So what extents have YOU gone to?

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    Hi everyone!

    I know I’ve been kind of updating the thread I started about Sherri Konkus’s crowdfunding campaign (which still bothers me) but its really got me thinking about what I’m going to be doing to try and get myself a pedal harp. I’m trying to figure out how to pay off my car faster ($7,000 left) so that I can save up for my harp and also save up to trade in my car for something bigger (hopefully a Subaru Forester!) so I can actually have a car to fit my harp lol.

    Anyway, all this has got me just kind of curious what all of your stories are. What kind of extents did you have to go to, to be able to save or buy your harp(s)? I’m sure its quite a different journey for everyone and I’m hoping some of you would be willing to share. How long did you have to save for and did you have to work two (maybe three?) jobs etc… Probably just a fun thread, I’d love to hear what you all have to say.


    Hi Tracey,

    Well, for my first harp (Thormahlen Swan) I had some $ already saved up so I took the plunge and spent it on the lever harp. When I started playing gigs and had students of my own, I started saving up for the pedal harp. That took 7 years as well as a little cash from the sale of a boat that I inherited. I still consider that I was the one that paid for it in the end as I took the “Boat” cash and put it in a CD account and just borrowed against the CD and paid it off over the next couple years after the purchase of the harp. I’m saving up now for a DHC harp.

    Will I EVER be satisfied?! 😉


    Donna O

    Tracey, I retired before I pursued my desire to play the harp. I unretired ?? and worked part-time as a school nurse for a year to afford my harp and lessons. ( not a pedal harp). It’s now 7 years later and I’m still taking lessons.


    I bought my first pedal harp (LH15) by working nights in a nursing home (I also had another part-time job)…saved up half the price for a down payment to LH (took about 3 years), so I could have low monthly payments after I got it to pay off the rest (another 3 years). My 2nd pedal harp (Aoyama Etude) was born 18 years later….saved up the total amount from what I made playing.
    Just hang in there. Eventually, you’ll have it.


    I put aside money from gigs, teaching and temping…and it took a LONG time. I’d get the fund somewhat built up, and then some emergency or urgent financial need would come along and decimate it. Finally, though….


    I started playing lever harp after I retired in 2001. A classically trained harpist moved to our small community a year ago and I became interested in a pedal harp. I found a beautiful Camac Athena through the classifieds here. While teaching, I put money aside in a tax-deferred annuity which has accumulated into a tidy sum. I took some of the money from that annuity, paid the tax on it and paid for my harp. During the whole process, I made some wonderful new friends. I love playing my “new to me” harp!

    Sid Humphreys

    I saved up $1000 dollars back in 1992 and used that as a down payment on a Salvi Daphne. I think my payments were $150 a month. I found myself in Las Vegas a year later on a weekend vacation and gave myself $25 to play slots (I don’t gamble but there was peer pressure from friends to gamble somewhat). With that $25, I made $4500 (as soon as I won, I stopped playing). I used that to pay off my Daphne! Six months later, I went to Chicago and traded in my Daphne for an ebony and bronze 23. I had just finished paying off my car… so it was like still having a car payment, but at least my pocket book was used to that kind of money going out every month. Now… I don’t suggest ANYONE go out and gamble!! That is too risky and most wind up in deeper dept because of that. I just got lucky.


    I’d simply been working and saving for many years before the urge to play came upon me. My first harp (a Sharpsicle) was bought for a few hundred pounds by dipping into those savings and asking all my family to contribute towards the harp by way of Xmas presents that year.

    To be honest, I always assumed that would be my ‘harp for life’ as I knew the chances of my ever being able to afford an upgrade were remote. However, after my mum’s death I did receive an inheritance that meant I was able to go for my dream 34-string Clarsach. It was a tough choice at the time because by then I was unable to work due to disability and had no income, but it was a case of being determined to use at least some of Mum’s money for something other than day to day living expenses and it’s certainly made my enforced retirement a lot more enjoyable and easier to cope with. It is also something solid and beautiful that I’ll be able to leave to my children when the time comes.

    To me, the point is that we all use what money we have in different ways and those ways always involve a choice. Friends who drive this year’s BMW tell me they ‘wish they could afford’ my lovely harp when the truth is that if they were driving my car they probably could. To buy one thing we sacrifice another and my priorities may differ from other people’s.

    Maybe it’s a generational thing too? I was brought up to believe that if you can’t afford something you don’t have it – and if you want it badly enough you save up the money first. I suspect that in these days of so much credit there is a different mind-set that says you can have whatever you want without having to save or even supply the cash yourself (I know that doesn’t apply to everyone younger than me and I do apologise if it sounds that way).

    Allison Stevick

    When I first started playing, I was working as a substitute teacher. I landed a long-term sub job, and used part of that income (the rest basically went to my student loans…) to buy a cheap Mid-East heather harp. Very soon after that, I knew I wanted to keep playing, and wanted a better instrument, so started saving. About a year after that, my husband and I found out we had been seriously overpaying our taxes, and ended up with a huge refund-oops! ( I mean, we were very pleased, but also felt silly to have overpaid like that…) so we decided to use a good chunk of that to go in the harp fund. That fall, I purchased my Delight. We did use Allegro to finance some of it, but it was a fraction of the total amount and we knew we would pay it off quickly–which we did.


    Ahh wow I’m really excited about the response that this thread is receiving. You guys have some motivational stories! I’ve started a harp fund (basically just turned my savings into the harp fund) and plan on asking my parents to ask family if they wouldn’t mind just contributing to the fund in lieu of presents for birthdays and holidays probably for the next few years 🙂 I’m hoping to save up a nice sum for the deposit so I could hopefully have lower payments. I wanted to try and avoid having a car and harp payment at the same time but I know that will be nearly impossible (unless I wait awhile after I get my harp, to trade in my car).

    I work full time during the week now but I’m thinking of starting to dedicate weekends to a part time job. Ideally I’d like to just be able to throw extra money (from weekend work) at my car payments so I could get that paid off sooner AND THEN start saving more for the harp. Of course not having a car payment would allow me to put away more money for that 😛 Would be so much easier, I’m sure, if I was better at harp and could play gigs/weddings on the side! But perhaps some day 🙂

    Also Sid- would you mind posting a picture of your 23? I don’t think I’ve seen an ebony/bronze one and I wanted to get a better look than the pic you posted in your music stand.


    I realized that I should have specified that it was my second harp I scrimped and saved to buy! My first harp, a LH15, was bought for me by my parents when I was 12. I used it extensively throughout college, graduate school and my early career, and it still looked and sounded great when I finally sold it (in my forties).

    Sid Humphreys

    Tracey, Lyon and Healy has the ebony and bronze 23 on their site now. Lyon and Healy, not


    Ah sorry, I didn’t think I’d seen it on there before but perhaps I have. Either way, I just took a look. I’m never really sure how I feel about bronze on harps but this one actually does look really nice 🙂 Is it your dream harp?


    It’s motivating for me to read these stories. I feel better about aiming for a Ravenna 34 or thereabouts as opposed to thinking that there’s no way for me to obtain a pedal harp and no reason to move forward unless I can.


    I’m not sure I’d sell anything I owned since 12, especially a harp. That must have been difficult.

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