Often, an individual will become a harp teacher after many years of playing the instrument. He or she may have began taking lessons as a child and simply perfected his or her craft over the course of time. In this event, experience alone may be enough to become a harp teacher. Some people may enroll in college and pursue a musical degree to obtain this position. In most cases, the requirements to be a teacher will greatly depend on where the teacher plans to instruct.
An experienced harp player may decide to become a harp teacher because he or she can provide firsthand experience in learning the instrument. As a trained player, the teacher may be able to connect with students in a fashion different from a general music teacher who doesn't have experience with the harp. To begin with, the teacher may introduce new students to the instrument and display the correct posture to assume while playing. The student will also be taught musical notes, and how to position the fingers and hands to make such notes on the harp. Once the notes are learned, the teacher may provide the student with sheet music to practice with at home.
Although a college degree is not generally required to become a harp teacher, one can provide more opportunities. Even if an individual is already a harp player, he or she may obtain a degree for an advancement in employment. At a general college or university, a teacher may purse a general music degree. If enrolled in a performing arts school, he or she may be able to concentrate solely in harp playing. After obtaining a degree, the individual may take further tests to become certified, as certification will generally allow the individual to teach his or her craft at a school.
With a bachelor's degree, a harp teacher may instruct at a middle school or high school. He or she may be a general music teacher, providing instruction on music theory. If the school has a band, the teacher will generally be the leader of the musical group. In this environment, the instructor may provide musical direction to individuals playing many types of instruments. Teachers with a graduate degree may opt to work at an institution of higher educational learning, such as a college or university.
The requirements needed to become a harp teacher may heavily rely on the place of employment. When teaching at a school, the teacher will generally need a bachelor's degree at the very least. He or she may also be required to obtain certification. Many harp teachers work for themselves and give private lessons. In this case, a college degree may not be required, but formal training is generally necessary to be equipped to instruct others in playing this instrument.