Visually Impaired Student

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    M Rodgers

    I have a 17 year old student who has been taking lessons for about a



    Hi, Meg.

    I am not a teacher, in fact, I am a beginner (adult) student. I don’t read music ‘fluently’, learned that million years ago when I was in elementary school, and forgot (almost) all about it. But I play some keyboard and guitar by ear. So, that is what my harp teacher has been teaching me, play by ear. She said I choose whatever song I like. So, I started with Enya song “Only Time”, my favorite song. In a couple week after my first lesson, I could play “Only Time” with broken chord. I still need to improve my technique (since I only been taking lesson 3 times), but at least I’d already know the concept of placing, plucking the strings, chords, etc. So, I assume your student would know the basic of harp playing a lot more than I do. Since she used to read written mucic, so she maybe used to not looking at the strings (and/or hands) too much. She can concentrate more on memorizing the tunes.

    I also bought Kim Robertson “Beginning Folk Harp” and Laurie Riley


    You may be doing this already, but if she is bringing a casette recorder to every lesson, then you could play the piece in sections that she could learn in sort of an echo response, and then you could progress her by increasing the length of the sections and she could echo that.


    I forgot this book/CD set.


    Here is an interactive website for ear training.


    ALso if you can find a harp instructor who specializes in the Suzuki method it would be great.


    Hi Meg – You have gotten some good suggestions already.


    i myself am an example of a visually impaired harp student

    i have low vision in my left eye & only light perception in the right eye though i don’t have much sight i can still play both my harps i just have to play by ear & memory it’s a little harder to do because i don’t read sheet music & my harp teacher has to teach me a slightly bit differently than she teaches the rest of her other harp students

    i also have CP but it’s very slight

    i have to have more light so i can find my strings

    i give my harp teacher a good challenge


    A website of a harpist who specializes in teaching students with visual impairments.


    If the student really wants to stay in music, she should learn music

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