I am a new member, any mature harp students on this forum?
Posted 10 April 2015 - 23:35
In the interests of my next practical exam I am doing Alexander Technique for Harp to see if it helps to put me in a comfortable zone for the next exam - I'm already working towards it. My very lovely understandng teacher says we are moving forward and not looking back.
My new pieces for Grade 3 are chosen: Bernard Andrès Gavotte from Automates, Alpine Waltz by MacDonald & Pozzoli Study 1 Medium Difficulty. It's amazing but my new pieces have been far easier to master than my previous pieces. I put that down to never having played any musical nstrument before and needing to open new neural pathways. They appear to be open and operational.
I am to do Grade 4 or 5 theory as well. Not sure if I'm biting off more than I should at his stage. I have been playing just under a year now and started music from scratch - except for singing with Grade 1. I'm hoping to do both exams in the autumn of this year.
Do you think I'm rushing it?
Do you have any suggestions for an basic book of exercises for harp. Fingering agility and strengthening exercises? I want something a little simpler than the Pozzoli Studies.
At the moment I just do very basic exercises using 1&2, 1&3, 1&4 up and cown the scales and plucking with individual fingers placing fingers back in non-playing position each time.
Posted 11 April 2015 - 09:34
Grade 5 theory is (or was when I took it about 30 years ago!!!) quite a bit of work, especially if you've been learning music for only a year. Unless you have quite a bit of free time, I'd recommend doing it at a different time than your practical.
For Harp exercises, both the Deborah Friou ("Harp exercises for Agility and Speed") and the Grossi ("Metodo per Arpa: 65 Piccoli Studi Facili e Progressivi") have exercises that take you from beginner (my 8 year old uses some of the Grossi) through to way advanced (past grade 8) and suitable for lever or pedal. The Grossi you can download English translations of the text if you need to - The Virtual HarpCircle group on Yahoogroups have some if you join (and they are lovely people and an excellent place to ask questions as they are set up to encourage beginners). The Grossi is widely used among harpists worldwide but is more expensive, the Friou is more recent but includes some melodic pieces using the preceding exercises which is quite nice.
Posted 12 April 2015 - 00:05
I'll investigate your suggestions and try to find copies - I guess these are books to keep so not going to be found second-hand.
I'll take your advice on the Grade 5 Theory - music isn't my only line of study at the moment so I do need to be careful to divide my time sensibly at least for another year. I'll tackle Grade 4 in Spring of 2016 after January exams for my other subject. My playing s coming on in leaps at the moment so it will be a good idea to do Grade 3 practical in Autumn in order to keep moving forward and having goals to work towards. I practice every day at the moment and want to keep the momentum going - I don't have a Mum to check up on me!
It must be lovely having a young harpist in the house - is harp your instrument as well. How did your daughter come to chose he harp?
The Yahoo group sounds lovely. I'll try to remember my login details or re-join Yahoo. Thanks again for your support.
Posted 12 April 2015 - 08:18
I've been learning the harp for about 5 years now. My daughter wanted to learn the harp to be like Mummy, she started on a rented cardboard harp and was going great guns so we bought a secondhand Camac bardic (in purple!) for her. She's been learning about 2 years and is 8.
I'm working on my grade 6 now, I did my 4 and 5 in the last few years. Like you, I like to have goals to keep me working and practising! And it gives me confidence when I have a piece of paper! Although the weeks before the exam it always seems like a terrible idea when I don't *have* to do it :-)
It sounds like you were fortunate in finding a lovely second hand pedal harp. I only play lever, don't have room or funds for a pedal, but loving it anyway. I'm my teacher's first post grade 5 lever player. Pedal harps have a so much larger repertoire to play!
Do keep in touch and let us know how its going. The yahoo group is lovely, I heartily recommend it.
Posted 13 April 2015 - 22:45
I'm not surprised about your daughter wanting to play the harp after seeing you play. Everyone who hears the harp and sees it up close is intrigued. I've heard about the cardboard harps - what are they like?
