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Home Forums Learning the Harp in Your Golden Years Hello silver harpists!

  • Hello silver harpists!

  • Suzi Scholtz

    2 March, 2021 at 3:21 am

    Hi there! I’m just trying out the new website and willing to start a new discussion to see how this works. I’m Suzi, age 64 and I have played with my harp for a few years (very off-again, on-again). I’m still a beginner. I have had a few lessons and had plenty of music experience in my younger years. I have always had trouble reading music and now I’m marking the notes on my sheet music to help me get through. I had always memorized my music when I was a kid (piano and flute) but now I’m finding that memorizing takes longer…

    Looking forward to meeting other Senior Harpists, especially those just learning.

  • Judiann Maddigan

    2 March, 2021 at 4:10 am

    Hi, Suzi, thanks for starting a discussion in this brand new forum. I began learning harp last July at the age of 72. Before attempting it, I researched whether older beginners would have a hard time with this instrument. On another forum, there was an inspiring post from a woman who started as a complete beginner at the age of 79. She was writing at age 84, explaining about how much joy playing the harp had given her life over those 5 years. That post really resonated with me. I figured if she could do it, I could too. The harp has brought me so much enjoyment during these past eight months. Looking forward to meeting friends on the forums here and continuing this fascinating journey.

  • Margaret Hoffman

    2 March, 2021 at 5:19 am

    .Hi Suzi and Judiann, I’m Peggy from Michigan USA and I’m 61. I just took up the harp this month. I’m working on Sailing on the lake and it is coming along. I’ve had a little music experience, mostly guitar, uke, mountain dulcimer and Irish concertina. I look forward to be part of this community.

  • Larry Polnicky

    2 March, 2021 at 6:00 am

    Learning to play a musical instrument is on my bucket list, so for my 61st birthday on 1/27/2021, I bought my harp. I have never touched a musical instrument before, but I am determined to learn to play. So far, it is very pleasurable, and I owe a lot to Christy-Lyn for her encouragement and positive attitude. That is as important in a teacher as his or her knowledge or skill. I am convinced I can learn from Christy-Lyn and have lots of fun doing so. So, off I go, on my journey….

  • Sharon Cullen

    2 March, 2021 at 6:53 am

    Hi, I am feeling a bit silver, 59 and just started the harp one month ago. Today is my 1 month harpiversary! I am a musician. I played clarinet and also sang. I paralyzed a vocal cord permanently and had taken up playing the flute about 20 years ago. I have been playing ever since, in a small band as well as small orchestras. But I have a permanent lung infection which is making the large breath support challenging, and just like taking up the flute when my vocal cord was going I decided to begin harp as my breath support is going. I wanted to play harp at 8 years old but my parents couldn’t afford that. So here I am 51 years later! I began the flute just prior to my 40th birthday and now harp before my 60th!

    Does anyone deal with arthritis or hand tremors? I have both. The tremors aren’t too bad but it does get in the way a bit.

  • Elisabeth Wittkampf

    2 March, 2021 at 8:17 am

    Hi, I’m Elisabeth and i am very silver (age 69). I live in Germany. I got my harp two weeks ago and I love her! Before I retired, I was a recorder-teacher at a musicschool and i had several “Silver” students. Now I want to learn a new instrument myself.

  • Cat Maguire

    2 March, 2021 at 5:44 pm

    I have been on again/off again since 2015. I used to play the flute so re-learning to read treble clef isn’t too bad (especially with a sight reading app for practice) but learning the bass clef has been a bit of a struggle. And coordinating the left hand into the music. Looking forward to this site to help connect with others in common struggles and challenges and how to resolve them!

  • Ruth Beal

    2 March, 2021 at 6:45 pm

    Hello — I’m happy to see a group of not-so-young players! I started trying to teach myself how to play, but quickly realized that I needed help. I live in a remote part of Maine (USA), so had to find someone who would teach online. When Covid hit, I completely lost all ability to focus, and moved my harp into the closet. It’s time to either get going with it or admit that it’s not the right instrument for me. I really like Christy-Lyn’s approach. Fingers crossed!!

