Student Harp Player Tackles Tough Instrument


Courtesy of Goldie W.

Goldie has been playing the harp since she was in the third grade.

Not many people know how to play the harp. With 47 strings, and seven foot-pedals, you could consider it to be one of the most challenging stringed instruments to play, but Longfellow has one student who not only plays the harp but excels at it.

Goldie W., an eighth grader here at LMS, has played the harp since she was in the second grade. She started out wanting to play the violin, not the harp, but an unfortunate incident that happened when she was younger stopped that from happening.

When Goldie was a toddler, part of her smallest finger was cut off in a folding chair. She was told that it would be very difficult to play the violin with a too-short finger, so she decided to try out the harp instead.

With the help from her long-term harp teacher and lots of hard work, Goldie learned to play the instrument and has been playing the harp ever since. But it wasn’t easy. Goldie said playing the harp takes a lot of practice.

“It’s hard. [It takes] lots of coordination, and there are a lot of different things to focus on,” explained Goldie.

Goldie played the harp in second grade and throughout her time in elementary school. She was a part of the orchestra in 4th, 5th, and 6th grade, but she decided to keep harp out of her school activities when she got to middle school, choosing to play at home, outside of school.

When she was a part of the elementary orchestra, she said, “I got stared at sometimes, it’s a little uncomfortable,” she admitted.

Since she occasionally took her harp to school, she also had to worry about students barreling down the halls while moving her rather large instrument.

Additionally, when going to music competitions or events, she normally has to be there way before everyone else and is usually the last to leave. So, it definitely isn’t easy to do what she does,

Despite these inconveniences, Goldie does enjoy practicing and playing the harp, which is good since she practices at least an hour a day. The schedule impacts her other activities, though. In addition to her time on the harp, Goldie also plays volleyball, attends Kumon math studies, and is learning Chinese.

Goldie has been very successful with playing the harp but says it probably won’t end up being a career for her, “I would like to get some sort of scholarship with it [the harp],” she said, but she doesn’t want to be defined by it.

Still, I don’t see Goldie not playing the harp anytime soon.