- Usually, how are lessons organized?
- Are lessons given privately or in group?
- How much time do I have to practice every day?
- What are the prerequisites for playing the harp?
- At what age should a child start learning the harp?
- Can you give lessons at students' home?
- Can we take lessons every two weeks?
- Is it true that we must keep our nails short, and that our fingers can get rough because of the pick?
- If I want to buy a harp how many strings should it have?
- What are the difference between the lever and pedal harp?
- Can we take part in a concert?
Q. Usually, how are lessons organized?
Harp lessons entail exercises to master harp techniques and practice scales so as to make the muscles of your hands suppler. You will have some great pieces to prepare, whatever your level. I think it is important that each lesson include some music theory, solfege or musical dictation.
Q. Are lessons given privately or in group?
Since each student is at a different level, lessons are given privately. This way I can give you all of my attention and enable you to advance at your own pace. However, in parallel with private lessons, it is possible to participate in chamber music classes with other students.
Q. How much time do I have to practice every day?
I recommend 30-60 minutes of practice per day, which will keep you progressing and encourage you to improve. It all depends on your goals.
Q. What are the prerequisites for playing the harp?
The only prerequisite is your interest in learning and music. No basic skills are required. Only motivation!
Q. At what age should a child start learning the harp?
The harp is an instrument that requires fine motor skills, which young children have not yet developed. I think starting at the age of seven or eight is just about right.
Q. Can you give lessons at students' home?
Lessons are given at my place because all the necessary equipment is within reach. You don't have to bring your own musical instrument.
Q. Can we take lessons every two weeks?
Yes, it's possible but my experience is that taking lessons every two weeks or from time to time will not allow a beginner to learn the harp's complex techniques very fast. A weekly follow-up is necessary if the student wants to make some progress, and it is also more motivating.
Q. Is it true that we must keep our nails short, and that our fingers can get rough because of the pick?
Long hours of practice can thicken the skin of the fingers, but it is hard to see. It is true though that short fingernails are a must; otherwise fingernails will get caught in the strings, something you do not want to happen.
Q. If I want to buy a harp how many strings should it have?
A Celtic harp has between 22 and 40 strings compared to 40 to 47 for the pedal harp. If you get lever harp, my suggestion is that it have 34 strings; this way you will not to be limited in your choice of pieces and will offer you an interesting note range.
Q. What are the difference between the lever and pedal harp?
The way to make accidentals (flats and sharps) is the main thing that distinguishes these two types of harps. The Celtic harp has levers that are manually activated whereas in the grand harp accidentals are achieved by using your feet to activate the pedals.
Q. Can we take part in a concert?
Yes, you can participate to a student concert at the end of the session; assuming sufficient participants.