I met Andrew playing his golden harp at a concert earlier in the year. I love the harp, it’s sound, shape, decoration, construction and quite honestly thought if I learned to play, I might impress the odd angel if I am ever lucky enough to get to the doors of heaven.
I had the cheek to ask Andrew about lessons, when I don’t read music and am slightly discalculous. Don’t mention the fact that I have four abandoned ‘teach yourself the piano’ books and three on singing jazz with accompanying CDs. But I do sing some folk from time to time.
Andrew tells me he has students from 7 to 82, I ask him if I can try it out. He smiles “Why not?”
Now I know how to pull the harp towards me and make it seem weightless by balancing it on both knees. I’m careful to pluck the strings cleanly, we try page 1 – 2 and 3 in my new Harp book, ending with both hands laying across the harp to silence the sound.
Near the end of the lesson I ask him if he would play ‘The Skye Boat Song’. Gradually I find my long-lost singing voice and cautiously join in, no time to worry about the professional choirs that he accompanies.
Harps are expensive, but Andrew is already on the case looking out for a good secondhand one. I’ve had three lessons so far! Andrew’s musical ability, patience, professionalism and confident smile are enough to convince me I’ll make it! Who needs angels?