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  • What’s the best methods book for a late beginner?

    Posted by Marilyn Millstone on 15 March, 2021 at 7:16 pm

    I’d love to hear about a beloved methods book for late beginners. I found the Level I book of Playing the Harp Beautifully too easy, but Christy Lyn seems not to recommend her Level II book. I have the Sylvia Woods methods book but just don’t love it. Any suggestions deeply appreciated.

    Victoria Johnson replied 7 months, 2 weeks ago 12 Members · 12 Replies
  • 12 Replies
  • Claire Lécuyer

    15 March, 2021 at 8:08 pm

    Hi Marilyn, you can have a look at this discussion: https://www.learningtheharp.com/forums/discussion/anyone-learing-from-books/

    I replied in this one without seeing that it was in the category “Never played an instrument before”, but no matter, there have been a lot on advices there. But I’m interested too if some people have an answer to your specific request, as I’m a late beginner too.

    Anyone learing from books?

  • Annais Ryder

    24 March, 2021 at 12:17 am

    Grossi Method and Deborah Friou excercises!

    • Sheila Spitzak

      19 May, 2021 at 1:27 pm

      I have heard these two exercise books are good.

      Does anyone have any recommendations on how to learn grace notes?

    • Sally Snyder

      4 June, 2021 at 4:27 pm

      Yes ! I love Grossi & Friou ! Also, even though I’m not taking lessons from a Suzuki-certified instructor, I still use the books because they very nicely progress with each tune. Currently on Book 2.

  • Mary Frank

    20 May, 2021 at 5:46 pm

    Hi Marilyn,

    I found the Grossi Method book to be helpful in technique exercises. There is even an online youTube channel by Therese Honey (spelling?) who will show you how the exercises are done. I have the Pamela Bruner book and I love how it’s organized but I haven’t had a chance to use it because I’m taking courses online and learning techniques from the online tutorials. There’s also the Betty Paret book, “Learning the Harp” that might be useful to you. I hope that helps.

  • JS Moir

    3 June, 2021 at 2:08 pm

    Hey, Marilyn. Yeah. Well, I’ve tried a LOT of books: Bruner (good, but nothing beats a real teacher- even with her DVD’s- and yeah, there are some ‘holes’ in the technique that plagued me, and kept me ‘stuck’ for months, it seemed); Grossi (good, but necessary/tedious/boring- but, if you can find a used copy, worth it); and Deb Friou’s book (which is more like a manual to keep your chops in order, AFTER you get them- lol. FWIW, I am working through the Dilling “Old Tunes for New Harpists” right now as my ‘go to book’- primarily because I did the online “Harp Course I & II” with the wonderful Alice Giles (best money I ever spent, apart from getting my Salvi Diana, used!) – and Alice starts out with that Dilling book. What I like about it (oh, did I say I’m a college Music [voice] instructor?) is that all the pieces a) build on one another, very simply, and b) by going back and ‘warming’ up on the earlier pieces, you reinforce the technical points. They also are c) very short excerpts- combining both folk and ‘classical’ pieces, that are PRETTY. That sense of repetition/reinforcement means you feel a sense of ‘accomplishment’ when you ‘get’ one piece, and go on to the next. I could go on for a lot longer, but…. well, hope this helps.

  • Libby Hitchcock

    3 June, 2021 at 2:58 pm

    i too am in a similar learning spot and while I have an instructor I do find I gleam so much more with books and videos. Thanks for making this post! and thank you @mary.frank & @js.moir for the YouTube and Alice Giles recommendations! I am looking forward to checking them out.

  • Marilyn Millstone

    3 June, 2021 at 5:09 pm

    So grateful for the time you took to craft such a thoughtful reply. Thank you!

  • Camilla Prater

    24 September, 2021 at 4:21 am

    I love ‘Levers Up! Thumbs Up!’ by Kathy Moore!

  • Jeannie P

    2 October, 2021 at 9:25 pm

    I really like Anne Crosby Gaudet’s music and books. Very straight forward and one step at a time.

  • Anita

    5 October, 2021 at 10:12 pm


    Hi, Marilyn. I am a great fan of the Grossi Method book and use it with the metronome; first VERY SLOWLY and then speed up to get the fingers fast and similiar replaced. Then I use for finger strenghening Betty Paret book, “Learning the Harp” and GOOD SOUND!! Because my harp teacher told me VERY FIRST you squeze….and then you play LOUD each note, then with metronome. By Betty there are also nice pieces to learn to play as told before and you build up in playing them later without a metronome (you have the rhythm inside you) counting loud while playing, then leave that when you are good in it and NOW you play the piece as you LOVE to sound it (fast, slower, loud, soft etc.) – In a few month I gonna load up a video to show HOW MUCH I improved my playing with that technique. – Then I will carry on with that technique with the videos from CL!!! – My dream is to build up a repetoire to play anytime memorized. That is one of the reason while I work now deeply on my technique.

    Believe me, Marilyn, it is worth to concern about the technique. I am on a piece VERY VERY CHALLENGING for me, but NOW with this technique as written below, I have improved faster in WEEKS than I have before in months…..

    So, ALL THE BEST in your harpjourney and GOOD🍀❤

  • Victoria Johnson

    6 October, 2021 at 1:54 am

    Not a “method book” but a technical exercise book designed for the lever harp. Very thoughtfully put together. I will be releasing a Harp Toolbox episodes soon on The Talking Harps YouTube channel where Ailie walks us through one of the exercises and how to adjust it as our techniques grow: https://www.ailierobertson.com/harp-music-shop/technical-exercises-for-harp-pdf-download-preorder