One of the last posts over at my old blog site (Practice Your Lasagnos) compared & contrasted lever & pedal harps. Thought I'd brush it off (figuratively, of course) & update/edit it a little to post over in this space. So, here it is!
There are different types of harps, but the most common in the U.S. are pedal harps and lever harps (even harps with no levers or pedals). Both pedal and pedal-free harps follow the same basic idea. Lever harps are not necessarily beginner harps and can be used by beginners and professionals alike. There are professional harpers (lever harp players) and professional harpists. Some people can move levers very impressively! Whether or not a student plans eventually like to add the pedal harp to his/her repertoire, a lever harp will be beneficial and a good basis. Both types of harps can be used to play a variety of genres. Lever harps tend to be more affordable and generally more portable. :)
Some websites I'd recommend perusing for harps and harp information are Virginia Harp Center, Lyon and Healy, Salvi, Camac, Sylvia Woods Harp Center, Harp Spectrum, and Harp Column. These sites should be a good start. :)
Exploring the music that is played on the various models can be useful and fun. Some harpists/harpers you might like to check out are Jakez François, Louise Trotter, Greg Buchanan, Deborah Hensen-Conant, Park Stickney, and Susann McDonald, and, of course, Harpo Marx. :)
If you're a harpist/harper, do you prefer playing pedal or pedal-free harps? Let me know in the comments! Or do you have any questions? Just leave 'em below!
P.S. The www.teacherspayteachers.com/Store/FischarperHalloween printable music activity packet is available in the Fischarper Teachers Pay Teachers store!
Did you see this week’s YouTube video? Don’t forget to subscribe!
Embossing candles is nothing new. I think I was first introduced to this idea in Girl Scouts years ago. You can find tutorials all over the internet. But have you ever made your own harp candle (I'm not the first to do this either...my mom & a friend made them before too!)? I made some little harp candles as favors for the students who participated in the After-St.-Patrick's-Day recital.
Stamp a piece of tissue paper with embossing ink, using your stamp. Cover with embossing powder. Dump off the extra powder and melt the stamped area of powder with the embossing gun.
Trim the tissue paper around the stamp. Place stamped tissue paper on candle and heat with the embossing gun just until it's melted into the candle. Be careful not to turn the candle into a puddle of wax. :) (And don't burn your fingers either!)
P.S. Have you seen this week's video?
Is your favorite harpist cat ready for a new instrument? Have no fear, you can make a harp scratching pad (you know, kitty can have claws to play this one!), upcycling cardboard.
Watch the video above (don't forget to subscribe!) and/or follow the written instructions below to make your own!
cardboard cutout harp (you can make your own)
lots of strips of cardboard (about 1 inch wide)
hot glue gun
hot glue gun sticks
Cut out your harp shape from a piece of cardboard. Draw out the shape first, or just eyeball it.
You can use scissors or some type of craft knife. Be careful when cutting.
Need some more musical feline crafts? Try this catnip harp or this no-sew version!
As always, be sure to show me your take on the project (& your cute cat!) on social media. Tag me and/or use #Fischarper!
Well, I finally finished #100DaysOfFischarpArt a bit ago! You can read my earlier post about it here, but I decided to give the #100DayProject a bit of a more relaxed spin. I still aimed for 100 days, but if I skipped a day (or many days!), that was ok! Since I didn't stick to consecutive days, it of course took longer to complete.
I'm really glad I did it. If you're looking for a way to exercise your creative muscles, or even just want content for Instagram, this is a fun way to do it. It was a neat challenge to try to come up with 100 pieces of harp art, some simple, some more detailed.
If you'd like to try something similar, but don't want to commit to 100 days, Kiffanie is doing a similar project with her #52wackycakes, which is also cool! (While you're at it, check out her legal resources & blog....they are SO helpful!)
Have you tried the #100DayChallenge? Do you think you will? Be sure to share your hashtag in the comments so we can all check it out!
P.S. Have you seen this week's YouTube video? Don't miss the Blindfolded Harpist Challenge!
papier mache box
acrylic paint (similar pink, black)
[let me know in the comments if you'd like more specifics on the products]
The first main step will probably take a small few steps. Paint your box and lid your desired colors. Make sure to let dry thoroughly. Depending on the paint and color, consider painting the box white first, then painting desired color. Don't forget the inside of the box!
Use embossing ink to cover the top of your box lid, then cover in embossing powder. I believe I first used pink, then added black. Melt the powder with your embossing gun.
Once that has cooled, stamp you rubber stamp into the embossing ink, then onto the top of your box. Cover with embossing powder, and shake off the excess. Melt this embossing powder. Once it's cooled, you're done!
What would you keep in this little box?
And don't forget about this week's YouTube video! Have you subscribed?
Here's a fun activity to help with music literacy, fine motor skills, and color identification. If this is something you'd like to try with your students, pick up your own printable Treble Clef Play Dough Worksheets from the Fischarper Teachers Pay Teachers store. There's a stop-motion video toward the end of this post, too!
Once you've purchased the activity sheets, just download them, print, and slip into page protectors or laminate. One thing nice about the page protectors is you can easily keep them in a 3-ring binder.
