Yikes…I forgot this forum doesn’t accept accents!
Another good resource is Alfred Music’s Essentials of Music Theory software. It’s really good interactive software, including ear training, and the best thing about it is that you can do as much drill as you want for any of the exercises. You can get it from Sylvia Woods or from any educational music store site (where it’s probably cheaper if you qualify).
You remind me so much of myself! I also have “bonding” issues, tend to learn well studying on my own, and sing alto! I used to sing in a church choir a couple years back, but I wasn’t with that church long enough (I moved out of state) to really develop my sight-singing skills again. Anyway, I have a small electronic keyboard in my condo right now, so I might try to get some practicing done on that to polish up my general music skills.
I looked up that book you mentioned on Amazon and thought it sounded PERFECT since I’ll probably want to write songs on the harp. Maybe it’s just me but it seems like an easier instrument to write music on than the piano because even the simplest melodies sound so beautiful on it. Who knows–I may eat my words once I actually try composing something.
I also agree with you about the lever harp. I’m ashamed to say it, but until this past month, I didn’t really know anything about the lever harp species. All I had ever really heard of were pedal harps. The more I read about it the more I thought “Wow, this is perfect for me!” It just seems like such a beautiful but still friendly instrument, and I love the history behind it.
Thanks so much for telling me about that music theory software. That also sounds like a great resource. I’ll let you know what I decide about lessons once I meet with a teacher here.
Hi Becky and welcome! I’m another one who is totally smitten by the harp. I started in the middle, but I’ve always wanted to play the harp. I remember as a child listening to albums with harp music. My favorite was in a black album cover with a lady sitting at a golden harp with a very full, tuelle dress in white. I remember listening to a lot of Debussy then. I wasn’t able to play the harp then, but started ballet school. I was also horse crazy and grew up on a horse. I loved show jumping, and rode into my thirties. I also took
Audrey, you make me want to join a choir again!
Cecilia, thanks for the welcome. I’m sorry to hear that you have had so many challenges in your life, but I’m glad to hear that the harp has been a good therapy for you. I’m glad your son is doing well. I have a cousin with Down syndrome (which is very different but still a case of special needs) and we all love him to pieces.
I’m glad that you posted this Valerie, as I have a new student that has just come to me, and like you taught himself – but not for months, years! And yes, he has a truck load of bad habits…and it will take him a while to unlearn them as they are so ingrained..part of his muscle memory. He is also so far ahead musically that it is quite hard for him to put the breaks on and step back to the beginning..
But! I think that despite this initial set back, technically, he has a real passion that is making him progress really rapidly…like you he has only had about 5 lessons so far and
Interesting that this topic has gone in this direction just now. I study with a wonderful teacher who plays professionally and is classicaly trained (my spelling is as bad as the Does).
She starts all of her beginners on lever, a Prelude actually, but she herself has no experience in Celtic or lever as an instrument in its own right. I have taken about ten lessons, all invaluable to me, and I love what I’m achieving.
The problem- since I have a fairly extensive background in music, I’m fairly sure that pedal is going to be my interest. I doubt that I’d ever be able to master pedal harp to a degree where I’d feel any way comfortable playing in ensemble or in public.
The lever harp on the other hand is the right size and style for me to continue as long as I’m able. And now I’m getting really interested in trying a double strung harp, something I know my teacher would consider an oddity at the very least.
She’s very happy with my hand position and so am I. Now how long will I be able to benefit from her instruction even though I know that her goals for me and my goals for myself are at opposite ends of the spectrum?
To add to this, I personally have wanted to play the harp since I was 4 and the harpist at a restraunt in Virgina took me on her lap and let me touch her peddle harp! But I always thought it was out of reach… of course I couldnt do with a lap harp it had to be full size, but I started last fall and it just happend the affordble ravenna 34 came out… which is waht I got, I will I am sure soem day buy a different harp but the 34 is totally adiquate right now, My har playing if for me and for me alone, I have no desire to play professionally I play in front of friends and family but the joy is mine and mine alone…. unfortunatly the last few months have been very stressful so my dear harp has been neglected but I am signed up again for my harp class at the local comunity college in the fall… and shall see if I do better this year I really need ot work on learning how to read music… may everyone have their harping dreams come true!
When I met the harp my family thought it would be “one of those kicks” and die out quickly but… it hasn’t. I spend much more thought and energy on it than I ever did on the piano (though I studied for many years) and enjoy it ever so much.
I’ve played the Ravenna. It’s a lot of harp for its size. Great big bright sound, which I understand is a characteristic of the Dusty Strings.
Here’s hoping you meet your harp dreams soon!
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