Graduating to a Pedal Harp

Our daughter has been taking harp lessons for 11 months and her teacher decided she was ready to move from a lever to a pedal harp. In harp playing, there is something called “overpulling.” When the student has developed the muscles and technique of plucking the strings really well, it is time to go to a bigger harp.

Girl playing a pedal harp

Our daughter playing a pedal harp; you can see the lever harp in the background.

Of course, lever harps are different from pedal harps in a fundamental way, not just size. Lever harps have small levers on top of the strings to produce flats and sharps. Pedal harps have pedals at the base of the harp, which the player activates with the foot in order to produce flats and sharps.

Her teacher is William Lovelace, who just received the 2023 Lifetime Achievement Award from the American Harp Society. We have been very blessed to be able to get into his studio.

Lever harp lesson

Our daughter playing a lever harp back in February, while her teacher was watching

How does one choose harp? Like with many things, people come to harp for different reasons. Some of our teacher’s students are older adults who simply want to learn how to produce a beautiful sound. Our daughter felt the desire for it and last year she switched from piano to harp.

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