Jump to content


Photo

I am a new member, any mature harp students on this forum?


  • Please log in to reply
45 replies to this topic

#1 carnoetanne

carnoetanne

    Newbie

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 14 posts
  • Member: 887563
    Joined: 29-November 13

Posted 02 December 2013 - 13:00

Hello I am a new member. I am learning to play harp. I have a Camac Melusine harp. I am enjoying the fresh challenge in my life.

 

Look forward to hearing from you

 

Anne


  • 0

#2 AWebb

AWebb

    Member

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 79 posts
  • Member: 463918
    Joined: 28-May 12

Posted 02 December 2013 - 13:03

Hi Anne

 

Perhaps not considered 'mature' but I'm an adult learner (I'm 30 now). I started a couple of years ago and I love it :)

Are you having lessons? What sort of stage are you at?

 

Hope you're having fun learning.

 

Alex


  • 0

#3 UnnaturalHarmonics

UnnaturalHarmonics

    Prodigy

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 1240 posts
  • Member: 735056
    Joined: 25-April 13

Posted 02 December 2013 - 13:24

Ooh! Hello. I'd like to learn but I don't think a harp is really in my budget... unless anyone can suggest a suitable one?
  • 0

#4 Ligneo Fistula

Ligneo Fistula

    Prodigy

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 1244 posts
  • Member: 529803
    Joined: 28-September 12
  • United Kingdom

Posted 02 December 2013 - 22:29

Hello, again!


  • 0

#5 GMc

GMc

    Prodigy

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 1076 posts
  • Member: 322722
    Joined: 27-September 11

Posted 03 December 2013 - 03:56

Cardboard ones might be worth a look.  Kit form.   Very affordable.  Sound surprisingly good!   in the hands of pros very good indeed but beware - tends to be the start of a harp family increasing in size and cost.  Very small however and no levers so stuck in whatever key you tune to.  Or the ebay Pakistani ones but buyer beware as some fall apart on opening although some people have been lucky with them.

 

The problem with tiny harps is how to hold them.  There are various lap devices and hangers off your body but it never seems very easy.


  • 2

#6 Collyermum

Collyermum

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 352 posts
  • Member: 68406
    Joined: 18-June 09
  • North-east

Posted 03 December 2013 - 10:54

Hi

 

I am an older harp player, I started 3 1/2 years ago and I have a Triplett Signature, and a Camac Bardic for my daughter who also plays lever harp.  It has got to be my first instrument now, I took Grade 4 a year ago and am working on my Grade 5 now.

 

Welcome to the wonderful world of harps! And I agree with GMc, my daughter started on a cardboard harp and they aren't too bad at all! The Pakistani ones, even those that aren't Rosewood, I haven't heard any good reports of, they tend not to stay in tune at all, and can be untuneable before long.


  • 0

#7 VickyB

VickyB

    Newbie

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 23 posts
  • Member: 409827
    Joined: 22-February 12

Posted 12 December 2013 - 08:53

I started with a very cheap Pakistani one from ebay. I knew nothing about harps then, so didn't realise the bad reputation they have. It was a total impulse buy. It really wasn't too bad. It didn't have any levers but that wasn't a problem as I was only playing very basic tunes at that stage. It needed tuning at the start of each practise but it held its tune for long enough to play, and because I was retuning to other keys it wasn't really a problem. I thought the tone was very good (well - until I got a real one anyway but to the beginner ear it made a pleasant noise)

 

I totally agree they are entry-level drugs though! I had it about 6 months before deciding I needed a "real" one. 

 

I don't regret it for a second though. It was cheaper than 6 months' rental, and I never would have decided to spend over £1,000 (eek!) on an instrument that I hadn't even tried, so it was a good investment and I still have it now, and my daughter has taken it to school for performance when I was too mean to let her take my good one!

 

PS Carno - I have replied on your other thread. Welcome to the forum. 


  • 0

#8 Angel14

Angel14

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 137 posts
  • Member: 893020
    Joined: 28-February 15

Posted 05 March 2015 - 00:55

Hello I am a new member. I am learning to play the harp.
 Look forward to hearing from you
 Anne


Hello, I know it's a bit late but if you are still playing your harp please come and chat!

