I started playing the harp about a year ago at age 60 (having wanted
to play since I was 5 years old having met Sylvia Meyer, who played
with the National Symphony in Washington, DC).
I have a couple of physical problems, including the fact that my right
arm was nearly torn off at the shoulder about 25 years ago (accident
with a horse) and healed all wrong and the tendons have been
shortening some in recent years. I also have three compressed cervical
vertibrae. However, I’m physically strong and active (fish, play
tennis) and have big hands. I do yoga.
We have NO teacher in Juneau, Alaska. We are trying to figure out a
way to get a grant so that we can get someone here at least once a
month, but the nearest possible teacher is either in Fairbanks or
Seattle, and since we have only one airline up here, that gets
expensive. I would go to either place for a week twice a year if I
could find a teacher who might be willing to try to help and if I
could find a place to stay that isn’t too expensive.
There’s someone who plays pedal harp in Haines, but she has not
responded to approaches. A folk harp teacher in Sitka is too busy to
I take a lesson any time a harpist comes to town. I bought Renie’s
book but find it difficult to interpret, especially as to the movement
of the thumb/wrist/forearm as a unit. I suspect my elbow is not held
high enough (difficult because of my old injury), but I am unclear as
to the movement of the arm when the thumb plays. I am going to try
raising the bench a bit. In the meantime, I’ve played somewhat too
enthusiastically this week and have some tendon pain, both in the
shoulder and through the wrist into the fingers.
Any advice to an old wreck would be appeciated, as my Camac arrives
from France in two weeks (I currently have a Dusty 36 with a stave
back)and I would like to be able to play it when it comes!
Many thanks for any advice.