Welcome to Star Edwards - StarHarp.Com

Music Lessons

 

Want to learn
to play harp?


Access to music sets kids and adults up for success. Music education builds vocabulary, strengthens social skills, promotes literacy, and enhances creative thinking.

Star caricture


Lessons Q + A

1. Where can I learn to take lessons from you?
Lessons are given at my studio (close to downtown Denver) and Swallow Hill Music School at 71 E. Yale, or Skype.

2. I don’t have a harp! Where do I get a harp?
You can rent a harp from Kolancy Music, 1900 South Broadway in Denver. David is the harp communities saving grace to help us with all of our harp needs. Harps can be rental for as little as $20 a month and as the amount accumulates, can be applied to purchasing a harp.
Call David for a harp: 303-722-6081.

3. I don’t read music - Can I still learn to play?
Yes! We will learn the first few songs by ear and use harp tablature as a back up writing system to remember the song patterns. This allows us to focus on developing good hand technique - the most important aspect of harping. You can use your phone to record your lesson and song, and play it back during practice. You don’t have to read music to play music!

4. I am a singer. Can I learn to sing while I play the harp?
Absolutely! Singing will also help you learn to tune.

5. Do you teach adults and children?
Yes, adults and children! I have taught children as young as 5 years old and adults in their 80's!

6. I would like to play a large pedal harp - can you help me with that?
Yes! For beginners, you can learn a lot on a Celtic style harp before you go on to a pedal harp. Many people who want to play pedal harp start lessons on a Lyon and Healy Troubadour or Ogden harp which has the same string tension as a pedal harp. After you reach a certain point in lessons, getting past the basics, I would refer you to a pedal harp teacher.

7. What if I need to cancel a lesson?
You can email me (starharp@comcast.net), or call Swallow Hill Music School 303-777-1003, or the studio at 303-831-1744 to cancel. The money you have paid for the lesson will be carried over to the next lesson, unless its less than a 24 hour notice.

8. How do I pay you for lessons?
You can pay with cash, check, credit card or Paypal. Payment is made at the first of every month, or at the time of each lesson.

9. How long are lessons?
Lessons are ½ hour, 45 minutes or 1 hour, every week or every other week. If you are a beginner, I suggest 2 months lessons every week for ½ hour.

10. How long am I suppose to practice?
In the beginning its best to practice 10 minutes once or twice a every day. A commitment to regular practice insures students will be delighted at the progress they make, which is great motivation for continuing to learn.

11. Do I have to go to recitals?
Recitals only happen if there are several students who agree they would like to get together to share songs and play for each other. Recitals are not required.

12. Can I learn the songs I like? I am an adult. Do I have to play Twinkle Twinkle Little Star and Go Tell Aunt Roady type songs?
All students start with easy songs they like. I have used some of these songs for beginners: Ode to Joy, 3 Little Birds (Bob Marley), Falling Slowly (Hansard + Irglova), Scarbourgh Fair, Greensleeves, Edelweiss, And I Love Her, 1000 years (Katy Perry). In Dreams (Lord of the Rings), Siamese Cat song, My Favorite Things to name a few beginner pieces.

13. What things will I learn in a lesson?
My basic process for teaching lessons are: All students learn basic finger patterns (neighbor note patterns, every other patterns and mixed note patterns), learn how to play music conversations improvisations, tuning the harp, levers, hand and sitting position, harp tablature (for non-note readers), placing and brackets (for note readers), music notation, how to change keys using levers, 2 hand coordination, and more!
Bring your harp for the first lesson, for sitting position guides for your size harp. After that, you can use the harp at the school or one of mine in the studio.

14. How long have you been teaching?
I started teaching 25 years ago when a friend of mine got a small harp and wanted to learn how to play. I showed him the basics and students have been coming to me ever since that day.

15. What is your musical training?
When I first found my harp (yes, found! At a local thrift store - a large Venezuelan style harp), I went to visit Helen Hope, harpist for the Colorado Symphony. She wasn’t teaching any more but showed me a few things. I studied with pedal harp teacher, Diana Carney, medieval harper, Therese Schroeder-Sheker and Celtic harper, Laurie Riley. All taught me different aspects of playing the harp. Because I played guitar before, wrote songs and found a freedom in improvisation, I went on to create my own style. After 10 years of playing by ear, I took up the challenge to read notation after developing a system of learning to see a logical big picture of note patterns rather than reading one note at a time.

After hearing the same questions from students for so long, I put a book together called, Celtic Harp Tips. To order - click on Contact/Order Form

These tips include:

Buying a harp - Tuning the harp - Practicing - Fingering and Placing -Two hand Coordination - Note Reading tips - Memorizing - Imagination - Performance Skills - Avoiding Injury - Strings - Harp Care - Levers - Right vs Left Hand - Tips from Other Harp Students - Kolacny Music Store comments - Resources




These two pages are from Star's book,
Folk Harp for the Young Beginner

 

Hand and sitting position

Student reviews:

“Star's fun, knowledgeable, and patient.” ~ Pansy Moore

“Star Edwards is as good as it gets! She gives me space to flow creatively! She let me choose the songs I wanted to learn, and backs that up 100% with simple techniques to follow in order to get more leverage out of the melody! Her unique style of teaching serves well in the classical, as well as the professional world. She is a master at her craft, and knows how to communicate her knowledge and skills with great ease. She breaks things down in such a way that "sticks" and makes her teaching hard to forget. Her Easy Note Reading Course is a MUST HAVE for all those who may feel a bit "rusty" on their music reading skills, and even those who are just beginning. Star is a GOLDEN STAR!” ~ Cydnie W.

“We are the music makers, and we are the dreamers of dreams.” ~
Arthur O’Shaughnessy

“People ask me how I make music. I tell them I just step into it. It’s like stepping into a river and joining the flow. Every moment in the river has its song.” ~ M.Jackson

To inquire about private lessons
Please call 303-831-1744
Or call Swallow Hill Music School
303-777-1003

Contact Form

If you need to rent a harp click here
or call Kolacny Music at 303-722-608

Star Edwards

Read Star's article in the Folk Harp Journal magazine

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