For many years Jacqueline has offered online harp lessons as one possible option, but with the COVID-19 pandemic and social distancing, online lessons are becoming the standard approach for students everywhere. Just as with in-person private lessons, 30, 45 and 60 minute lessons are available for beginning through advanced harpists. Students need to have a harp available in their home both for lessons and for practice. Lessons can focus on a variety of skills depending on the student's goals, including learning new solo repertoire, technical development, or music theory at the harp. Please see below for a selection of FAQs that provide more detailed information.
Teaching an online lesson
How do online lessons compare to in-person lessons?
Online lessons are very similar to in-person lessons. We set up a video call and then go through the typical routine of a lesson, usually starting with an exercise or two and then moving on to a few pieces of music. The student plays for me, then I provide verbal feedback, which we discuss, and I demonstrate as needed on my own harp.
I’ve never played the harp before, but now I have time on my hands and am considering taking up the instrument. Is that possible?
Yes, it is possible to take up the harp now. The most difficult hurdle is making sure that you have access to an instrument. There are a few possibilities for finding a harp, but it is not as straightforward as usual. I have a few small harps that I frequently rent to new students, but getting one to you with the current shelter in place orders is difficult. Various harp companies are still renting and selling harps and may be able to ship them directly to customers. Send me an email (email@example.com) to discuss all of this further.
Can I take one online lesson as a trial?
Of course. I offer a free trial lesson for interested students and we can see how that goes before proceeding.
Can I sign up for just a few lessons?
Certainly. Some students find themselves in the situation of having a regular teacher, but being currently unable to take lessons as usual. Consequently they might be looking for just a few lessons to bridge the gap. If this sounds like you, most likely we would begin by discussing what sort of approach would be best, whether you’re looking to simply maintain your harp skills, or you want to finish learning some music that you’ve already started, or perhaps you’re interested in sometime quite different, such as exploring arranging your own harp music, before returning to your regular teacher. I am happy to try to accommodate whatever would be most helpful.
Questions about Logistics
What platforms are you using?
I am currently offering lessons using Skype, Zoom, and FaceTime. I’m staying informed about other options, and am willing to add other platforms as needed.
How do we start the call off?
Usually I call the student (rather than the other way around), so that way I am able to keep my schedule running smoothly. Most days I am teaching multiple students in a row, the same way I teach in person, so it’s a fairly tight schedule that I’m doing my best to maintain.
What should I have on hand for the lesson?
Please have your harp set up and, if possible, tuned. Have your music ready and a pencil on your music stand.
What sort of set up do I need?
You’ll need to set up your device (phone/tablet/computer) next to your harp and allow it to access your camera and microphone. Ideally, I’d like to be able to view the harp from the left side, with an angle that includes your hands, the range of the strings, and a bit of your face. I do not need to see the music on your stand.
What about music?
Generally students read their own music on their stand, and I have a copy of the same piece spread out in front of me so that I can follow along. I have a really large collection of music, so chances are good that I have pretty much everything you’re playing.
Do I need to take notes during the lesson?
I am happy to take general notes for you and then send them to you in an email at the end of the lesson. If there’s a note that would be best written directly in the music, you can mark it at any time during the lesson. Sometimes I will also direct a student to mark something specific in their music if I think that it will be helpful for them.
My child is quite young. Is there anything special that I need to do to facilitate lessons for them?
Usually for young students I ask parents to set up their device and make sure it’s at a good angle before the lesson starts. As long as the student has their music ready and a pencil, I find that most don’t need too much support during the lesson.
However, it can be helpful for the parent to be nearby, perhaps in the next room, so that if there’s a technology problem the student can easily ask their parent for help. For some young students, especially those who are easily distracted, I might ask a parent to help with something once in a while, perhaps pointing to a note on a page, or helping them find a particular exercise in a book.
What time zone are you on?
I am on Eastern Time (currently EDT).
How do I get payment to you?
I am currently accepting payment through PayPal, Zelle, and checks sent in the mail. If needed, I can expand these options.
What's the next step to set-up online lessons?
Send me an email (firstname.lastname@example.org) and we can set up a time for a trial lesson and go from there.