David, at least this was some random woman you will probably never see again. I had a neighbor in the condo behind me for 2 years who didn’t like music! We shared a patio space. I left my patio door open a crack in the summer when I was playing, and I heard this voice say, “Can you turn that thing down?” I said, “No, I can’t; it’s live music, not a recording.” She then yelled, “Well then, shut your door!” … I opened it all the way, and played my heart out for an hour. (;-) Sometimes even gentle-spirited harpists have a snarky streak.
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Hi. In answer to your question, “What are some of the most common bad habits a beginner should avoid?”… Practice slowly and deliberately using correct technique: keeping your thumbs high, and closing each finger to the palm, bending only at the knuckle closest to your hand (not your fingertips). It is better to go slowly and use good technique to strengthen your muscles, rather than to just get through the song. At the same time, count out your timing. I would rather hear a student play through a few measures correctly, than to speed through the whole song with sloppy technique and poor timing. Compliment yourself on what you do well; don’t criticize yourself on what is coming more slowly or difficult for you to master. Break down the song you want to learn into small parts, and rejoice in small steps!
Look at anotherera.com. Craig Pierpont makes a lap harp. I have owned one for many years. Use it in the summers to take out to a park, go on a day trip or short getaway. It keeps it tune incredibly well. Only minus is that after keeping it on your lap awhile, it really hurts. I tend to find a bench to sit on where I can straddle it instead, and let the base rest on the bench.donna-benier on September 8, 2005 at 4:00 am · in reply to: Rochester NY Harp Teacher looking for more students #167292
It’s 2005 and I always enjoy having new students. Contact me if interested.
Claire, I have played harp for 25 years and a long time ago discovered that if I put a little bit of glycerin lotion just on my fingertips, I could play without getting blisters. (My brand is “Camille Beckman” but there are several on the market.) I buy it by the tube and keep one in my gig bag for long performances. Don’t overdo it, and DON’T get it on the palm of your hands..it’s slippery.donna-benier on May 17, 2005 at 4:00 am · in reply to: looking for a lever Harp teacher in Buffalo, NY area #156097
John, I am a harp teacher in Rochester,NY area.
Anon, Get yourself a harp catalog that has detailed descriptions of the music (like Melody’s in Texas), choose something that sounds intriguing to you and is at an intermediate or advanced level (be sure it’s for lever or pedal, whichever you play), and order it.