I’m currently a harpist in highschool. College is coming up soon, so I’m working out my plans for that.
I definitely will be taking my pedal harp with me, wherever I end up going.
I don’t know for sure yet, but I’m leaning strongly towards moving internationally (either UK or Germany). My parents and I are concerned about how that is going to work with my pedal harp; I know airports have a talent for breaking instruments through transport.
So to all my fellow harpists who have moved or traveled internationally with a harp- what did you do to ensure your instrument was safe?
I’d seriously reconsider that. Safer to rent a harp in Europe than risk shipping your own. Maybe you could (very carefully) rent yours at home to defray your rental cost in college?
Also some countries are difficult to import an expensive instrument without tons of paperwork or a tax. They assume you’re bringing it to sell it.
I have no experience with pedal harps internationally but with larger lever harps (38 strings) yes. I had a temporary posting in the US for 5 years and missed my Harp so tried to bring my Korrigan from France to US. I looked into flight cases and the excess baggage cost on the airlines and all in all the costs were to high, almost half the cost of a new Harp.. So as Catherine suggested I rented a harp another Camac in the US and actually ended up buying it (rent to buy). I then needed to take it back to France at the end of my assignment. Luckily the removal company had some experience with musical instruments and built a small temporary packing structure around the harp, and with plenty of bubble wrap and some silica gel I trusted them. As it was with my other belongings fortunately my company paid and everything was insured. The harp arrived safely without a scratch and after tuning up was playable that evening.
Some suggestions, air transport is very expensive and has handling risk at airports, normal shipping is cheaper but e shipping company should have some experience with larger musical instruments. Local rental Would be my preference, especially if you intend to take the Harp in both directions. If youre set on taking your own harp, one suggestion is to contact importers like Virginia harp centre, who are bringing EU harps into the US, they have experience and can advise on what’s needed, they may also have remaining packing materials they are willing to sell.
@catherine-rogers and @talfryn –
thank you both so much for your input!!
I hadn’t thought of renting, actually- it’s not such a bad idea now that I think about it. My harp teacher has several students who haven’t yet moved up to a pedal harp so renting my harp I have now wouldn’t be entirely impossible.. maybe a little nerve-wracking, though!
I was thinking about the possibility of contacting a shipping company (such as one that Virginia/Atlanta harp center uses) about getting my current harp shipped through them if I chose to go that route. My teacher has several close ties at Lyon & Healy in Chicago, so arranging for them ship the harp would maybe be a possibility.. and I live within driving distance so taking my harp to them would not be a problem. I’m kind of thinking out loud here haha.
Of course, I still have plenty of time to decide on what I’ll do. Who knows, I may just end up staying in the states for college and won’t have to worry about any of this. 🙂
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