Some of you will know that my husband bought me a harp for my 70th. A 29-string lever harp to be precise; they are also known as a Celtic harp, or a lap harp, or a minstrel harp.
I could say that it’s because of lockdown that I’m having to use online lessons. And to be honest I’d get nowhere without them as I do not read music and have never mastered any sort of musical instrument. I have tried. But hands and feet refuse to liaise with eyes and mind. But – I would not take person-to-person lessons by choice.
I found a delightful young South African who gives online lessons on YouTube. She has created a taster series of first lessons that give you the basics of position, fingering, and setting up your harp. I went through all of these and was ready to learn my first piece of music by week four.
Christy-Lyn, for that is the young lady’s name, writes simple tunes based on folk and traditional pieces and has produced very detailed tutorials for each piece. I treated myself to the ‘early beginner’ bundle of three tunes. I was ready to go. To say that I enjoyed learning the first piece is putting it mildly. It is the most therapeutic thing! I now feel that I’m not ready to end the day unless I’ve spent some time with my harp.
It has taken a couple of weeks, learning a section then practising it over and over before moving on to the next, but I now can play right through the first piece of music. OK, so I fluff parts each time, and not always the same part, but I can get through it. I am also improving the pace and rhythm each time. I cannot say I am reading the sheet music though as I have annotated the whole thing.
Two days ago I started to learn my second tune, and it is slightly more challenging than the first. And that is good. I am certainly building my confidence.
The Harp Notes Header?
I created the image this afternoon and having positioned the letters I decided I ought to ‘play’ the notes to see if it sounded alright. How’s that for dedication? 😂🎶
I hope you are finding different, perhaps new things to do during these very strange times. Have you decided to challenge yourself? Learn something new? Get on with something that’s been hidden at the back of a cupboard? Share your mental escape routes out of lockdown, or your new ways for just getting through the day.
Thank you for reading about my new passion.