3 Things I Wish I Had Known About Harp Camp

Jun 12, 2024

By Anne Sullivan 

When I was a harp student, there were very few choices for music camps, let alone harp camps. Now, there are harp camps everywhere, and I think that’s terrific. 

But when I remember getting ready to go to harp camp for the first time, I remember being a little worried about what it would be like. Would I be playing the harp all the time? Would the teachers be mean? Would the other harp students be nice? What would the food be like? I had plenty of questions, but I didn’t have anyone who could give me the answers I needed. 

Of course, I went to harp camp and had a great time. I did play the harp a lot, but not all the time; there was time for fun too. The teachers were nice and I made some really great friends with the other students. The food was good too. So now when my students wonder about what harp camp will be like, I tell them about the three things I wish I had known before I went to harp camp.

  1. Harp camp is supposed to be fun. There will be lots of fun music to play, but there will be lots of other fun things to do too. The type of activity varies from camp to camp, but there is always time for play.  Even better, you don’t have to worry about feeling like an oddball because you play the harp. Everyone plays the harp and everyone understands about having strings break or being out of tune. Everyone knows just how hard playing the harp is. So even when you’re working hard at harp stuff, your friends are working right alongside you. And that makes even the hard work feel like fun.
  2. Harp camp is about discovery. In this age of TikTok and YouTube, harpists can listen to and learn about  more harp music than ever before in history. While videos are great, nothing is better than sharing music with your harp camp friends, seeing what they’re learning, showing them what you’re working on, making new discoveries about new and different kinds of music. I always came back from harp camp with a list of music I wanted to learn. Harp camp is a great way to get a bigger picture view of the harp world.
  3. Harp camp friends are friends forever. How often do you get to hang out with other harpists and just have a good time? For most of us, that’s a rare treat. Even if you don’t become a harpist when you grow up, you have a special bond with your harp camp friends that can last a lifetime.

One more piece of advice as you’re packing for your first time at harp camp. You will of course want to take your harp, but don’t forget all your harp stuff - tuning key, tuner, bench, music stand, music, and extra strings. Just for fun, throw in a piece of music that you love to play so you can share it with your friends. 

All that’s left is for you to have a good time!


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