Responding to kid's interest in the harp

Posted In: Teaching the Harp

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    Loonatik on #212559

    I have a little girl (daughter of a family) who visits about once a month.
    She had never had formal music lessons, i.e. not able to read notes, but has been showing interest in the harp since I have been playing it when she visits.

    She had asked for permission to play on my harp, but that’s just sliding fingers across the strings or plucking them meaninglessly.

    I sense she’d be interested to learn more… but how would one start something with her, something that would be simple, interesting yet not a formal music lesson, since it’s impossible to do anything with that frequency?

    Tacye on #212562

    How little is she?

    wil-weten on #212711

    What about helping her to figure out simple songs like ‘Twinkle, twinkle, little star’? With just the right index finger and trying to use that finger in a harp appropriate way? Perhaps doubling with the left right finger playing the same tune an octave lower?

    Loonatik on #212721

    she’s 9 turning 10.

    balfour-knight on #212968

    If you have a pedal harp, try putting it in a pentatonic setting, for example, all pedals in flat except B and E naturals. A lever harp tuned in the Key of C can also do this–just sharp all the B’s and E’s. Have her gliss up and down the strings, enjoying the effects. Then try a simple pentatonic tune such as “Jesus Loves Me,” “Amazing Grace,” “How Firm A Foundation,” some Chinese folk songs, etc., any melody that could be played on the black keys of a piano. She can learn to pluck the tune with one finger, such as Wil-weten suggested, but she can also gliss up and down with the other hand to get an automatic nice effect–just magical to a child!

    Hope this helps. Best wishes to all of you, and Happy Holidays!

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