  • Julie Parsell

    2 March, 2021 at 7:29 pm

    I am fully silver in the hair and 58 in the age department!! I started playing harp in my late 40s when I had little time in my life to do so. I learned right away that learning as you age gets harder and harder…so it has required more patience and grace to do so. But consistency and persistency have helped me to slowly…very slowly…move forward! For instance, it took me 6 years instead of 3 to get through the International Harp Therapy Program and graduate in 2020. I also have a harp teacher that uses the ABRSM curriculum which has 8 levels and I am still only preparing for my level 4 exam! But, slow and steady wins the race, as they say.

  • Ann Kunkel

    2 March, 2021 at 8:35 pm

    Hi I’m Ann from North Carolina, USA, age 70 and playing for a year and a half. Wonderful! Like many others, I was a piano and flute player since childhood, so thankfully know how to read music. I retired to this town and found a high school friend who played the harp. I got out my flute and we played publicly for a few years. I was jealous because people would come up to us and admire the harp, but the flute wasn’t special. So I had to get a harp! No regrets. Running out of air for the flute anyways….

  • Patti Patten

    2 March, 2021 at 8:43 pm

    I am right there with all of you, gently aged as I like to call it! I have been trying for years to play the harp but for one reason or another I was not able to take lessons or take the time but now is my time! I am so glad to connect with others like myself. We may have Silver but that just makes us shine!

  • Jan Kingston

    2 March, 2021 at 9:33 pm

    Hi all! I’m Jan and haven’t put my picture on my profile yet. Just wandering around the site at the moment. But I wanted to say hi. I’m 59. (lol, I typo’d and put 29 by accident at first; definitely not 29). I began to play in 2001. I took some lessons and played when I could until about 2011, when I and my husband moved (from Seattle to Utah) into my mother-in-law’s home and helped care for her for a couple of years. Then I went back to school for a few more years. Didn’t really have space in my MIL’s house, and then life was super full with school, so I stopped playing. During Covid, I have gone back at it. Feel like I’m improving. Yes, things take longer, but that’s okay. My harp is a Dusty Strings Bubinga 36 with gut strings. I’m really loving playing, and I look forward to knowing you all more as time goes on. Oh, and I’m in the US in Utah.

  • Brenda Wood

    2 March, 2021 at 10:07 pm

    Hello everyone. I’m 74 so definitely silver both in age and hair colour lol. I have “played at playing” a number of instruments over the years but primarily as accompaniment for singing. For the past 20 years I haven’t played any instrument and the saying “use it or lose it” definitely applies to me as I’m struggling to remember so many things, particularly reading the bass clef and the notes in ledger lines, and I struggle so with using a metronome as I have always played by ear. I bought Aisling, my Dusty Strings 34 string harp in late Nov. 2019 and then was so terrified that I’d break her that it took me until May two months after Covid shut everyone in to get the courage to set her up. I still work full time at a shelter for abused women and children in Nova Scotia and at that time I began working from home. I began learning to play by watching YouTube videos and then I found Christy Lyn and began using her videos…so much easier. I’ve been practising for almost 9 months now and manage to practise for an hour to 2 hours each day. I have fibromyalgia and arthritis but refuse to let either stop me as playing my harp has become my mental health break each day. Aisling doesn’t make any demands and she’s very patient and never once has criticized any of my many mistakes and fumbles, although I have found myself apologizing to her more than once lol.

    • Jan Kingston

      3 March, 2021 at 12:21 am

      Hi Brenda, I resonated with your introduction, so I thought I’d respond. I would also have to say I have “played at playing” music (not a ton of official training), from the piano to voice to choir to the harp, and dreamed of many other instruments. I also was just thinking last night of naming my harp Aisling! (And my harp is a Dusty Strings, though it is a 36). Aisling is such a beautiful name. Didn’t realize how to pronounce it until a few years ago. I did name a daughter Ashley, and had I known the name at the time, I would have probably named her Aisling. 😀 And since I am done having children (lol), I guess I’ll need to name something other than a child Aisling. 😉 I have just lately been trying to explore more playing with the metronome and rhythm. It is a process for sure. Slow process. I previously have done work as a trauma therapist, so I felt touched by your work with abused women and children. My goal with my work was more with military and refugees. Similar groups though to abused women and children, for sure. Though not with any particular official group. I was looking at working with the IRC and teaching English before Covid. but that kind of stopped that for the moment.

