Question for Harp Teachers (Adult Students)

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    Hello harp teachers:

    Do you have more new, adult students today that you did a few years ago? I’ve heard there has been a surge in adult students in recent years. I don’t know of any way to quantify this, but would appreciate your perceptions. (I’m doing

    Dwyn .

    I’m not a teacher, but am an adult beginner, so I can answer some of your questions about motivation.


    I know that ISFHC did a survey couple years ago.


    1) Are more adults taking up the harp?

    I’ve no idea, on the wider scale. But all of my students are adults.

    2) What has motivated these adults to start lessons?

    I teach only lever harp, with mostly traditional repertoire. Most of my students are already musicians, most are already interested in folk music and take part in sessions.

    Also, like ’em or loathe ’em, the cheap Pakistani instruments have meant that the harp has now become affordable for lots of people who were previously either priced out of the market, or put off starting the harp because of the high initial outlay. Most of my students have bought one of these before contacting me, though most of them want to graduate to a better instrument in time.

    I also think that the upsurge of interest in heritage has played a part. Traditional music is big at the moment, as are history and tradition generally. In Britain and Ireland, the harp is one of the most iconic early instruments and means a great deal symbolically.

    3) Do these students tell you who/what inspired them initially?

    See above!

    4) Any other perceptions you care to share about new, adult students?

    They are great! They are taking up an instrument because they are inspired by it. There is no problem motivating them to practice.After a short while, students are able to take part in folk sessions, concerts etc., and that again, gives added motivation.


    I think that there was an upswell, but it has ended for at least a few years to come until people’s economies have recovered.

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