Ask any harpist about their favorite pieces to play, and they will rattle off a handful of titles and some lengthy explanations about why they love them. Ask any harp teacher about their favorite pieces to teach, and you’ll get a similar response—a short list of the pedagogical gems that hold a special place in their heart.
Indiana University harp instructor Elzbieta Szmyt believes you “play better and improve both your skills and your musicianship, if you play the pieces that you love.” So whether you are a student working on filling holes in your repertoire or a teacher brainstorming music to work on with your students this year, the eight amazing teachers we consulted have a teaching treasure or two you are sure to love. In their own words Lynne Aspnes, Jacquelyn Bartlett, Nicole Brady, Alice Giles, Jaymee Haefner, Joan Holland, Elzbieta Szmyt, and Ann Yeung (turn the page to meet them all) tell us about some of the pieces they love to teach and what makes each work worthy of a top spot on their list. While this list is by no means comprehensive, perhaps it will encourage you to revisit some old favorites, embolden you to build your harp skills with a new piece, and most importantly inspire you to love the music you teach and play.