lot of people are thrilled when I mention I play harp (a select few question my manliness, but that’s okay…)…Okay I’m getting ahead of myself…I don’t really play harp, I dabble…I really…REALLY need a teacher, that or easier sheet music, I shouldn’t be attempting to play Michael Nyman pieces when I’ve only had the instrument for less than three months.

    But yes, I think you should do it. Unless you’re REALLY musically inclined, I’d recommend getting a teacher. Oh, how I long for a teacher. :'[

    Participant
    carl-swanson on #166525

    Michael- Why don’t you have a teacher? Where are you? there’s an American Harp Society and there are lots of teachers listed in their directory in every state. It’s not a good idea to teach yourself. You’ll develop atrocious habits that will be very difficult to correct. So, get a teacher!

    Participant
    Michael H on #166526

    Northern Ontario. Shame and heartache but the closest teacher that I know of is hours away. Harpists in this area are practically unheard of.

    I weep for this harpless city!

    Member
    steven-todd-miller on #166527

    Brandon, If you want to learn to play harp, go for it. I was 15 when I started playing. I can’t remember being teased about it, and besides- I became so busy and wrapped up in practicing and performing that I became surrounded by people who really loved my music and thought that it was great to see a guy harpist.

    Participant
    unknown-user on #166528

    Sounds good enough! I will do it!

    Member
    patricia-jaeger on #166529

    Brandon, when you say you live in a city in northern Ontario, it certainly must be far from Toronto, where there are many harpists and teachers.When I look at Ontario in the atlas, I find it is huge!!

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