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The LEVEL 1 course works on the foundations and building blocks required to help you take the first steps towards becoming a proficient harpist.

The course presumes no prior knowledge of the harp or music and is based in C major.

During the course you will study from the very beginning basics in harp technique, music theory and musicianship from the comfort of your own home, on a lever, lap or pedal harp. These classes will enable you to access beginner level harp tuition at a time and pace to suit you.

We will work on the foundations of harp playing to enable you to move forwards and enjoy playing this incredible instrument. You will very quickly find you have a basic working knowledge of how to play by ear, from written music and how to improvise!


“This is so much more than an on-line course. It’s brilliant, and Shelley’s encouragement and commitment brings out the best in us all. We’re learning theory (I thought I’d hate it), improvisation and tunes by ear as well as sight-reading. The course is so responsive, with home-work submissions being responded to by video, and live Q&A sessions every two weeks. The group of Start-Harpers have become an encouragement to each other and the Facebook group is great for sharing the highs, lows and challenges of learning to play this fantastic instrument. It’s a joy!” Fiona

LEVEL 1 – The Brief 12 – Week Overview

Week 1
This week we will learn the names and position of strings on the harp, some basic techinque, how to play with finger 2, learn to play different rhythms with a steady beat and also learn a tune and improvisation

Week 2
Consolidate knowledge of strings on harp, continue learning basic technique and playing with finger 2, learn to read B in bass clef and D in treble clef, develop knowledge of playing different rhythms

Week 3
This week we will focus on learning to play with thumb, learn about the importance of ‘placing’, learn where to find an E in the treble clef and A in the base clef.

Week 4
This week we learn how to play with finger 3 and work on placing carefully. We also look at easy ways to remember all the notes on the musical stave and play with sound effects on the harp.

Week 5
This week we learn some basic ‘rest’ symbols, playing intervals of 3rds and 5ths, write on the musical stave, learn two new notes on the musical stave and play / improvise to a 12 bar blues!

Week 6
This week gives you space to catch up, practice anything you feel you have not quite got to grips with and time to enjoy playing your favourite pieces from the course so far!

Week 7
Our main aim this week will be learning to play with finger 4. We also look at consolidating playing quavers and dotted rhythms.

Week 8
This week we learn two new notes, about the ‘tie’, playing with dynamics, and some ‘default fingering’ for 6ths and 8ves.

Week 9
This week our main learning focus is the default fingering for intervals and how to play the the arpeggio.

Week 10
This week our main focus will be the new notes B treble clef and D bass clef. Introduction to the turn.

Week 11
Our final two notes, the full scale with all four fingers. Yippeee!

Week 12
A chance to review and reflect on what you have learnt in START HARP level 1, also to plan your next steps as a harpists and say farewell to your fellow classmates!

What next?

If you’ve read this far, you’re probably thinking about signing up for START HARP. If you’re not sure which level is correct for you, take the START HARP Quiz >>> HERE <<<. If you’re ready to signup for this level, go to START HARP LEVEL 1 in the START HARP Shop.

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