Teaching harp in schools

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    I will be presenting a workshop on teaching harp in the public schools.

    One of the things that I have discovered is that there are many people

    teaching in public, private or large group situations. I would love to

    hear and share your stories on how your program runs and what you did

    to get it going. I have visited the programs in Detroit, Michigan and

    Richmond, Virginia. The visits and my conversations with other teachers

    has shown me many different ways to run and expand my program. I will

    send anyone who has the time to respond to this, the collection of

    responses that I receive and perhaps we can even develop a way to

    continue our discussions. Thanks, Robbin Gordon-Cartier (East Orange,

    New Jersey)


    I have inherited a public school harp program from the teacher who is currently teaching out of the country. Students are started on the harp in fifth grade and get separate harp instruction as well as play with the rest of the fifth grade orchestra. In sixth grade they continue to play with the school orchestra and also can join our separate harp ensemble group outside of school.


    I realize this is 2 years after the thread began!

    The Omaha (NE) Public Schools has given harp instruction for nearly fifty years.


    I would love to hear further experiences about establishing harp programs in the schools.


    Are you still holding workshops for starting a program in the public
    schools? If you are, I would diffently love to attend.


    I too, have approached a school district. We definitely need a handbook or mentor network to assist, for we need to have programs in every district. One issue is seeing that students get time and credit not only for lessons but for practice time. I know of a former teacher in the school system here. But how to accomplish it now may be a different thing. There are arts organizations that provide or assist in arts education and music in the schools, so I would suggest contacting them for advice, and anyone who knows how administrations work. There is a mindset difference between teachers, school-system teachers, and administrators. How about a dictionary for translation? And how about creating a list of all the districts nationwide with harp programs? There may be an AHS committee that deals with this, or there should be.


    Hi Wendy,

    I don’t have any workshops coming up about this but we can talk about it if you want to e-mail or call. My e-mail is and my school number is 973-266-7003. That is in my classroom and there is a machine that I check when I am not there. It would be great for you to start a program – have you talked with or know Sharon Strange who lives and teaches in the DC area in the schools?

    I’ll send you handouts that I have done if that would be helpful and you e-mail your address.



    I started collecting lists and will begin to update them again this September. There are many but more should be created. I had 61 students this past year and would be glad to see if we could get something going by way of a collective body.


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