YourClassical Kids

Classical Kids Music Lessons: Heavenly Harp

The harpPixabay

May 08, 2020

LISTEN — Audio Instructions

Need ideas for easy and fun at-home music learning? Here's our daily Classical Kids Music Lesson.

Target age range: K-6

When you see a picture of the harp, I bet you can imagine the sound it makes. It's a sound that is sometimes used in movies or tv shows to bring up images of angels, heaven, dreams, or clouds.

There are many kinds of harps. Today we will learn about and listen to the harp most commonly used in orchestras. It is sometimes called the "pedal harp" or "concert harp."

1. Watch and listen to the Minnesota Orchestra's harp player, Kathy Kienzle, explain how her instrument works.

2. Review a few key facts:

• The pedal harp has 47 strings
• The pedals help the harp play along with the all of the notes that other instruments play
• When you pull all the strings from top to bottom, or bottom to top, it is called a glissando

3. Below is a selection of pieces for harp. Listen to a few pieces, or parts of each piece. Can you notice and name a few of the techniques you learned about in Kathy's video? How many glissandos do you hear?

• In this video, you will hear harpist and composer Alice Coltrane use her harp to play jazz.

• In this piece, the composer uses special techniques to help us imagine the image of fire dancing.

• Folk/pop singer Joanna Newsom plays the harp.

• In this video, the harp is featured as a soloist with an orchestra.

• Finally, here is a harp featured as a soloist with a smaller group of other instrumentalists.

4. Can't get enough of the beautiful sound of the harp? Try this playlist:

Have a question or suggestion? Contact Katie Condon, music education specialist.

More: View all of our daily Classical Kids Music Lessons