So why the obsession with harps?
It began when I was about 12. I had just started a new school, and the teacher announced that a harp teacher had offered to teach harp lessons to any student at the school who was already in the school band.
Something came alive inside me that day. Every cell in my body woke up. I knew then that I had to play the harp. Somehow.
After class, I went to the teacher and said, "I don't play in the band, but I really, really want to learn to play the harp."
She said, "Go talk to the band teacher. Maybe you can work something out with him."
So I did. I told him the situation. He listened patiently, then asked me, "Do you know how to play any instrument?"
I shook my head, sickened that I might miss out on this opportunity. "The piano, but only a little."
"How long have you played the piano?" he asked.
"About a year."
He thought, and said, "Okay, you can play the keyboard in the band."
I think I must have yelped out loud, or as much as a painfully shy new kid could. This was my chance. I was now in the band. Which meant I was eligible to take harp lessons.
The harp teacher taught me harp lessons once a week that school year, and even let me borrow her Lyon & Healy harp a few weekends a month to use for practice. I loved it! When we moved at the end of the year to a new state, I pestered my parents into letting me continue to take harp lessons. I took lessons for years on and off, despite moves, family changes, and financial problems.
This picture is a Lyon & Healy Troubadour harp, much like the one I first learned to play.
Years later, I no longer play for weddings or in church. However, I teach, and I still love playing for my own enjoyment. It relaxes me and quiets the noise in my head.
Not coincidentally, when I write, I listen to one of three things: my cats purring, instrumental new age piano music, or harp music. There's nothing like it. It's almost magical.
Does music play a role in your life?