Method for young children

Posted In: Teaching the Harp

  • Participant
    margo on #211313

    Hello lovely people,

    I am teaching my 7 years old niece how to play the harp and I would appreciate your advice regarding harp method books for young children. I have noticed that some of them progress too fast, I was thinking about a book that will progress having a step-by-step approach, no levers/pedals at the beginning, giving attention to both theory and technique. Unfortunately I don’t have a harp shop close to me so I cannot visit and check books.

    I was thinking of ordering ‘A Harp Primer Book’ or ‘First Harp Book’ and ‘Harpcicle Harp Method’. Does anybody have any experience with those? Or anything else that you would introduce?
    I would order those books and check myself, but having delivery from the USA to the UK costs more than the books!

    Many many thanks!

    Participant
    wil-weten on #211317

    Hi Margot,
    As to ‘First Harp Book’ of Betty Paret, it’s available from The Bookdepository and that shop has usually nice prices and has free delivery worldwide and yes, even when you buy the cheapest book.
    Have a look at: https://www.bookdepository.com/First-Harp-Book/9780793555239
    I order regularly from The Bookdepository and I am a satisfied customer, though, when I need a book fast, I order it somewhere else.
    I like this book.

    Yet, I think I prefer to start with ‘Play the Harp Beautifully’ volume 1 of Pamela Bruner. More information: http://pamelabrunermusic.com/harp_books.php

    Participant
    margo on #211364

    You are a star! Thanks so much, I checked the website and definitely ordering from it!

    Participant
    Rachel on #211370

    I am working with a 7-year old right now, and she likes “Of Rhymes and Seasons”. It does kind of follow the seasons, and the songs are short (2 lines), have big notes, and get the two hands working together pretty quickly.Right now we are playing songs about pumpkins and black cats since it’s almost Halloween.

    I also like the Beginner Harper’s Tunebook (Jo Morrison) if you are looking for traditional celtic music. It starts off very easy, and each tune is presented in 2 keys (and at 2 speeds on the accompanying CDs). http://www.celtic-harp.com/books.html

    Participant
    Tyler Hartley on #214239

    I’ve also found that many “beginner” books progress too fast, especially for students with no note-reading experience, or students who just need a little more time to settle in.

    Two of my favorite books for brand-new students are the Step by Step Harp Primer by Balderston and Small Tunes for Young Harpists by Bonnie Goodrich. I love that Step by Step has big fat notes, and begins with just steps and skips around middle C. It builds confidence from the first lesson.

    I introduce Small Tunes after student has mastered the first handful of pieces in Step by Step. Small Tunes is one of the only books I’ve found that gives plenty of material to work with within a very small note range and with a small toolbox of techniques (second finger alone, thirds, connected 1-2, 2-1, 1-2-3, etc). This allows for enough time to really get a foothold on note-reading, good hand position, and basic technique, without resorting to boring exercises or drills. It also helps that the pieces are fun and have cute names. It does eventually progress to more advanced stuff- larger range of notes, placing back, bigger chords, contrary motion in both hands, grace notes, muffles, octaves, etc, so you can get a lot of mileage out of it.

    My only complaint about Small Tunes is that the notes are tiny!

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