I know several renowned harpists have started this young, but as a teacher, how do you get started, given the obstacles and risk to the instrument ?
I am currently teaching a 5 year old and it is going wonderfully! Some advice – I would only take a student that young if the parent/parents were committed to helping. The mom comes to every lesson and takes extensive notes so that she can work with the daughter during the week. Lesssons are a half hour and I am careful to never be in a hurry for her to learn or perfect concepts.
I am using a combination of Suzuki and traditional teaching. They have purchased the Suzuki book and CD, student listens to the CD continually. We often work on just one concept from a song in a lesson (ex. Lavender’s Blue – placeing 4 fingers one week, next week, place & play, etc.). We also use Pamela Burner’s “Play the Harp Beautifully”, so she is learning to read note and rhythms.
I’m excited about how it is going, but I know that it would not work without the mom there – it’s definitely a joint effort.
Here’s something I found about learning stages pre 5 years.
File is too big, so I’ll look for a link to it.
Well now, a very small shy child and with my smallest harp and a few tricks up my sleeve, we made steady progress in one lesson, on the alphabet and string names etc. So with a child keen and able to learn, we were all happy !!! Have to admit I hadn’t thought this possible. My middle C song which I use on new starters worked out great, as it’s not a concert piece ! It’s also lovely to make new friends this way.
Thank you for that link. I have been looking for things like that for years. I know that when I was a teen, I felt incapable of controlling my fingers other than playing notes, I could not change technically. I thought it was a developmental issue, but it could have been something closer to home as well.
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