Member4 March, 2021 at 1:36 am
I am following Sylvia Wood’s method, Double strung by Cynthia Shelhart and Carolyn Deal’s excercises for Double strung.
Grossi method and Harp Exercises for Agility and Speed are on the way.
What about you?
Member11 March, 2021 at 2:50 pm
I have the three books on the right plus Play the Harp Beautifully.
Member11 March, 2021 at 3:55 pm
I am expecting the book “How to Play the Harp Beautifully” by Pamela Bruner to arrive today. It was mentioned by Christy-Lyn in one of her Youtube videos. 😀
Member19 March, 2021 at 5:05 pm
Tell us how you like it! Maybe we can have a book review threads here on the forums! 🙂
Member11 March, 2021 at 4:50 pm
I am a new harpist, and although I have a harp teacher, I love music/method books and I’ve been collecting them lately it seems. My harp teacher has been very helpful in re-fingering songs with me to make them more intuitive. Apparently Sylvia Woods’ fingering style in “Teach Yourself to Play the Folk Harp” can be questionable sometimes. Here are some more of the books that I have been working with and like:
-Small Tunes for Young Harpists by Bonnie Goodrich (nice simple songs and etudes to embellish)
-Old Tunes for New Harpists by Mildred Dilling
-Basic Harp for Beginners by Laurie Riley
-First Harp Book by Betty Paret
-Harp Exercises for Agility and Speed by Deborah Friou
-Sylvia Woods music books (50 Christmas Songs, 76 Disney Songs, 22 Romantic Songs, etc.)
-On Playing the Harp by Yolinda Kondonassis (ordered it and it’s on the way so I haven’t used it yet, but I’ve heard it’s really good)
Member19 March, 2021 at 5:06 pm
Yea Sylvia woods is not the easiest book to follow! Thank you for sharing your list!
Member11 March, 2021 at 4:59 pm
I suffer from MABLE (Music Acquisition Beyond Life Expectancy). Since books are such a bargain, I tend to buy anything that looks interesting.
Grossi Method for Harp (English edition)
Harp Exercises for Agility and Speed, Deborah Friou
On Playing the Harp, Yolanda Kondonassis
Music Theory and Arranging Techniques for Folk Harps, Sylvia Woods
Play the Harp Beautifully, Levels 1 & 2, Pamela Bruner
Teach Yourself to Play the Folk Harp, Sylvia Woods
You Can Teach Yourself Lever Harp, Laurie Riley & Beth Kolle
Folk Harp for the Young Beginner, Star Edwards
First Harp Book, Betty Paret
Old Tunes for New Harpists, Mildred Dilling
Fun from the First, Vol. 1 & 2, Samuel Milligan
Suzuki Harp School, Vol. 1
On the bright side, at least MABLE is cheaper than HAS (Harp Acquisition Syndrome). So far, I only have one harp.
Member11 March, 2021 at 6:45 pm
I definitely have MABLE! I have a lot of music I’m nowhere near at the level I need to be to play it!
Member12 March, 2021 at 5:31 am
Oh my goodness me too! I also collect way too many music books! I’m optomistic though, so hopefully within my lifetime I’ll be able to play and learn it all 😆
Member30 March, 2021 at 5:20 pm
@judiann.maddigan how do you find the books you have listed under “Discussion”? Being new to music I am have many of the same technique books but am in search of some good theory books. I downloaded a few samples from the Kindle store to get an idea of if they are worth purchasing but none are geared towards the harp specifically.
Member31 March, 2021 at 3:53 pm
@libbyhitch If you are looking for music theory, the Kondonassis book doesn’t have much on that. You can find images of the Contents pages here: https://www.stretta-music.com/en/yolanda-on-playing-the-harp-nr-141048.html . (I have not ordered from that website.) I had read that Kondonassis has one of the best warm-up routines, split into 3 levels. I’ve been doing Grossi and haven’t tried it yet. Kondonassis also has good advice on many other harp-specific topics.
The Woods Music Theory and Arranging Techniques book has been helpful. I want to do my own arrangements of traditional Celtic tunes, and I want to be able to come up with nice left-hand variations for lead sheets. This book has that information, and it is well explained. I have bogged down because I don’t have the skills yet to be able to sight-read the book’s 90 examples. I’ve decided to try inputting some of them into MuseScore and arranging them that way, so that I can at least hear what they sound like. Then I’ll choose which ones to practice and polish.
