Harp Lessons

Private lessons

Ed offers private lessons to both adults and children wishing to learn the Celtic harp. No previous musical experience is necessary. Students come once a week for approximately an hour. Lessons are $30 and students pay for four at a time. For those without a harp, Don Peddle, a harp maker from Clarenville, makes a very nice 26-string student harp for approximately $600. This harp is more than sufficient for the first year or so of lessons. After that, students may wish to upgrade to a harp with more strings and sharping levers. Feel free to contact Don at randomsound@rogers.com for more information. It’s also possible to rent a harp for approximately $50 a month. Contact Ed or Vicki Greenslade (see below) for more information. Anyone wishing to purchase their own harp should ensure that it has at least 26 strings (one octave below Middle C), and has either legs or a stand, enabling the player to sit at the harp in a regular chair. This will ensure that the harp is stable.

The Conception Bay South (CBS) Harp Circle
This is a 10-week introduction to the Celtic harp. Ed introduces the basics of the instrument so students can get to know it and then decide if they would like to carry on with private lessons. Information about prospective teachers will be provided. The cost is $300. A family discount is also available. Registration includes harp rental—yours for the duration to learn on and take home for practice. The circle takes place in the parish hall of St. Peter’s Anglican Church in Upper Gullies on Saturday mornings from 10:00 -12:00. Circles begin in mid-September and mid-January. We usually have enough harps for about 13 people. Anyone interested in participating should contact the facilitator, Vicki Greenslade, at 834-2609 or vicki.greenslade@hotmail.com. See below for a tentative schedule of the 10-week circle. For more information about the harp in Newfoundland and Labrador see Silvern Strings  Newfoundland Harp Community on Facebook.

10-week Introduction to the Celtic Harp
Tentative Schedule
The descriptions below refer to the general thrust of the particular lesson. Throughout the 10 weeks there will be much overlap and review. Students are encouraged to acquaint themselves with the basics of music notation before the beginning of the course. See Week Five below.

Week One:
History of the harp. Different styles of harp. Harp tuning. Levers. Playing posture: body, arms, hands. Producing a good tone.

Week Two: Playing “Follow the Leader” while employing good technique.

Week Three: Principles of placing and bracketing. Playing “legato.” A simple piece.

Week Four: Overlapping brackets. A simple piece.

Week Five: Introduction to music rudiments: basic rhythms and note values. Elements of this section will also be introduced earlier in the course. Students unfamiliar with music notation are encouraged to acquaint themselves with the basic principles prior to the beginning of the course. This need not be extensive. But familiarity with the notes on the staff (particularly the treble clef, as well as simple note values, is definitely a good idea. There are many free internet sites that offer this information. Knowledge of written music, however, is not compulsory: students may also choose to play the pieces and exercises by ear.

Week Six: The therapeutic value of the harp: stress reduction and music therapy. A simple piece.

Week Seven: Different styles of music on the harp: classical; Paraguayan; pop; jazz.

Week Eight: The bass clef. Playing a simple piece incorporating bass clef notes.

Week Nine: The major scale (incorporating crossing under and over). Playing thirds.

Week Ten: Review.

Ed Kavanagh, 18 Parsons Avenue, Mount Pearl, NL, Canada A1N 1P6    Phone: 709-364-6386   email