When to upgrade from a lever harp to a pedal harp

Posted In: Young Harpists

  • Participant
    unknown-user on #168184

    My twelve year old daughter started taking harp a year and a half ago.
    She is currently playing on a Lyon & Healy Toubedour. This fall she
    was asked to perform with her instructor’ performing group (six pedal
    harpist and five troubedours that perform once a month).

    unknown-user on #168185

    Dear Jan,

    unknown-user on #168186

    I’m 16 and have been playing harp for nearly 3 years. I started on my teacher’s pedal harp, and then bought a folk harp (36 strings, Thormahlen) and am very happy with it. I’ve kind of been playing repertoire for both, as I have them both in my living room, but have recently been leaning more towards the levers. For one reason, I get arm/shoulder/back pain sitting at the pedal harp, I guess because I’m too small for it. This is something to take into consideration. To prevent/eleviate pain, knees should be bent at a 90 degree angle, feet on floor, harp resting directly on left shoulder, harpist sitting straight. This is impossible for a petite person on a pedal harp. Unless you daughter wants to play in an orchestra, why not sticking with levers for a while? Just my opinion.

    Tacye on #168187

    Rafaella- do check out your position, I am petit (5’3 7+ stone) and have no problems, and have seen smaller players.

    Ruth Mar on #168188

    Just want to emphasize the very last comment about buying the padded covers…I waited a year to buy them, and it was a year too late! Especially if you will be moving your harp a bit, you need the padded covers.

    I agree that your daughter’s teacher will know when she is ready…personally, my switch came when I “outgrew” the classical repertoire for the lever harp. It depends where your daughter’s interests lie — if she aspires to be a classical harpist and is willing to stick it through, then a pedal harp would be great. But if she likes folk harp or just wants to play a little as a hobby, then there’s no real sense in dishing out the big money.

    unknown-user on #168189

    I’m 12 and I got a Lyon and Healy Prelude 3 years ago. About 3 three months ago I got a Lyon and Healy Model 85 Concert Grand and I am ssooo happy! When you upgrade, just make sure that you can handle a pedal harp. It shouldn’t be too heavy for you.

    patricia-jaeger on #168190

    To Rafaella Fox who was answering Jan Gandy’s question: Surely you rest your harp on the right shoulder

    lissa-avery on #168191

    Dear Jan,
    Our daughter turned 7 when we purchased a Camac Clio.

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