Well done on achieving Grades 4&5 and working on 6. It takes a fair amount of determination and motivation to keep doing something especially exams when they are not strictly necessary. Before my exam my partner kept assuring me I didn't have to do the exam and all the stress and working hard to get ready was "all self-inflicted." Nothing put me off.
I originally took a Dusty Strings 34 string lever harp on hire but was lucky enough to be able to persuade the company to take it back after two weeks and sell me the secondhand Aoyama Vega. It was a good decision for me. I would like a portable harp as well to play outside in the summer and to take upstairs at night.
I'm going to join the Yahoo Harp group........very soon. You'll recognise me by my avatar or name. Looking forward to reading all the harp news and meeting other harpists online.
Posted 14 April 2015 - 11:56
I have now joined Harp Circle on Yahoo. I'll pop in and read all the posts and introduce myself. Come by and say hello. ;-)
Posted 14 April 2015 - 15:13
See you there, too!
The cardboard harps sound surprisingly nice and are good and lightweight as well as cheap! Excellent to start on, but I think they come in kit form so you need someone who is good with their hands to make it up. We hired one from our teacher!
How is your Aoyama? I've never had a chance to try one of their's.
Posted 15 April 2015 - 17:10
See you there, too! How is your Aoyama?
I may well buy a cardboard harp to try, I often wish I could play in the garden. The Vega is quite plain but has an extended soundboard and a rich round sound. I would stick with Aoyama, their harps are very good. Having said that I haven't had experience of a wide range of harps except on the showroom floor in one shop.
I haven't been able to post on Virtual Harp Circle - I have written at least two posts and sent them and nothing happens. I'm a bit confused about the Yahoo layout and how it works. I have tried to read the posts. Is it me or is the website a bit unorthodox? I haven't a clue how it works. ;-(
Posted 15 April 2015 - 18:22
Hi Angel, I can see that you have become a member on 14 April. So, you can send messages from your own mailbox to [email protected]
Maybe your first message will be moderated? In that case your first message will appear in one of the next hours, I think.
Otherwise, you may try and send a text message again. If this won't work, tell me and I will contact one of the moderators for you and everything will be fine.
By the way, you will never see your own message appear in your inbox, but you will see it when you visit the Yahoo-page of the group. Think about whether you'd like to see the message to the group in plain text (that is what I do), and whether you want to see the messages appear individually (I do) or as a 'daily digest'.
Posted 15 April 2015 - 21:57
I requested a daily digest when I signed up and so far have accessed the forum via the mailbox. The only messages I have seen are welcome messages addressed to myself. I'll try again. You are possibly spot-on, perhaps my post is waiting for moderation. I didn't want to continue posting the same old reply over and over until I was sure what was going on. I might try from my desktop computer, iPads are not always the best although they do work on most forums.
Posted 16 April 2015 - 08:37
You are possibly spot-on, perhaps my post is waiting for moderation. I didn't want to continue posting the same old reply over and over until I was sure what was going on.
I agree, I'm pretty sure they moderate the first few emails at least to try and protect against spammers.
Posted 16 April 2015 - 10:02
Hi Angel, in the mean time I saw in the archives of the group that you have already been welcomed on VirtualHarpcircle by one of the moderators and that you have been greeted by a few members.
Somehow I did not receive mails in my inbox on 13 and 14 April (yet?), but I did receive messages of that group dated yesterday and today. Perhaps the same happened to you? It seems that sometimes the delivery of mails can be delayed for unknown reasons.
Anyway, nice to know that you have found your way to that mailing group too!
Posted 16 April 2015 - 22:49
Here's hoping for an excellent result!
Thanks AWebb............the results came out today and I passed!
I need to do some work on sight reading and make sure I don't have a melt-down in Grade 3. I'm thrilled though and so is my teacher.
Posted 17 April 2015 - 17:19
Hi Angel, congratulations for passing your Harp Exam. Which pieces did you play for your exam? (I am just curious)