Student accidentally knocked over my harp!

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    Hi All,

    As captioned. It is a lever harp. I can’t see any apparent damages to the harp itself but the strings are all out of tune. It did, however, scratched and knocked off a small chunk of my furniture.

    I don’t have insurance for my harp. Since the harp doesn’t have any conspicuous scratches, should I just let it go?What would you do in cases like these?


    Angela Biggs

    No damage to the harp, so I would say let it go. I rarely let my students play my performance instrument; right now I teach with Harpsicles, and I’m always keeping my eye out for a larger beater harp. Watch ebay and your regional Craigslist closely. Every so often there are very old harps that are beat all to heck, but would serve just fine as a lesson instrument.

    If the harp knocked over was one that wasn’t being used to teach, I’d say to remove extraneous instruments to another room during lessons, or set them in an out-of-the-way corner. I teach in my dining room, but my harps live in my office/harp-room. The only harp out is the Harpsicle the student is playing. When I do bring out my performance instrument, I treat it with reverence and caution the students to be very careful with it. They always oblige.

    Harp insurance isn’t terribly expensive, and if you’re teaching you are probably making enough to cover the expense. It might be a good idea to look into that. Here’s the most recent discussion of insurance companies:



    GET YOUR INSTRUMENTS INSURED MY DEAR! At this point, I would have a harp tech. REALLY give it a good “Once over”. There could be a hairline break in the neck or anywhere that YOU are not seeing. I’m concerned, since your strings went out of tune. You just never know for sure, so again, I would have it checked out.

    I also would check to see what your homeowners insurance might cover. You might be able to get a small compensation there.

    Insurance for your harp is not that costly, especially if you have only one or two and you just NEVER know what might happen. A friend of mine had one of her rental harps out, grandpa stood on a chair near the harp, fell off . . . long story short – the sound board of the harp was punctured and many digs and scratches as well. Grandpa was ok so I understand, but harp DEFINATELY got the worst of it.



    Thanks so much for your input.

    My oh my, Kay, looks like I’ve got to get insurance ASAP!

    Bonnie Shaljean

    Keep a close eye, and ear, on your harp – conspicuous scratches are the least of your worries. I don’t know how “all out of tune” you mean, but if it really is considerably out, it means the string tension has altered dramatically. And that is a sign of movement of some sort in the instrument’s frame, which in turn could signify a crack or disturbance in a glue-joint.

    So keep it tuned to concert pitch (or whatever you normally use) and check it once or twice daily to see if it holds. Also look *and* feel underneath the neck for hairline cracks. That’s a vulnerable area. You can’t be sure there’s no damage until you’re satisfied the harp is behaving itself consistently.

    And yes, as the people above have already said, get insurance! Especially if others are playing your harp, or if you take it out of the house. Accidents happen in a split second and you never see them coming – so be prepared in advance.

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