HarpAdventures was founded in 2009 as a community engagement project by members the Peabody Conservatory’s Harp Pedagogy class. Members of the class accepted a number of Baltimore city students for beginning harp lessons. These students had the opportunity to rent instruments at special prices and were able to study ensemble as well as solo music. The program also included basic theory instruction and a formal concert at the end of each semester.
In addition to providing expanded teaching opportunities for Peabody students, the project had two primary goals: to bring the harp into Baltimore-area schools and to encourage cooperative efforts among various segments of the area’s beginning-harpist communities. Since HarpAdventures now also provides instruction for the Bridges program at the Baltimore Montessori School and the harp program of Baltimore Symphony Orchestra’s OrchKids, the young harpists from those programs always join in the end-of-semester ensemble concerts.
Including the Bridges and OrchKids members, HarpAdventures now has 40 young students. The Pedagogy class has written a two-level curriculum with a coordinated theory workbook and arranged a collection of ensemble music suitable for performance by students of various ages and skill stages. Performances are often held in the community, for example at places like the Enoch Pratt Free Library or the FlowerMart.
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