Do You Have a Harp Hero?

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Harp HeroI need a hero.

A harpist’s life is not an easy one. I’m not complaining, mind you, just stating a fact.

The harp is a beautiful instrument, but one with lots of issues. Whether we are trying to tune it, play it or move it, we are not traveling an easy road.

Along my own harp road, I have encountered many people who have made my way much smoother, some simply by a thoughtful gesture, others who showed me the way with their own bright light. These are my harp heroes.

I know you’ve met them too, people who make your day brighter and your dreams possible. Do you know any of these harp heroes?

  • People who open the door for me and my harp without my asking.
  • Conductors who give me time to reset my pedals.
  • People who ask if they can help me when they see me moving the harp, and then wait for my answer and my direction.
  • School band directors who find creative ways to include my students in their ensembles.
  • Harp parents who give up their evenings and weekends to take their young harp students to lessons, rehearsals and concerts. (Thanks, Dad!)
  • Stage crew who go out of their way to be helpful and give me the “star treatment.”
  • Composers who write in pedal markings, even if those markings aren’t exactly where I wou;d put them.
  • Teachers who instruct and encourage, inspiring us to be our best.
  • Family members who help us live our dreams.
  • Colleagues and music buddies with whom we can share our love of music.
  • People who make harp carts.
  • Our remarkably generous harp community, brought together by our love of and dedication to this wonderful instrument.

Who are your harp heroes? Thank one of them today!

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  • Jim White

    Yes I have a Gothic harp. It is made of Tennessee Walnut sides and thirty two strings, E thru G. I have never received instructions except by watching various videos and came across yours. They are the best and want to thank you for so much info that I never knew.

    Reply

  • Gretchen

    Thank you, Ann.

    Reply

  • Eby B.

    I would like to add to your list: Our harp teachers who patiently listen to our playing and help us improve with their knowledge, encouragement and enthusiasm.

    Reply

  • Carole Smith

    You covered it well, Anne. To personalize this for me it would include my teacher, Janet Witman, who plays all music beautifully. She’s as impressive to watch as to hear. A great role model. Then you came into my harp life and showed me how to successfully apply what I learn in lessons to real life harp playing. I’ve made more improvement in the last 3 years than in the previous 15 years. I also name my church music director who is learning how to arrange music for harp. He never worked with a harp before. I offered to teach him how to play it since he plays almost every other instrument in an orchestra. He respectfully declined, but is working hard to have the harp sound wonderful with the church orchestra. Downside of this, he likes to put the harp front and center near the alter above the rest of the orchestra. (No pressure there.) I never would have been able to play in that spot before working with you. Carole

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  • Sami

    Anne, you are one of my hero’s because you demystify and offer a straightforward logic regarding harp playing and practicing. In 6 years of private lessons neither of my teachers offered me the kind of insight I’m getting from your blog and conference calls. Sure, they “corrected” me until my repertoire sounded better. But they never explained the “why” behind anything. So I never became empowered about how to actually correct myself. That’s the gift you bring to me. The tools and knowledge to know how to improve on my own! That’s HUGE. My other hero is Deborah Henson Conant. She has released me from my fear of “making mistakes” on the harp and empowered me to become more experimental, creative, and improvisational. Finally, Harpo Marx is my hero for making me laugh with his outrageous harp playing scenarios. He makes the harp less serious and more human.

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    • rob stone

      Anne:
      I would have to agree with your other students, that you are my “harp hero” for dedicating your life to your instrument and attaining a mastery of it that we all aspire too. I am inspired by your recordings and your personal appearances. All your teaching tips, based on your experience, to help us become better musicians. And finally, your character, your work ethic, musical knowledge and organizational skills are an outstanding model for all of us! Thank you!

      Reply

    • Anne Post author

      Thank you so much, Sami! I am honored to be of help to you, and I feel privileged to be in the company of your other distinguished harp heroes!

      Reply

  • Stephanie

    “People who ask if they can help me when they see me moving the harp, and then WAIT for my answer and my direction.” You nailed it!

    Reply

    • Anne Post author

      Like most of us, I have had to prevent too-eager helpers from causing injury to me or the harp. I love the help, just please ask first!

      Reply

  • Candace

    How can I not comment

    My very first Harp Teacher Maryanne Copa she was fun, kind, made me so excited to play the harp. She gave me such a wonderful start.

    Anne you are my hero.you gave me such a wonderful finish….
    You are more then my former (to me my current teacher) I’m still learning from you.
    From the very first lesson to now your hard work, and commitment to teaching musicians to be their best, inspires me. You help keep me excited about being a harpist and a teacher. You also continue to make me think differently.
    You did “save”me I almost quit Harp before I met you. Scary.

    You have definitely built an amazing legacy. Honestly, I believe your reshaping the harp world. Your dedication and hardwork is very much appreciated.

    Anne thank you for being one my hero’s.

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  • Nicole

    Yes, dear Anne, I have. My harp teacher from Wales, Harriet Earis. She loves me not only as her student, but also as a person. She inspires and encourages me and helps me fulfilling my life dream playing the harp. She corrects me in a very friendly and respectful manner. AND: Harriet is very very positive in her behaviour towards other human beings. She spreads out LOVE to everyone. That’s why I love her so much. I am so thankful that I found her after having been searching for nearly two years. But all this doesn’t mean to me, that I don’t appreciate the work of other harpists, too. But Harriet is just MY hero.

    Reply

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