Teaching beginning students

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    Hi! My brother wants to play the harp (he has seen me playing a lot,

    and he is interested in it). He is 7 years old and has never had any

    music lessons of any kind. I could teach him, but is it better for

    beginning students to have some kind of music background first (like

    piano or whatever) so that they know how to read music and stuff?

    Also, what is a good size harp for a 7 year old? I have a pedal

    harp, and I’m pretty sure he can’t use that.



    Ahna, I think your seven-year-old brother could sit at your pedal harp, now and then, with you to teach him. First see if he can say ABCDEFGABCDEFG, and then help him to learn the same letters backward, GFEDCBAGFEDCBA. When this is easy for him, take him to a piano keyboard a few times and show him first these same white keys forward and backward. He could copy you with one finger. Finally when this is easy, add the names of the black keys. When going up the piano, call the black keys by their sharp names. When descending, use the flat names, to get him to know as much of this vocabulary as possible. Perhaps explain that when a tire of a car becomes flat, the car sinks down. He does not have to go to formal piano lessons. He could then sit at your harp, on a chair that has enough cushions to have him comfortable, and play with second finger only, after you, simple pieces that are short and only use a few strings, saying the string (note) name as he plays, out loud. This verbalization is important, giving him a connection between the alphabet letters and the sound

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