I started playing the harp a year ago but had an operation which kept me in a sling for three/four months - strictly speaking I've been playing 12 months - 4months. Even so, today I did my Grade 3 Theory and due to do a practical harp exam later this month - Grade 2.
I would love to chat about harping about in general.
  • 0

#9 AWebb

AWebb

    Member

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 79 posts
  • Member: 463918
    Joined: 28-May 12

Posted 05 March 2015 - 13:24

That sounds like pretty good progress, Angel!

 

Good luck with the exam and let us know how it goes. What pieces are you doing?

 

I've been playing for about 3.5 years now and hope to do Grade 6 next term. I can sort of play my pieces but they don't sound very musical to me :( However, just a case of practice and perseverance I hope.

 

What kind of harp do you have?


  • 0

#10 Angel14

Angel14

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 137 posts
  • Member: 893020
    Joined: 28-February 15

Posted 14 March 2015 - 02:15

Thanks - I surprised myself!

I'm even more surprised at you attempting Grade 6 after 3.5years - that's amazing!

I had never seriously considered playing the harp or any other instrument until two years of my life were taken up in severe pain and annoyance following a shoulder injury. On New Years Day 2014, after considering my "lost" time and being very annoyed about being out of commission I announced I wanted to play the harp. On the first Saturday in 2014 I found myself at a well known harp shop, selected a harp and then proceeded home. On the Monday my search for a teacher became my focus and by that Wednesday I was having a trial lesson with my now teacher.

I took a leap of faith and bought myself a beautiful secondhand Aoyama Vega in beautiful condition. I needed something to compensate for my "loss" and take my mind off my misery. At this stage my surgery was a month away - undeterred and not wasting a moment I managed to get six lessons in before surgery and undertook to have one hour Skype music theory lessons till I was allowed to resume playing the harp again. The harp, or rather the promise of learning to play the harp kept me going through the dark days of pain and physiotherapy. Now of course I just love my harp and live to play. I suppose you could say buying the harp like hat was risky but the outcome is a happy one.

My set pieces for my upcoming Grade 2 exam : While Bagpipes Play by J.S. Bach, Hippotamus Rag by Skaila Kanga and Mountain Stream by Skaila Kanga. I love all three pieces fortunately.

My shoulder had a happy result too. ;-)

Tell me about your harp and what made you decide to play the harp!
  • 1

#11 AWebb

AWebb

    Member

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 79 posts
  • Member: 463918
    Joined: 28-May 12

Posted 16 March 2015 - 13:25

That's a good story and sounds like you've got a lot motivating you to keep going :) 

Those pieces are really nice, I played the Bach and Mountain Stream for my Grade 2 I think. It's a lot easier to practise and improve when you love your pieces.

 

I've loved the look and sound of the harp for quite a while - it's just so amazing. I had to take quite a lot of exams for my job so back in Summer 2011 I decided that if I passed the exam I'd just sat (a big one) I would reward myself by getting some lessons. I did pass and managed to arrange a trial lesson a month later. Never looked back :)

 

I started out with a small lever harp from Morley Harps. This was great for beginners and also cheaper just in case I didn't really take to it. I got myself a Salvi Aurora two years ago and I love it.

 

I think my main goal now needs to be finding ways to play with and in front of others as I think this would really help me improve.

 

Do come back and report on how your exam goes!


  • 0

#12 Angel14

Angel14

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 137 posts
  • Member: 893020
    Joined: 28-February 15

Posted 18 March 2015 - 10:26

The harp, even in the hands of an absolute beginner, sounds heavenly. It's difficult to make the harp sound bad.
My DP is a beginner cellist - after four months of lessons the dogs ask to go up to bed at the first draw of the bow. When I practice
our two dogs sleep around my feet with their heads against the harp. They never leave he room.

I love Salvi harps - my teacher has one. As a matter of interest did you keep the smaller harp as a travel harp?
I'm thinking of a smaller travel harp now - the big harp is not really suitable for taking out. It's a big, heavy awkward shape.

I am finding when I practice everyday I keep my pieces reasonably fluent but if I don't practice for a few days I forget some important tiny bits and after a week of not practicing its almost having to learn the piece all over again. Any practice tips before the exam?
  • 0

#13 AWebb

AWebb

    Member

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 79 posts
  • Member: 463918
    Joined: 28-May 12

Posted 19 March 2015 - 13:26

That is one of the great things about harps. I think it's such an encouraging instrument for beginners as you don't get horrid squeaks out of it.

