Private harp lessons
Many years of study at the "Conservatoire de musique de Montréal" have given me the necessary experience to offer harp lessons of great quality.
Anyone interested in learning or improving their harp technique can do so no matter what their ultimate goal, age or level is.
I am an affiliated teacher of the "Academie de musique du Québec". This advantage can benefits students who prefers following the official program and participate at the exams which can leads to the Ministry of Education diploma. A very motivating goal!
Harp lessons are presented in French at my home. You just need to call me and we will discuss the availabilities. I am located in Montreal east with easy access to the public transport.
You must get a harp to practice at home; otherwise the musical instrument – a pedal harp or a Celtic harp – will be provided for the duration of the course. Music theory and solfege lessons are also part of the programme depending on your goals.
In addition, students can attend harp ensembles lessons as well as the harp class annual concert. You can view the pictures of the 2015 students harp concert
Frequently asked questions regarding harp lessons
Usually, how are lessons organized?
Harp lessons entail exercises to master harp techniques and practice scales so as to make the muscles of your hands suppler. You will have some great pieces to prepare, whatever your level. I think it is important that each lesson include some music theory, solfege or musical dictation.
Are lessons given privately or in group?
Since each student is at a different level, lessons are given privately. This way I can give you all of my attention and enable you to advance at your own pace. However, in parallel with private lessons, it is possible to participate in chamber music classes with other students.
How much time do I have to practice every day?
I suggest you practice between 30 to 60 minutes per day. This will allow you to improve and will encourage you to do better.
What are the prerequisites for playing the harp?
The only prerequisite is your interest in learning and music. No basic skills are required. Only motivation!
At what age should a child start learning the harp?
The harp is an instrument that requires fine motor skills, which young children have not yet developed. I think starting at the age of seven or eight is just about right.
Can you give lessons at students' home?
Lessons are given at my place because all the necessary equipment is within reach. And you don't even have to bring your own musical instrument since I already have three types of harp.
Can we take lessons every two weeks?
My experience is that taking lessons every two weeks or from time to time will not allow a beginner to learn the harp's complex techniques. A weekly follow-up is necessary if the student wants to make some progress, and it is also more motivating.
Is it true that we must keep our nails short, and that our fingers can get rough because of the pick?
Long hours of practice can thicken the skin of the fingers, but it is hard to see. It is true though that short fingernails are a must; otherwise fingernails will get caught in the strings, something you do not want to happen.
If I want to buy a harp how many strings should it have?
A Celtic harp has between 22 and 40 strings compared to 40 to 47 for the pedal harp. If you get Celtic harp, my suggestion is that it have 34 strings; this way you will not to be limited in your choice of pieces and will afford you an interesting note range.
I also consider it important for the harp to have levers
Celtic harp leversCeltic harp levers are modifying the length of the strings which is how we achieve accidentals (flats and sharps).
What is the difference between the Celtic and the pedal harp?
The way to make accidentals (flats and sharps) is the main thing that distinguishes these two types of harps. The Celtic harp has levers
Price is another factor. A quality Celtic harp is relatively affordable (around $ 3,000) compared to a pedal harp (starting price $ 15,000). The Celtic harp is also smaller and lighter and thus easier to carry. Although professionals use it too, it is ideal for beginners for these reasons. The pedal harp is usually used by musicians playing in orchestras or in concert. It also has a higher note range.
The sound of the Celtic harp is light and sparkling whereas the sound box of the pedal harp offers a warmer, deeper and more powerful sound.
Can we take part in a concert?
Yes, you can participate to a student concert at the end of the session; assuming sufficient participants. You may also have the pleasure to be part of a duo and even a harp ensemble!