      Christy-Lyn has indeed been a great boon. I’ve gained a lot of confidence through her videos. And I am trying to do 45 minutes to an hour twice a day. I also have fibromyalgia and Lyme actually. Though not arthritis at this point. Playing the harp has totally been a mental health break for me.

      Pleasure to meet you, Brenda. Best wishes to you.


    • Barb Kennedy

      11 March, 2021 at 10:06 pm

      Hi Brenda. If you ever decide to take up writing as a career, please let me know. This was delightfully funny to read. My harp is patient and doesn’t criticise either, and yes, I think I have apologised out loud also. LOL

  • carolyn walker

    2 March, 2021 at 11:24 pm

    Hi Suzi and thanks for breaking trail in the discussion board!

    March came in like a lion in my part of rural Canada yesterday with a blizzard warning and high winds, so I am looking forward to the Spring ‘lamb’ weather arriving later this month! I’ll be 60 this year and am definitely ‘silvering’ 😉 I have wanted to play the harp since I was a kid, but it didn’t become a reality until a couple of years ago. Almost immediately, I developed carpal tunnel (not from the harp) and my harp got moved into the spare bedroom. But, I am healed up, and ready to resume. I’m grateful to Christy-Lyn and her family for this project they have begun – it is such a gift!

  • SueEllen Hunter

    3 March, 2021 at 12:05 am

    Hi, Everyone, from North Central Florida. My name is SueEllen and i am 74 years young and I have had silver hair for decades now. I took less than a year of piano lessons when I was 10 but it taught me to read music. I had to make a choice between a horse and a harp and there were no harps or harpists in my small agricultural community ?. I watched Harpo play as a child and was intrigued by the way he made the harp speak for him. I love both but i have to say that horses are my life-long passion.

    I bought a Heartland Legend 36- string harp which is made of carbon-fiber rather than wood and it weighs only 11 lbs. It is currently strung with nylon strings while i save money for the much pricier carbon fiber strings. I think the CF strings have a slightly brighter sound. I had a little over a year of harp lessons in 2016 and 2017 from a professional harpist so I have the basics. I was a caregiver for 7 years (2011-2018) for my husband and didn’t play after he passed away in 2018.

    I just saw Christy-Lyn’s announcement in early February and decided to take it up again. It has already brightened my days and i have only just begun at the very beginning because I know as a life-long horse trainer that time spent on basics is never wasted. I especially appreciate Christy-Lyn’s occupational therapy-influenced teaching style because I got to observe a great many of my husband’s stroke rehab sessions. I have the start of MD which I am keeping from progressing with nutrition and specialized acupuncture. I love the way C-L uses hand shapes and muscle memory to learn a piece of music. It has made a tremendous improvement in my ability to successfully play a piece. I look forward to our progress, companionship, and fun. Much Love to you all.

  • Monique Klabis

    3 March, 2021 at 12:39 am

    Hi, everyone! Happy to see you all here. I’m 60. I started harp when I was about 43. I fell in love with harps in California in elementary school when an orchestra visited. A Scottish and Irish background also contributed. I bought my Prelude 38 (Maeve) about 16 years ago and took lessons as I could. When my son died 13 years ago, I stopped. Silly really, as she would have been a comfort, but joy departed and I made excuses. I retired from the federal government after 33 years and from the military after 20 years. I could never get rid of Maeve, for sentimental reasons or somehow I knew I would need her again, so I have dragged her from both the desert and mountains of Arizona, to the Pacific Northwest. Enter Christ-Lyn. She has made such a difference and is why Maeve is no longer neglected and collecting dust. I could go on and on about what Christy-Lyn means to me, but I don’t think that’s even necessary here. I have added an older used Allegro (Wee Brigid) to the family. We are very happy and grateful to be back on the path with all of you.