 

I didn't keep the smaller harp for several reasons. My teacher had a new student who was looking to get one second hand so it seemed a good time to pass it on. Also, most of the pieces I learn now require the pedals so I wouldn't be able to play them very easily on a lever harp. It also seemed a bit of a shame to have it sitting there unplayed most of the time!

 

It's hard to deny that regular practice is the key to improvement. However, there are certainly times when a day or two off seems to allow my fingers/brain time to process what they're trying to do and it seems to improve after a rest.

 

For the exam I think it's important to mentally prepare yourself as much as anything else. Have run throughs where you  go straight through all pieces and don't stop for mistakes. Try to play for people as you might find this increases the pressure and you make more mistakes than normal!

 

Some people don't like to practise on the day of the exam itself. I usually do though although just a run through and some warming up. Also make sure your harp is tuned before you travel and again once you get there :) Best of luck.


  • 0

#14 Angel14

Angel14

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 137 posts
  • Member: 893020
    Joined: 28-February 15

Posted 26 March 2015 - 15:21

The exam is over!

The exam started well but as soon as I was asked to play a scale in E-Minor. I just went blank and after a few moments decided to admit to the examiner. Unperturbed the examiner asked me to chose a minor scale. I promised her she could ask for any one of the two remaining and she did. That scale was fine. I had opted to to my scales, arpeggios, aural and sight reading before playing my pieces. Next time I'll play the pieces first. The consensus for playing scales first was to warm up a bit before he pieces but quite honestly it wasn't necessary - my exam was at home.

Sight reading...... I really don't know what to say about this. In my pre-exam attempts I always did well, according to my teacher. I started off right but ventured off the path and perhaps went a bit slow towards the end. The aural is difficult to call because he examiner kept a pleasant neutral expression, just saying thank you after each of my answers.

When I did get to play the pieces I felt a lot less nervous, I genuinely believed it would be more stressful to play the pieces first. I did have a couple of mistakes and one serious collapse but funnily enough I was able to keep the melody going. I missed a part of the left hand for a bar but caught up and played on. I was delighted to be able to do that so easily. By the time I got to my third piece, the last two bars another glitch - happily I went on the play the big finish but at this stage my fingers were shaky and trying to latch onto the correct strings - I was glad the exam was over.

I'm going to book the next practical exam as soon as the bookings open - my nerves will not get the better of me!
In the meantime I'm looking for any advice or tips on how to keep nerves under control during exams. I was much better as a child singing in Eisteddfods and as a young adult singing solo in public. What on earth happens as we get older!
  • 0

#15 AWebb

AWebb

    Member

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 79 posts
  • Member: 463918
    Joined: 28-May 12

Posted 07 April 2015 - 12:05

The exam is over!

The exam started well but as soon as I was asked to play a scale in E-Minor. I just went blank and after a few moments decided to admit to the examiner. Unperturbed the examiner asked me to chose a minor scale. I promised her she could ask for any one of the two remaining and she did. That scale was fine. I had opted to to my scales, arpeggios, aural and sight reading before playing my pieces. Next time I'll play the pieces first. The consensus for playing scales first was to warm up a bit before he pieces but quite honestly it wasn't necessary - my exam was at home.

Sight reading...... I really don't know what to say about this. In my pre-exam attempts I always did well, according to my teacher. I started off right but ventured off the path and perhaps went a bit slow towards the end. The aural is difficult to call because he examiner kept a pleasant neutral expression, just saying thank you after each of my answers.

When I did get to play the pieces I felt a lot less nervous, I genuinely believed it would be more stressful to play the pieces first. I did have a couple of mistakes and one serious collapse but funnily enough I was able to keep the melody going. I missed a part of the left hand for a bar but caught up and played on. I was delighted to be able to do that so easily. By the time I got to my third piece, the last two bars another glitch - happily I went on the play the big finish but at this stage my fingers were shaky and trying to latch onto the correct strings - I was glad the exam was over.

I'm going to book the next practical exam as soon as the bookings open - my nerves will not get the better of me!
In the meantime I'm looking for any advice or tips on how to keep nerves under control during exams. I was much better as a child singing in Eisteddfods and as a young adult singing solo in public. What on earth happens as we get older!

 

Hi Angel

 

It sounds like it went really well! The mistakes you describe all seem very much within the expected level of exam nerves screw-ups. The important thing is it sounds like you carried on regardless and didn't let it affect you.

 

Here's hoping for an excellent result!


  • 0