Can You Teach Yourself to Play the Harp?
Should you take harp lessons, or should you teach yourself? In this video, we explore various options of learning to play the harp as an adult. If you’re wanting to learn the harp and thinking about teaching yourself, then this is the video for you!
I know there are some negative voices out there saying that maybe it’s not possible to teach yourself harp at this point, but I really do think it’s possible and I want to chat to you about how to go about it, and what you should consider along the way.
Some people learn to play as a child, going step by step through classical technique, and end up playing in an orchestra, which requires a very solid grounding of technique at each step in the process. Then there are those of us who’ve learnt to play as adults, each with different goals in mind.
Some of you may want to go immediately into performing, like I did. I was already singing and playing the piano, so I wanted to learn to do the same with the harp.
Maybe there are some of you wanting to serve through your music in a therapy context. Some may want to play just for their own enjoyment, or to casually explore the instrument. And again, there will be others that feel it’s more important to have a teacher.
There are many more resources to teach yourself than there used to be. We’re able to go on YouTube and look at countless free tutorials and videos of other harpists. We have access to so much online! Self-taught harpists can go further on their own now than before. For example, even when you’re purchasing a book for “Beginner harpist, teaching yourself to play” many of those books have play-along DVDs with it where you can see the position of the hands and learn about technique.
There are a few harp festivals that you can attend, with potential once-off classes. Through the Virtual Harp Summit, for free of charge you can watch all the videos during the time of the festival. That’s really amazing! We can teach ourselves technique, and learn so much more from the other side of the world!
Another option would be to check out my online courses!
When starting to learn the harp, it’s really important to have consistent help in your journey, and that’s what my online courses can give you.
In each course you will learn to play a piece step by step, and work on the foundations of harp playing at the same time!
I just wanted to include that it’s really important to look at your personality and goals for learning to play the harp. Teaching yourself a new instrument has its demands – and it isn’t for everybody. From my experience, if you want to get the full package of support, the easiest way is through weekly lessons with a teacher.
On our own can be a bit more challenging in some areas. Guidance and knowledge from a teacher would accelerate progress. On our own, we’ll have to “seek out” many aspects ourselves, figuring out what we need and then go find them.
This is where it can be a bit of a tricky process, as it takes more effort to fill in those gaps. A good teacher will give you more than technique and just pieces, they push you to go further than you would think of going on your own. They pinpoint weak areas and give you a lot of encouragement and support. And very importantly, they help you to choose pieces that are just right for your level of development. Often when we’re teaching ourselves that can be one of the biggest struggles: choosing a piece that fits our current ability.
There are a lot of benefits having a teacher will give you. But again, teaching yourself isn’t impossible – or a bad thing! You just need to consider what works best for you depending on your goals and personality trait regarding perseverance and commitment. Teaching yourself to play harp requires being proactive and self-disciplined without the help of a teacher. It’s not impossible, but it’s just a cautionary note to say that it is a little bit harder.
OUR MONTHLY MEMBERSHIP
A great resource to invest in would be joining my harp community and/or monthly membership. I want to say hang in there, things will change! You’re not isolated, there is so much for you out there and it’s all waiting for you!
When you join, you’ll receive:
- Video courses & sheet music – to guide you through your practice times
- Discussion forums – to ask for help, share advice and share your progress with other harpists
- Community groups – a safe space to connect, make new friends, and talk about the victories and struggles as growing harp players!
Join our monthly membership here!