One of my favorite topics in music education is studying instruments from around the world. I have discovered so many fascinating instruments and have included them in my World Music for Elementary online course. People are so creative, and I love to see and hear what they do. And, hearing a country’s music can really help you understand the country and its people better, too! So as St. Patrick’s Day is approaching this year, I thought it would be fun to study an instrument of Ireland with a Free 15-Minute Music Lesson About the Celtic Harp.
What is a Celtic Harp?
The Celtic harp has a triangular frame and is traditional to the Celtic people who lived in the British Isles: Ireland, England, Wales, and Scotland. Players of the harp in Ireland have been respected since at least 700 AD.
Harps are found all over the world, and there are many different sizes, styles, numbers of strings, and shapes of the frame. The Celtic harp is important to Irish music and is often found as a solo instrument as well as part of a musical group or band.
See below for some coloring and notebooking pages for the harp.
What’s the Difference Between a Celtic Harp and a Concert Harp?
The concert harp which you might see played in a symphony orchestra is more versatile but larger and heavier than the Celtic harp. The Celtic harp is simpler, smaller, and lighter. Celtic harps are also limited in the scales you can play in at one time. You can only play in one key without changing a lever on each string.
Concert harps are fully chromatic and you press a pedal to change the keys. See this next video at timestamp 1:10-2:02 to see how she changes keys with the pedal on the concert harp.
There are so many versions of and sizes of harps. I love the beautiful styles you see in this next video. Watching it might make you want to start playing this gorgeous instrument!
The harp is one of the easiest string instruments to play since there are no frets (as you’d find on a guitar or ukulele) and no bowing (as you’d find in a violin or cello).
Notice how the shorter strings have higher pitches, and longer strings have lower pitches. The levers change the pitch by a half step. That’s the same as going from a white key to the very next black key on a piano.
See also how he demonstrates how to tune each string. Use a piano or electronic tuner to listen for the correct pitch while you use the tuning tool to change the “tightness” of the string. That’s what changes the pitch!
Listen to the Celtic Harp
Now, it’s time to sit back and listen to some beautiful Celtic harp music!
Printable Pack for Music Lesson About the Celtic Harp
Download a printable pack to use with this Music Lesson About the Celtic Harp. The full set which is available for purchase contains coloring pages, a notebooking pages, and handwriting pages. The Free Preview set contains two of the pages.
The FREE PREVIEW contains 2 pages
If you’d like to purchase the full 11-page set that contains some notebooking pages of other harps to study (autoharp, Chinese guzheng, hammered dulcimer, lyre, saung-gauk Burmese harp, and zither), get it for $1 at my Teachers Pay Teachers store here!
- Music Learning and Fun Printable Set
- 10 Easy-to-Make Homemade Musical Instruments
- 15-Minute Music Lesson about Instruments Around the World
Disclosure: I get commissions for purchases made through affiliate links in this post.
More Fun St. Patrick’s Day Ideas!
As we head toward March, it’s time to start thinking about the “green” holiday and start learning more about the history behind St. Patrick’s Day.
This week, I’m teaming up with some of my fellow homeschool bloggers to bring you some fantastic St. Patrick’s Day themed tips and resources. Be sure to check them all out below!
How to Make a Shamrock Salt Painting from I Choose Joy for a fun craft all ages will enjoy! Includes a free printable pack.
St. Patrick’s Day Homeschool Activities from In All You Do for copywork and writing prompts, puzzles and math practice.
30 Best Preschool Leprechaun Books from Homeschooling 4 Him for learning about this fun bit of Irish folklore.
St. Patrick’s Day Unit Study for Homeschooling Families from Whole Child Homeschool brings you a comprehensive unity study.
St. Patrick’s Day Notebooking from Homeschool Helper Online for various notebooking pages to use when studying St. Patrick’s Day.
15 Shamrock Crafts for Kids from Thrive at Home for the best craft ideas with shamrock as the theme.
St. Patrick’s Day STEM Activities from Hess UnAcademy for remembering science, technology, engineering, and math when learning about St. Patrick’s Day.
The History Behind St. Patrick’s Day Traditions from Homeschool On the Range to learn all about the legends behind the holiday.
Awesome Ideas for Celebrating St. Patrick’s Day in Your Homeschool from Some Call It Destiny to find an original idea for your St. Pat’s Day fun.
Little Blue and Little Yellow: An Easy, Fun and Tasty Activity from The WOLFe Pack for a tasty treat with cookies and icing.
Easy Homeschool Holiday Activities for Elementary Students from Homeschool with Moxie for activities that won’t take much prep time.
We’ve been invaded by leprechauns from Our Crazy Adventures In Autismland will make your St. Patrick’s Day totally fun!
St. Patrick’s Day Resources For Your Classroom from Geez, Gwen! brings you a variety of resources.
Free Saint Patrick’s Day Preschool/Kindergarten Fun Pack from Everyday Graces Homeschool makes St. Patrick’s Day amusing for your youngest kids.
History of St. Patrick’s Day: Unit Study from Orison Orchards helps you combine the holiday with history.
The Best St. Patrick’s Day Books for Kids from Heart and Soul Homeschooling for those of you who love learning with books.
St. Patrick’s Day Lesson Plans and Activities for Preschool and Kindergarten from Simple Living Mama has the lesson plans already done for you!
Best St. Patrick’s Day Printables and Activities for Kids from Blessed Homeschool helps you choose the best things for your holiday schooling.