Autoharping the toddler

The other day I decided it was time to let the tittle tiger in our family touch my autoharp. Being that this instrument is a well made one that cost money I probably should not have spent on myself I have been loath to let a 21 month old touch it. Never-the-less it was time and I knew just what method to use!

There was at one time a bulletin board for autoharp and on it a woman demonstrated how she introduced the autoharp to small children, granted a bit older than 21 months, but still small: she let them use a feather to strum the strings.

I had no difficulty grabbing a feather off a shelf and handing it over to the toddler. Can we say it was a good experience?  The little tiger loves feathers.

The little tiger played the autoharp, strumming with the feather and delighted, and I pushed the chord buttons.

We didn’t play any sort of song. We simply made nice sounds together. Later there will have to be a decision about what sort of instrument to give the little tiger. A desire to make sounds has taken hold, the light is lit in the eyes for a passion for music, and so far my little tiger dances to music, sings and now seeks to make music.

There was even toddler song at Mass, not in any of the right places, but more tuneful than in the past.  Of course, the temper tantrum during the consecration kind of obscured the pleasure I felt at the improved tone of the little tiger singing but….

Delightful introduction to playing the music.


Autoharping the toddler — 2 Comments

  1. What a lovely idea to use a feather. I remember introducing my viola to my toddlers when it was, to them, the size of a cello, and guiding their little hands to pluck the strings while I fingered the notes. 🙂

    • I don’t think it is possible to introduce music too early. The viola is a lovely instrument. Do your children play too?

      My oldest went to suzuki violin but really wanted to play on the teacher’s piano, later both of my older children went to piano lessons, the second took up keyboard and plays several instruments for fun, but the piano lessons led to composition for that child. Very cool to me as I never had any sort of talent for creating music. The eldest dropped out but whistles amazingly well–so that kid also still makes music.

      My little tiger is a busy one and I think has a passion for music more like me than the first two. I can hardly wait.