If you want a book on music theory, it doesn’t need to be specifically for the harp. I’ve read good things about this one, but I don’t own it: https://www.amazon.com/Alfreds-Essentials-Music-Theory-Self-Study/dp/0739036351/ . You can also check your local library. Mine has several books on music theory, including eBooks that can be checked out for free. Honestly, most of the ones I’ve checked out have been boring. At least the examples in the Woods book make it more interesting.
Member31 March, 2021 at 5:11 pm
@judiann.maddigan Thank you for the wonderful synopsis and suggestions! I need to search my library app and see what they have and will look into the book you have posted below. I am finding I have also succumbed to MABLE and am trying to get it under control (with little luck).
Member12 March, 2021 at 2:47 pm
Thanks Annais to have created this subject, which interests me a lot, because I have no exercise book at all, I prefer practising directly with actual songs, but I think I’m wrong, I would really need to do some ‘basic exercises’ to improve my skills. I just have a few copied sheets that my first teacher gave me, but didn’t use them a lot haha. Maybe that explains my lack of progress ^^
I was thinking about buying Deborah Friou’s Harp Exercices for Agility and Speed, as you have it amongst others, would you recommand this one if I’d have to order only one? Or is the Grossi better ? Or are they really complementary ? Thank you !
I also have the syndrom of buying too much sheet music sometimes (mostly for singing), but prefer use my money for actual music than for exercises…
Member13 March, 2021 at 2:42 am
@Claire I ordered both the Friou and Grossi books, and I found Grossi easier to use as a total beginner. This is the first time I’ve tried uploading images to the forums here, and I’ll put them in separate posts. This first image is Friou page 25, exercise 2.
Member13 March, 2021 at 2:44 am
@Claire This is the second image, Grossi page 9, exercise 15. Notice that the Grossi is in 5/4 time. The early Grossi exercises give you extra beats (or rests), allowing more time to place the next bracket. It’s brilliant. There are some good Grossi YouTube videos from Christy-Lyn and Therese Honey. Also, Catherine Marie Molina-Summers has the first 26 Grossi exercises on her YouTube channel, which are especially helpful for beginners.
Member13 March, 2021 at 2:48 am
@Claire This is the third and last image. One huge advantage of Friou is the spiral binding. I could not get Grossi to stay open on a music stand. I ended up cutting off the binding and 3-hole punching it. It is oversized and sticks out the top of the binder, but now it’s easy to remove single pages. Before you decide to do that, be aware that the Grossi binding is both stitched and glued. Separating the pages was not easy. A printing service might be able to do it for you.
In the USA, Amazon currently has the English version of Grossi for $19.99 with free shipping, which is the lowest price I’ve seen it.
Member13 March, 2021 at 12:04 pm
Thank you for all these details! I think the few copied pages I have are from Friou’s book. Considering your answers, I think I’ll take this one first, and buy the Grossi if I find that it’s too difficult for me. Unless I find a second hand from Grossi, so that I can cut it with more confidence 😅
Member19 March, 2021 at 5:04 pm
Member13 March, 2021 at 5:37 am
Yes, I paid around $15 or so to have the Grossi book spiral bound by an office/copy kind of place. I took lessons back then and my instructor recommended it right away when I received it.
Member13 March, 2021 at 12:06 pm
Good idea, but wow, that increase the cost a lot… Too bad that they didn’t made a spiral bound too, which is definitely the best for stand use!
Member13 March, 2021 at 10:28 pm
Hi! I tried Sylvia Wood’s initial learning harp manual but for me she advanced to quickly w/not enough practice exercises. Must be my learning style. My wonderful son bought me all 3 of Pamela Bruner’s books & Performance Gems. I’m just beginning book # 2. I’ve played a few songs in performance gems by Bruner also. Her style is easier for me to absorb and I like how she builds on new knowledge.
Member14 March, 2021 at 3:14 pm
I agree. I haven’t purchased the performance gems yet. I only have a 26 string so I wonder if those can be played on my harp.
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