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How Do I Become a Harp Musician?

Dan Cavallari
Dan Cavallari

The first step you will need to take to become a harp musician is to learn how to play this stringed instrument. This may mean taking lessons or teaching yourself, though in either case, you should be prepared to practice regularly and spend many years becoming proficient as a harpist. Some schools offer harp instruction as part of a music program, though this is less common than other band instruments. It may help to become familiar with the history of the harp as well if you want to become a harp musician.

Some harpists want to make a career out of their talents, joining an orchestra or other musical band. Others choose to enter the field of education, teaching other potential harpists. Still others simply want to play for enjoyment, playing for themselves or for smaller audiences on a paying or non-paying basis. Think about what you want to do with the harp skills you acquire so you can focus more clearly on the steps necessary to become a harp musician.

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Woman posing

The definition of harp musician may vary. Some people consider themselves harp musicians if they simply play the harp. Others consider themselves harp musicians only if they are making a living off the practice. You should determine what you consider a harp musician to be so you have a clearer picture of the steps you should take to achieve your goals. A good portion of harp players who intend to make a living off the practice may choose to obtain a higher education degree to boost their resum├ęs, thereby improving the chances of securing a job after graduation. This is not always necessary, but it can be useful for establishing contacts that will help you become a harp musician.

A professional musician will often need to audition with various bands, orchestras, or groups to secure a job as a harpist. Be prepared for such interviews by practicing playing in front of groups of various sizes. This will get you used to the pressure of playing live, helping to ensure your best performance during your audition. Be ready to be rejected at first, and do not take this as a sign of failure; instead, consider it a motivation to work harder to achieve your goals.

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