some technique questions

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    I am an intermediate harpist with about three students right now.

    Two of them are adults and one is an eight year old.


    Jeanna, I’m really intrigued with your situation.


    As a symphony harpist with many students, I have seen a lot of hand

    positions. The main thing is whether a straight or curved finger works well for

    your student. Every hand is a different size and shape, and it will only cause

    frustration if one tries to pound a square peg into a round hole. I learned the

    Salzedo method, but I have made some adaptations to compensate for a

    rather short 4th finger and long 3rd finger, You can imagine the buzzing this

    would cause if my 4th finger were completely curved. So it only curves on one

    joint! Also, in big stretches, I have to flatten my 3rd finger if I want to place that

    4th finger. The height of the thumb can make it easier for the 4th finger, as

    well. Try lowering it a bit and see if that helps. It does not have to be too high;

    in fact, it should not be so high that it shows pulling across the palm. It should

    just sit comfortably where it is placed naturally, with no stretching. I hope this

    helps! As for glissandi, you play the next note with the thumb coming down. (I

    hope I understood your question.) Also, watch their elbows! If they are

    drooping too far, the best hand position in the world won’t work.

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