Starting out…

Posted In: Young Harpists

  • Member
    Laura Adams on #166612

    I’m a grade 8 standard folk harpist, currently in medical school. I really want to start playing the harp as a way of earning more money in my free time, which can hopefully fund me renting a pedal harp. I was wondering if anyone has any advice for trying to get work, how much I should charge, if there are further qualifications I should take to make it realistic that anyone would book me etc. Currently I am playing as (paid) entertainment at my medicalschool ball, and I’ve tried to be as involved as possibe with the harp, playing in amateur concerts and auditioning for free music lessons.

    I’d also like some advice on what harp to rent- I want something that I can play as a recital harp, in an amateur orchestra and is as cheap and light as possible! I’d also like to be able to play modern and romantic pieces on it, so smooth pedal action is very important.

    Thanks so much!

    patricia-jaeger on #166613

    Laura, that is wonderful that you have Grade 8 skills on the folk harp. The kind of pedal harp to rent would depend on your size (47 strings are too heavy for some smaller women), as well as your budget. The lightest pedal harps will have the shortest range: Pilgrim Progress in England has 41 strings; Aoyama Etude and Salvi Daphne 40 come to mind, as lighter than most of the others. If you are in the UK, see what is available as a rental from Pilgrim or Morley. If you are in the US, try such dealers as Lyon and Healy West, in Salt Lake City, Enchanted Harp in Seattle, Sylvia Woods in southern California, or Melody’s in Cypress, Texas. On the east coast of the US are even more dealers who rent harps. Consult the state-by-state directory of the American Harp Society and you may find a teacher near you who has an extra rental harp, usually at a lower fee than a commercial store.

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