Salzedo Pedagogy

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    Lucile Lawrence described the Salzedo pedagogy to me as roughly this: ABC of Harp Playing, Pathfinder Studies, Method for the Harp, Tiny Tales, Sketches for Harpist Beginners, Art of Modulating, Modern Study of the Harp.

    My students find the Tiny Tales quite challenging because of the sophisticated fingerings and the way Salzedo moves the music around. Of course, this makes other music easier, and one is breezing through Bochsa’s second etude, yet working hard to get the Tiny Tales.

    For those of you who have strictly Salzedo training, are there other books you use or were taught to use for beginners? Please don’t comment on this topic if you are not of this mindset. This is a “kosher” dialog, so please, no “treyf” comments.


    Early on my teacher had me doing exercises from Salzedo’s Conditioning Exercises book. I still use it if I don’t have time for full practicing. If I only have 15 min to practice one day I don’t bother with working on pieces, I just sit down with this book and run through some of the exercises. They keep my hands in shape and my technique sharp.


    In additon to the

    Evangeline Williams

    My first teacher (who


    I didn’t mean to omit those. I use the Conditioning Exercises daily for myself, and teach them as soon as possible, and learned them very early on. The Short Stories are more advanced, of course, than the Sketches and Tiny Tales. But did you use other books or pieces? The Marie Miller transcriptions come to mind, but any other? So many Salzedo pupils come late from other instruments or as college students or adults, so the sophisticated and all-at-once approach works pretty well. Suppose you have a talented child to teach, and have many years to fill? My original teachers who were not exactly Salzedo-trained, gave me Mildred Dilling books, Betty Paret, Universal Method, and Sam Milligan. What would a Salzedo teacher have used, if anything different from what was mentioned? Miss Lawrence grew up on traditional French literature, I believe, and detested it later and loathed to teach any Bochsa or such. She would have loved to teach only modern music, were it possible. I’m not aware of any collection that is based on Salzedo method except for recent books. I am slowly gathering my own collection together.


    Ah, I see what you are asking now.

    Well, my teacher studied with both Salzedo and Lawrence and definitely taught the Salzedo method.

    I actually have all my original beginning materials still so I can list what, other than the things you have already mentioned, I used at the very beginning:

    Fun From The First Vol I and II by Samuel Milligan

    Christmas Music for the Harp (Simplified) by Dewey Owens

    Junior Bach Collection by Pearl Chertok

    Imaginations: Tuneful Fun and Recital Pieces to Expand Early Grade Harp Skills for Non-Pedal and Pedal Harps by Doris Davidson


    Did anyone mention “Harpist’s Daily Dozen”? Or is that the same as the conditioning exercises?


    Daily Dozen is definitely not the same. Miss Lawrence described it as for touring harpists to stretch their muscles, raising up and forward, stretching intervals. I never liked them.

    I am sad to inform you that Dewey Owens died last week of leukemia. He was 81.

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