Online Harp School
Learn the harp in the comfort of your own home from anywhere in the world!
Regular online lessons are an effective way of learning the harp, with a number of Christine's online students achieving their Grade 8 with distinction JUST from using this method.
Save lugging a heavy instrument around or sitting in traffic, online lessons provide you with the ability to fit learning the harp into every busy schedule. Check out the FAQs for the equipment you need to set up online learning, find out availability of spaces and sign up for your free lesson here.
Try before you buy with your first lesson free!
This initial lesson gives us the chance to check:
- FaceTime/Skype internet connection
- Aims for lessons (exams, performance preparations)
- Discuss repertoire (choose Celtic, Popular, Classical, Jazz, Irish, Scottish music....)
- Basic positioning & technique
- Technical work to suit your ability / a short tune
Christine has a number of large and small harps available for beginners.
When hiring a harp, the hire includes: harp, transport case, tuning key.
Harps should be maintained carefully and kept away from any external heat sources in an environment of consistent and appropriate temperature.
It should be kept in its carry-case when not in use and tuned regularly.
Get in touch to check availability and then start learning straight away!
Give your loved one the gift of music by purchasing a gift voucher for lessons - available in the shop.
What equipment do I need for online lessons?
You’ll need a computer/tablet/iPad/smartphone with internal microphone/webcam and either FaceTime or Skype installed. Of course your own harp is also essential too - however there are a number ways you can hire a harp if you don't already have one. A good broadband connection will ensure that your lessons aren’t disrupted due to technical difficulties.
How do online lessons work?
It is actually a surprisingly easy way to learn the harp via video-calling. Most parts of the lesson are carried out as if it was a face-to-face lesson. A couple of differences would be that new music is often sent out via email and students are encouraged to take their own notes during the lesson. Students also have access to the online resource centre where there is a range of support materials and helpful links to improve your musicianship skills. Online lessons are definitely effective - students are able to take grade exams and prepare for performances, just like they would in face-to-faces lessons.
What is the cost?
The first lesson is free ! If you are interested in purchasing a lesson for a friend, you can buy gift vouchers in the shop. Please note, my regular weekly students receive discount from the online shop lesson price. If you want to sign up to weekly lessons the prices are as follows:
£65 per month for 30 min weekly tuition
£90 per month for 45 min weekly tuition
£120 per month for 60 min weekly tuition
What length of lessons should I go for?
Weekly lesson recommendations are
30 mins - Beginners
45 mins - Players wishing to make more progress and students showing good potential
60min - Advanced students.
Some students may be advised to have longer lessons if they are doing a grade exam or want additional theory/aural training.
I'm a beginner. How do I get a harp?
It is best to start by hiring a harp – firstly, get in touch to see if I have a hire harp available. If not, you can also rent a harp through The Clarsach Society After a few months of hiring you will begin to know what type of harp you would like. There are three main types of harp - lap harps, lever harps (often called the 'Clarsach' or 'Celtic harp') and pedal harps (often called the 'Concert Harp'). The lap harp is the smallest and most portable type of harp you can rent and is most suited to beginner players. The lever harp is a larger, more diverse instrument on which you can perform more complex music. The pedal harp is an advanced instrument mainly used for classical and jazz music. When considering buying a harp, do make sure you go along to the Edinburgh International Harp Festival - held every April - which is one of the best places to buy a harp.
Is the harp a difficult instrument to learn? Can I start as an adult?
The harp is suitable for all ages and abilities. A number of my students are beginner adult learners - it is never too late to start learning! Adults who have previously learnt another instrument in childhood are likely to progress even faster. Teaching methods are adapted to each individual pupil’s learning style to ensure that lessons are at a suitable pace for every single learner. The harp is also an extremely encouraging instrument to learn – you will produce beautiful sounds from day one! Even the simplest pieces can sound impressive and soon after starting lessons, you will be able to begin to play well-known tunes. As well as being a very rewarding instrument, it is also very relaxing learning to play the harp.
At what age can children start learning?
This depends on each individual child, their co-ordination and attention span. If a child is particularly diligent, online lessons can work - my youngest online harp student is 8 years old. Otherwise, it is best to begin with face-to-face lessons. Often between 6-9 years old is a good time to start the harp however some children may be ready at 4 years old, and others not until much later. Often it is a good idea to combine piano tuition and other musical activities with harp tuition and for younger children. Teenagers, particularly if they have already previously learnt another instrument, tend to progress more rapidly with the harp.
What will I learn in my lessons?
Whether you are learning the piano, ukulele, or the harp - you'll be studying a range of different elements in your lessons to to make you a well-rounded musician. You can play popular, classical, folk and jazz music on your chosen instrument, the possibilities are endless! Technique, music theory, composition, ear training and reading musical notation are also integrated into lessons as well as practical advice such as instrument care & maintenance, practise tips, memorisation and performance preparation. You can gain a qualification by taking an exam (ABRSM, Trinity Guildhall, RCS, SQA), or simply learn for fun. I aim for students to be well-rounded players but I also want students to study the repertoire that interests them so I’m open to all their ideas too!
How often should I practice?
Young beginners are encouraged to practise for about 15 minutes most days and this should increase gradually as they get older. It is difficult to put an exact time on how long a practise session should be as you should aim to complete a task rather than practise for a set length of time (quality over quantity). If you are unable to practise one day, you can still broaden your musical knowledge in many ways – for example, listening to the theme music of a television program and asking yourself questions about the instruments used, mood of the piece etc – make every day musical!