7 Things Every Harp Student Needs Now

Sep 14, 2022

By Anne Sullivan

One of the best things about back-to-school time is the preparation. It’s going through the list of school supplies and choosing the ones that will not just prepare you for success in the new school year but will reflect a little bit of yourself too. Finding the binder or notebook in your favorite color and with a design you love helps you feel excited about the new adventure ahead of you.

Did you know you need a back-to-school list for your harp playing too? Just like school, 

harp playing requires the right tools and supplies so that when you sit down at the harp, you can be confident that you have everything you need for success. Read on for our list of the seven most essential items that should be on your “back-to-the-harp” list.

#1 Electronic tuner and pickup.

Beautiful music starts with a harp that is in tune and a reliable tuner is the tool you need. Your tuner doesn’t have to be expensive, but it must be easy to read and use. In addition, a separate clip-on pickup will enable you to tune even when your surroundings are noisy, like at an orchestra rehearsal. One important tip: don’t rely on your cell phone for this. It’s great to have a tuner app on your phone but having a tuner you can keep in your harp bag ensures you will never be without it when you need it.

# 2 Replacement Strings.

Don’t get caught unprepared when a string breaks. A savvy harpist has replacement strings on hand. You need at least a “skeleton” set: the C, D, F and A strings from each octave. You also need scissors or wire cutters on hand. A little knot-tying practice wouldn’t hurt either!

#3 A metronome that is NOT on your phone

Yes, we understand about all the wonderful metronome apps in the app store. But having your metronome on your phone means that every time you turn that metronome on or off or to a different tempo, you are risking that your phone will distract you with a message or notification. It’s not worth sabotaging your practice when you use the metronome. You do use the metronome, don't you?

#4 A new lesson or practice journal.

There’s nothing worse than sitting down at your harp the day after your lesson and not remembering what you were supposed to do. That’s where a lesson journal comes in handy. Any notebook will do, just be sure to choose one that energizes and inspires you when you look at it. Then during or immediately after your lesson take notes about your assignment for the week so you never have to question what you should be practicing. You can also use this as a practice journal to keep track of what you practice each day. You’ll be amazed how one little notebook can help propel your progress!

#5 A spare tuning key.

Yes, really. Get a spare tuning key. If you play at school a lot, keep it in your locker. If you play lots of different places, keep it in the glove compartment in the car. Keep one in your harp bag. That spare tuning key can be a life saver.

#6 A quiet and calm practice space.

Every harpist practices better when they can focus, and having a calm practice environment is where focus starts. Eliminate as many distractions as you are able: conversations, other music or noise from the television or computer. You don’t need complete silence in order to practice, but you do need to hear yourself play.

#7 A harp lesson on the calendar.

What are you waiting for? Get that lesson scheduled today! 


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