  • Maris Whetstone

    3 March, 2021 at 2:03 am

    Hello, all! I’m so happy I discovered Christy-Lyn and her wonderful tutorials. I’m 74 and have had my harp for a few years, but only dabbled now and again. I found a teacher finally but then she moved out of state, so that ended that. I had to learn to read music, and have made decent progress on that but it was taking forever. Then I discovered I had cataracts, which explained why things got so blurry between notes, lines and spaces. That problem has been taken care of recently, and I’m amazed at how clear things are now.

    I joined Christy-Lyn’s courses about 2-3 months ago and I was so excited to be able to play something other than the one song I new and my several books of exercises. I’m amazed at how lovely this Website is and that we have an area to meet other harpists, as there are none in my area (Northeast Ohio) that I know of. I have joined a few online harp sites to keep me inspired. I have found the harp community to be very friendly. So far I only play for my cat, but hope one day to work up enough nerve to post a video on YouTube.

    • Monique Klabis

      3 March, 2021 at 4:27 am

      Are you in the Cleveland area?

      • Maris Whetstone

        3 March, 2021 at 4:32 am

        Mentor-on-the-Lake, actually.

        • Monique Klabis

          3 March, 2021 at 4:43 am

          Beautiful. May I suggest you connect with Tiffany Schaefer as well as ohioscottishartsschool.com. I’m not sure if you have an interest in Scottish music or Celtic music in general, but there should be people that can help you find harpists in your area. Tiffany teaches as well as performs and is very involved with the school and the Scottish Games. She has her own FB pages, Patreon site, and is also a member of this site if you want to connect with her here.

          • Maris Whetstone

            3 March, 2021 at 4:49 am

            I have enjoyed Tiffany’s youTubes. I didn’t realize she was a member here. Small world.

            I see you have a Prelude, too. I love mine.

    • Elizabeth Dowling

      3 March, 2021 at 7:17 am

      Kia ora from NZ. I have had some similar experience. I am 70, could read the treble clef from a very brief stint at playing the recorder as a child. So have had to learn the base clef with severely myopic vision and also cataracts – now recently corrected as is the myopia, and now just coping with the challenges of aging eyes 🙂 I have a great teacher but there is no local community so this seemed a great one to join plus I get some choice new music!

  • Janet Krommes

    3 March, 2021 at 9:13 pm

    I love all the stories that have been shared. The harp is really horizon expanding, but as it takes it takes time to make progress, it is good to know that others are also facing that challenge.

    I did not know how to read music when I started, and have always been rhythmically challenged, but it is getting easier. At 66, I can still learn, but having a resource like Christy-Lyn is so critical for me, as I do not hear fast enough to pick up nuances – but hey – when you can repeat something a zillion times, even I start to hear it!

  • sandra donnelly

    3 March, 2021 at 11:08 pm

    Hi, Im Sandy from the northeast UK. Ive played the banjo, dulcimer and fiddle for years ( I still cant read music ). Five years ago I was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis and for a while I couldnt lift anything up. I bought a small harp because I didnt have to lift my arms up very far to play it. That was two years ago when I was 70. Im now able to play my banjo and fiddle again but have become quite obsessed with the harp. Im still having a lot of trouble getting my left hand to play the right strings but Ill get there. This site is amazing. I`m so glad to be here.

    • sandra donnelly

      15 March, 2021 at 12:57 am

      HI, im sorry about this. I have no idea why this happened. Ive tried to fix it but had no luck.

  • Brenda Osborne

    15 March, 2021 at 9:40 am

    Hello! I love reading all of these inspiring stories from the “Silvers”. I am 66 and learning the harp. I have a background in music so reading music is not a problem. I just can’t seem to find the time to dedicate. A few months after signing up for C-L videos in early 2020, my husband decided that we should move from Florida to Tennessee. My harp has been in storage for many months during our moving process. I hope to get her back this week. I am very excited about getting back to my practice.

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