How did you start the harp?
This is a question people often ask me after a performance. The harp is such a unique instrument that it is no surprise that people are curious. My harp origin story begins at age 5 in a kindergarten classroom in Memphis, TN. A guest to our classroom was demonstrating a number of unique small percussive instruments including a small lap harp. Something about that small harp clicked in my brain and I was completely hooked. I went home and promptly informed my parents that I was a harpist. Like any parents faced with an unusual request, they dismissed this statement. My determination however, was not diminished and I began writing stories about and drawing pictures of harps at school, as well as, buying CD's of harp music with any spare money I had. This quirky penchant was noted by my first grade teachers and school counselors who brought my parents in for a parent-teacher conference to discuss it. They told my parents that they had never seen a 6-year-old so fixated on something, so if they could find a way to support it, the school thought it would be a good idea for me to pursue it.
After a few months of searching, my parents were able to locate a harp to rent and a teacher. Starting lessons at age 7, just a few weeks into second grade, I have never looked back since. Now with multiple degrees in harp performance, I love getting to live my dream everyday by playing and teaching the harp.
Left: First performance for my second grade "Show and Tell" with my first lever harp at age 7.
Bottom: The early instinct to teach after a studio recital at age 9.