The Harp at an Event
Do you play outdoor events?
Yes! There certainly is something magical about listening to harp music outdoors. There are some things to know, however. There may be a cartage fee incurred for the extra time and effort of moving the harp in some outdoor locations (such as up in the mountains), since outdoor terrain can be unpredictable and not exactly harp-friendly. During the event, the harp needs to be placed in the shade, and on a hard, flat surface. This is to protect the underneath of the instrument and to keep it from tipping over, as harps are prone to do. Additionally, the harp is sensitive to climate - air that is too hot or too cold, or even too dry or too humid, can cause strings to break and even damage the structure of the instrument. I will not play outdoors if the temperature is under 40 degrees or over 90 degrees. If the weather is inclement you will need to provide an alternate location. These stipulations are not for my own comfort, but for the protection of the expensive instrument.
Does the harp require amplification?
For indoor locations, the harp is usually loud enough without amplification, depending on the size of the room. However, I do provide my own sound system, free of charge! When amplification is desired, you will need to provide an extension cord and an area near enough to an outlet where I will set up my harp and system.
Where should the harp be set up?
The harp needs about 5 by 5 feet of clear space to fit the harp, me, and a music stand. As mentioned earlier, a flat surface needs to be provided. To keep the strings in tune, placement out of the sun and away from air vents, open doors or windows, and fireplaces is essential.
Do we need to provide anything for your setup?
I provide my own seating, music stand, and sound setup. As mentioned previously, if the location is outdoors you will need to provide a flat surface in the shade, and if amplification is desired then you will need to provide an extension cord and an outlet.
Do you need help moving your harp?
I always move my harp myself, but if you have some extra people on hand to help carry my other equipment, that is always welcome and appreciated. If no one is available, then don't sweat it. If there are stairs involved at the location of the event that I have to get up, though, then I will need a few helping hands for sure.
How far will you travel for an event?
I'm based in Vineyard and can travel for free to most areas within Utah County, but will charge $1 per mile in excess of 25 miles from Vineyard.
Will you take song requests for my event?
I would be happy to take requests for songs to learn ahead of time, as long as there is enough notice before the event (if I don't already have the song in my repertoire). This request may include a fee, depending on if I have to purchase sheet music, and taking into account complexity and length of the piece as well as the amount of notice I have to learn it.
What kind of music do you play?
I have a broad repertoire, including classical, contemporary, Latin, pop, Celtic, religious, and more. For weddings I have a book of traditional wedding pieces for those who want that at their ceremonies. What I choose to play depends on the event and what my client would prefer (ie. classical only, Celtic only). If you have a preference on a type of music you want for your event, please let me know and I can curate a playlist that will fit your style!
What will you wear to an event?
Typically I wear black when I play for events. If you have a dress code, style, theme, or color scheme you would like me to fit into, I will try my best to match.
For more helpful information about hiring an event musician, check out these links!
How do I book you for an event?
You can contact me through the "Contact" tab on this website. After confirming availability for the date needed, I will need your information to include in my contract:
the name and address of the location
the date of the event
starting time of the event
whether the event will be indoor or outdoor
I will then send you two copies of my contract. After reviewing the contract and making sure the information is correct, sign both, return one to me with the deposit, and keep the other copy for your records. (This process may differ slightly if hiring is done through a third party website.) No events are booked without the signed contract and deposit.
How much is the deposit?
Deposit required upon booking is 50% (unless a different amount is agreed upon based on specific circumstances). This deposit is nonrefundable.
When is the balance due?
The remaining balance is due in full no later than the event date.
Are there any additional fees?
There may be fees incurred for cartage/travel time, or song requests (see info under the above "The Harp at an Event")
Do I need a harp of my own to start lessons?
Yes, you will need a harp for practicing outside of lessons. If you don't want to buy one right away, I can direct you to several different rental programs offered by harp maker companies.
What are the different types of harps I can get?
There are two main categories of harp: lever or pedal. Lever harps include Celtic harps, lap harps, and folk harps, and are categorized as lever harps because of the levers above the strings that you can use to change the string's pitch. Pedal harps are larger and have more strings than lever harps, and are called pedal harps because of the complex foot pedal mechanism that enables quicker accidentals and key changes.
Typically, beginners start on a lever harp because they tend to be smaller, less complex, and quite a bit less expensive than pedal harps.
How often do I need to take lessons?
For beginning harpists, especially children, a lesson every week is key. If you are an adult taking lessons and your schedule permits less time, such as bimonthly, that can be accommodated.
How much do I need to practice?
If you are an adult taking lessons, it really depends on how demanding other aspects of your life are, such as your job or family. It is advisable to practice from 30 minutes to 3 hours every day to make consistent progress. For young children, however, practice time may vary. Sometimes it's a good idea to break up children's practice into manageable chunks to accommodate their attention spans, such as dividing 30 minutes into two 15 minute sessions during the day.
What is the best age to start learning the harp?
There are many sizes of harps, so that makes the harp accessible for really anyone of any age to learn. You're never too old to start, either! I do recommend that the earliest to start children is age 6. Prior musical knowledge is advantageous to learning the harp, especially piano training, because harp music is written in similar notation as piano.