This school year may look a bit different than others, but that’s all the more reason to get back to the harp! Whether you’re studying online or in person, you’ll want to check out these progressive collections and solos especially for new harpists. Plus, we’ve got ensemble music you can play from home!
Progressive collections and etudes
by Rachel Green
The first book in Rachel Green’s Play With Me beginning harp method includes 37 short solos for lever or pedal harp. An optional teacher duet part is also included for every piece. This collection is great for the beginning harpist, as each piece works on developing new techniques and rhythms, gradually getting the student acclimated to the harp. Students who have completed the primer can move on to Level One and Level Two in the series.
by Anna Dunwoodie
The first book in Anna Dunwoodie’s Harp Moments series includes 15 short pieces for the beginning harpist. Once you’ve finished these you can move on to Volume 2 for even more fun!
by Eira Lynn Jones
This book of “warm-up exercises for all harpists” guides players through finger exercises, to modes, rhythms, and more. Beginners will strengthen their fingers and develop a rich tone, while advanced harpists can use this book as a way to reinforce technique. When you’re finished with all 18 pages, you can move on to Pick and Mix 2 technical exercises for harpists. New harpists will also want to check out Jones’ A Harpist’s Guide to Progress, which covers the first steps of learning from scales and arpeggios to technical foundation and tips on practicing.
by Skaila Kanga
The first book in Skaila Kanga’s “Minstrel” series remains a teacher favorite. It includes 30 easy pieces in styles from Medieval to present day, for solo lever or pedal harp. When you’ve finished all 30 you can jump right into Minstrel’s Holiday and Minstrel’s Christmas.
Student solo collections
by Kimberly Taylor
This collection includes seven intermediate character pieces that each work on a different technical challenge. For added fun, there are poems throughout about the rabbit’s adventure. Taylor says the rabbit “sees a hot air balloon race, a glowing mythical moonweed, and more!”
by Kathryn Cater
There’s something for every pet lover in this collection of eight original solos by Kathryn Cater, playable on both lever and pedal harp. The pieces are written in a variety of moods and styles and make great learning material for students. See below for a video sample and further notes from the composer.
by Meinir Heulyn
Meinir Heulyn’s “Tudul’s Harp/Telyn Tudful” collection includes 11 traditional Welsh folksongs and lullabies with exercises and illustrations for each piece. Fun and colorful, it’s written with beginners in mind.
Ensemble at home
by W. A. Mozart/arr. Haley Rhodeside
Looking for ways to play with others at home? This piece is part of Haley Rhodeside’s “Harping at Home” series, which allows harpists of all skill levels to play their part along with accompaniment videos. Each arrangement in the series consists of two harp parts, an easier Harp 1 part suitable for beginners and a more challenging Harp 2 part suitable for intermediate players. Visit Harp Column Music or YouTube to play along with Rhodeside’s recording of the opposite part. Find more Harping at Home options here.
by John Thomas/arr. Willi Maerz
Willi Maerz has also made it easier for harpists to practice ensemble music alone by creating accompaniment audio tracks to practice along with. You can find tracks for his arrangement of “Watching The Wheat” (for four pedal harps or two pedal harps and 2 lever harps) along with many other ensemble arrangements for two to four harps. Find more options here.