I made red, blue, & white play dough based on this recipe. Store bought play dough would certainly work too (I used Play-Doh brand in the video)! It looks like we'd already experimented with mixing the colors (that was another learning activity!) when the E worksheet picture below was taken.
You can use this activity for part of a lesson (make sure students wash their hands before touching the instrument again), as homework, or for a music camp activity.
Before your students start this activity, make sure to set some rules. I asked the students questions to go over expectations. Here were some of mine:
Do you mix the play dough colors? (No. Later we did mix some, but that was a directed activity.)
Does the play dough go off your box/lid? (No.)
Use rules & guidelines that you see fit, and phrase them in your own way. It might be more effective to use positive phrasing, such as "the colors stay separate" & "the play dough stays on the box/lid." Then you don't risk the student(s) just hearing/processing "mix the play dough" & "off your box/lid."
You can use a box/lid, or a place mat to keep the surface clean and to give visual boundaries for the students.
This activity is great for a variety of ages. I worked with for a small group of preschool through about mid-elementary school age for this project. But I think it could be fun for about any age! You can also make it more or less difficult for different age groups and/or music levels.
How would you use these printable worksheets?
Make sure to check my YouTube channel (& subscribe!), because I'm aiming to schedule a YouTube video to be available each "YouTubesDay" (Tuesday). Stay tuned for music, DIYs, & who knows what else. :)
A few videos are embedded below.
Let me know your requests in the comments below!
Need some musical art to spruce up your studio space? Try out this upcycled DIY cassette wall art inspired by HGTV Handmade. It's a great way to use those old cassettes you no longer listen to!
Watch the video and/or follow the written instructions below to make your own!
board (I used the front of an old drawer)
picture hanging hardware/supplies
sheet music (you can look for some at your local thrift store, or print some from the Petrucci Music Library)
glue (I used school glue and hot glue)
old cassette tapes
Step 1: Measure & attach the picture hanger.
Step 2: Sand front of board.
Step 3: Add the sheet music to the board in a decoupage-like manner. You can mix water with the glue if you wish.
Step 4: Allow to dry.
Step 1: Remove the tape from the cassettes (optional). You might want to use this for another project.
Step 2: Remove any labels and sand.
Step 3: Paint with the necessary number of coats. Make sure to cover the front and sides.
Arrange cassette tapes on board and glue down with hot glue.
After your art has dried, hang it up in your studio to enjoy!
What do you think of the video? Was it helpful?
Be sure to use #Fischarper and/or tag me if you post your version of this project to social media (I'd love to see it)!
Candle in glass jar
Flame safe paint (I used Liquid Leaf before realizing you shouldn't use it near flame...oops. Learn from my mistake.)
Tape (scissors if necessary)
First, tape off a triangle, resembling an abstract-ish harp shape.
Paint the triangle with your flame safe paint. You might want to use a paint brush that you don't mind throwing away, in case the paint doesn't want to wash out.
Allow to dry and remove tape.
Touch up the paint if necessary (especially if you tried to scrape strings onto it and it didn't work #oops) and enjoy!
Take pictures and edit them to try to make everything show up ok. :) Alright, that part's optional.
Remember to never leave candles unattended and to be careful around flame. As with all posts, try this at your own risk and if you're a kid, get a responsible adult to help you! Again, make sure to use flame safe paint and/or use a battery operated candle.
Let me know in the comments and on social media if you try this!
Fidget spinners are/were quite the craze, although they do seem to have calmed down a bit. Love 'em or hate 'em, they were all over the place for awhile! Just take a look at YouTube for hauls, DIYs, and even tricks. So, of course I decided to put a musical spin (see what I did there?) on the idea.
Assign this as a homework project for your students, or have one in your pre-/post-lesson activity area or lending area. Use this as an opportunity to review quarter note duration, or even to introduce quarter note duration in different meters.
One important note: make sure your students know to be responsible and respectful with how/when they play with it!
Watch the video below, or read the written instructions below to see how you can make one!
printable pattern (you might want to make it a little smaller)
oven bake clay (something like Sculpey) & oven
knife (be careful!)
clay glaze (or glue or Mod Podge)
1) Roll out clay & cut around template (you might want to make the template a little smaller), then smooth edges.
2) Bake according to package instructions, making sure clay is in shape before baking.
3) Allow clay to cool, then coat a section at a time with glaze or glue & cover with sand and/or glitter. Repeat as needed, with a final coat of glaze or glue to seal. Let dry between coats.
4) Trim the skewer so that some sticks out on each side. You might have to trim it down again (mine is a little too long in the video). Glue a gem to one end & allow to dry.
5) Glue a gem to each note head to add weight.
6) Once the glue has dried, place the skewer through the middle of the clay & glue the other stone on the other side of the skewer.
7) Allow it to dry, then spin!
There you have it! What are your thoughts on fidget spinners? Be sure to show me your musical version with #Fischarper!
Welcome to the blog! I'm Barbara, and I work as a freelance harpist and private music educator. You can read my bio here. On the blog, you can find posts about various aspects of this career path, especially teaching and crafty stuff. Thank you for stopping by! I'd love to hear from you in the comments or on social media. And don't forget to subscribe to the email list for updates!
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