December 29, 2007 at 4:00 am #111740
I hope everyone has had a wonderful holiday! I’ve been lucky enough to rent a harp to practice at home while I’m on vacation, as I don’t have one yet. This is the first time my family has been really exposed to the harp, and I got to de-mystify it for them! I even gave a little Christmas recital for them, and it was great. Anyhow, I have a five-year old brother, and I let him play the harp a little bit (a little tricky, since he’s so small and the harp is a Camac Athena). He really likes it (I know, a miracle!), and he really seems to have some real musical ability (he can carry tunes very well, matches pitch with kitchen appliances, and has a good sense of rhythm), and he wants to learn harp! Unfortunately, I now live almost 700 miles away, and there are NO harp teachers in the area, which is why I also didn’t learn harp sooner. I would love for him to get started on harp. I wonder what kind of harp (a lever harp, presumably) and what kind of music training he could get? Any suggestions? I would love for him to have the chance to start musical training at a young age, which I wish I could have done. I hope those of you with experience working with children might have some good advice, as well. Thanks!!!December 29, 2007 at 2:39 pm #111741carl-swansonParticipant
Vince- Very nice story. Congratulations on drawing the family into what you are doing with your life. BTW, I was 16 when I started the harp, and I’m sure many of us here got very late starts. Ray Pool was in his 20’s when he started, so anyone who really wants to do it can.
5 is awfully young to start any instrument, mainly because of the size of the child. But it’s not impossible. Was this the first time your little brother had a chance to play any instrument? At this stage, maybe it’s just playing an instrument, any instrument, that he would enjoy. If you can find a competent teacher on piano or some other instrument that he could start with, then that may satisfy his desire at this time, or at least keep him busy until he is bigger and can start harp. Maybe there are some general music classes for young children(Carl Orff or Kodaly for example) that he could participate in. At least he would be getting some important musical education that would transfer to harp if he takes that up later on. I’m sure he adores you and probably a part of this is that he wants to do the same things his big brother does. Try to use that influence to get him started on some aspect of music that is practical for his current situation and location.December 29, 2007 at 4:50 pm #111742sherry-lenoxParticipant
I agree with Carl, especially in starting Kodaly/Orff (my bias is toward Kodaly, because it’s more fun than you can imagine, but also solid sound instruction). Kodaly teaches reading and listening training as being as natural as learning the reading of words and sentences. If you have a great general methods course in your college curriculum, ask the prof if h/s knows of some place where you can access Kodaly instruction- not “modified” Kodaly, or Kodaly “based”, get that little guy the REAL THING!
I do think though, that he must have some little harp to pluck. I can remember as a very small child how glorious it was to feel the touch of an instrument, and it sounds as though he might be the same way.
How lucky he is to have you as his brother and mentor!December 31, 2007 at 6:20 am #111743
Actually, I forgot my brother just turned six…
But thanks for the input! I would really like to get him involved in music, and Kodaly/Orff programs sound like a good option, I just don’t know if there are any programs here.
This was the first time he has played any real instrument, and he’s also fascinated by my bassoon, so really it’s just the novelty of a big crazy-looking instrument for him. I think piano lessons might be the way to go. He needs something on which expend his endless energy!December 31, 2007 at 6:22 am #111744
BTW, I started harp when I was 19 (and I’m only 22) so it’s really nice to know that I can be succesful! Thanks, Carl!
and Sherry, too!December 31, 2007 at 2:28 pm #111745jan-fettyParticipant
Speaking of starting youngJanuary 2, 2008 at 9:27 pm #111746Han HsiehParticipant
I remember saw some video clips from youtubeJanuary 2, 2008 at 10:42 pm #111747Evangeline WilliamsParticipant
I started violin and piano when I was 4, maybe piano a bit earlier.January 4, 2008 at 12:39 am #111748unknown-userParticipant
One option is a boarding school with a good music and harp program, such as Exeter, when he is older.January 11, 2008 at 7:32 pm #111749unknown-userParticipant
Where does your brother live, because Waco is not that far from harpists.
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