Non-musicians often have the misconception that if you didn’t take music lessons as a child, you’ll never be able to play an instrument well.
The harp, however, is one of those rare instruments that sound beautiful right from the beginning, making it one of the most rewarding instruments to learn, regardless of prior ability (no screeching beginner violin sounds!). If you’ve always wanted to learn to play the harp, don’t let the fear of doing something new stop you from being in touch.
Apart from personal satisfaction, learning a new instrument actually enhances coordination, increases memory capacity, improves reading and comprehension skills, sharpens your concentration, teaches perseverance… in short, it raises your IQ. For the child, music lessons can translate into better academic results for children. For the adult, it helps to keep the mind sharp and keeps you growing mentally–all while having fun!
Still, I’m often asked, “As a grown adult with no music background, will I ever get good at it?”
It really depends on how badly you want it. Cultivating any new skill takes time and dedication. Whatever decision you make, make sure it’s your decision and not someone else’s. Don’t let the reason you decided there was no hope for you be because someone else told you you have bad hand-eye-coordination (you should be the one to tell yourself that–and then overcome it!). And of course, I’m always willing to chat about any doubts you might have.
About Jane as a teacher:
I’ve always known that whatever I did with harp, I would also want to teach. Even as a young adult studying with my numerous teachers, I was constantly wondering to myself, how would I teach this particular technique to someone else in future, or how can I explain this better to another person? It has been fifteen years since I began thinking this way. Students often tell me how amazed they are when they realize just how much thought has gone into everything I do.
As a teacher, my students tell me I am patient (though as a disclaimer, I have to say I don’t always agree with that assessment), dedicated, and funny (I swear I didn’t pay them to say this). Apart from basic skills such as being able to look at the harp without growing cross-eyed, as well as how to actually play that harp, I require that students also be open to acquiring basic theory knowledge (which I incorporate into lessons) about the music they learn. I absolutely encourage constantly challenging yourself with personal goals and always keeping a growth-mindset. Contact me if you would like to find out more or ask questions! Ask away!
Jane Soh is a fantastic harp teacher!! My teenage daughter, Hazel, loved learning from Jane for over 3 years. We witnessed Jane’s amazing performances at the Harp Festival at the Boston Conservatory recently. Jane knows professional harp techniques and practices. Her instruction helps students understand why they must use proper techniques. She is flexible by choosing music that will motivate students to practice. Jane is articulate and warm. We highly recommend Jane as a teacher for someone who is serious about learning from the best-trained teacher. We also recommend Jane as a teacher for someone who needs flexibility. You will love learning from Jane Soh!
Jane currently lives in Winchester, Massachusetts, USA where she also teaches both lever and pedal harp for all levels. In addition to in-person lessons, she also offers video-call lessons. While of course encouraged, prior musical knowledge is not required to take lessons with Jane. If you are wondering if she will be a good fit for you, go ahead and contact her to find out. She always loves meeting new people!