by Tamsyn

February 1, 2017

The Lap Harp is a great introduction to stringed instruments.

playing the lap harp

My daughter received a lap harp for her birthday from a thrift store, and it's an awesome instrument.  The sad part is, silly her mother placed it up on a shelf for a couple of months before finally buying a $3 tuner.  Once that glitch was out of the way (It's so much better to play instruments that are in tune!), we have been having a lot of fun playing the lap harp.

Because I didn't have any sheet music to go with it, I decided to create my own, placing the notes on color-coded bands that match the general colors of our website.  I also made a blank template that only has the colored bands as a guide so they can read music and play from color-coded music.  My own kids have played songs from our own songbooks as well as music from Preschool Prodigies.

An Instrument for Everyone!

One of my favorite things about the lap harp is that it is very easy to get started.  One does not need to be able to read music to play a large variety of music.  Simply slide customized sheet music underneath the harp and pluck the strings above the notes.

lap harp with color-coded music

Playing the correct rhythms can be done either by ear in the case of familiar songs, or by reading rhythmic notation if they are familiar with it.  Young children, senior citizens, and special needs individuals are perfectly able to enjoy this instrument, as well as anyone else.  I love how it gives children meaningful exposure to pitch, introduces them to stringed instruments, and gives them one more outlet for musical expression.

I've noticed that a lot of homeschooling programs and catalogs include Lap Harps and specialized music, which is how our family was introduced to them.  While one can certainly devote oneself to a serious study of harp music through premium instruments like the Zither, and many individuals have gone on to learn the classic harp after playing an instrument like this, my favorite use for the Lap Harp is as an educational toy.  Sure, I don't store it in the toy box, but this is an instrument that I don't keep up on a high shelf, and I don't require the children to practice the Lap Harp.  I personally think the Lap Harp's best use is as a serious (but still fun!) toy for those who wish to give their children an educational environment.  It has served that purpose well for us through the years.

Enter below to win a lap harp!

Enter to win a lap harp (that comes with a tuner!) below.  This is a lower-end lap harp, but will be sturdy enough for children to use it.  We had similar-quality lap harps as I was growing up and we had a lot of fun with them.  The winner will also get a collection of 10 color-coded printables from our members area.  We will be running the giveaway through the month of February, 2017.

Learn more about the lap harp we chose for the winner on Amazon.
Enter to win!  Giveaway ends February 28th.

(This video will give you an idea of how the Lap Harp works, but is not the same model as our giveaway.)

About the author 


My name is Tamsyn and I love music. I got my bachelor’s degree in vocal performance from USU. I spent many years teaching private piano lessons until I had children of my own. I have attended several children workshops on how to teach children music. I really like the Kodaly method, but have adapted a lot of different techniques for my own children.

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  1. It’s good to see you back! I never thought about introducing a lap harp to my kids, but what a great idea! I love that you’ve created color coded music too!

    1. Yeah, I took a little Christmas break, then a “kids are sick” break, but I’m still here! Glad you are too!

  2. I think this is one of the neatest musical instruments that i have ever seen for children, especially younger children. I absolutely love that this is not something insanely loud like a drum. lol i actually appreciate that very much. I think my daughter would really enjoy the music and creating the sounds herself. i think my son would be very intrigued about how it works, he’s much more mechanical. I love the entire idea and product! i had never heard of it before and I thank you for sharing it!

  3. My Sunday School teacher had a lap harp when I was a pre-schooler. We all thought she walked on water for being able to play our favorite songs on it, right in our classroom. Reading this, it just hit me that now my oldest child is the same age I was then. Oh my.

  4. I love teaching my students and seeing their excitement when they learn a song. Thank you for sharing this opportunity!

  5. I love the Lap Harp. It a nice sized instrument that can be played anywhere. I like that you can slide sheet music underneath the harp to help the player play a song. My girls would really enjoy it.

  6. I remember seeing these in catalogs when I was younger, and it always ended up on my Christmas wish list. I never got one (which is totally fine–I got other instruments for Christmas). Because there is specific sheet music for the lap harp, I think this would be incredible for the confidence of some of my students when they play some of the classroom instruments.

  7. I love that it’s the perfect size for kids. Most instruments are too big for the smaller children and become too difficult to hold, but this looks just right! My students will love it!

  8. I remember playing an autoharp in my earlier days. Being a portable instrument, the sounds gathered many of us near to sing and perform. I have fond memories of music making being so much fun! Thanks for this wonderful opportunity. Best wishes to all!

  9. I think the lap harp looks like a lot of fun! My daughter is interested in guitar and this might be a good place for her little fingers to find the dexterity.

  10. I’ve never played a lap harp before but it would be a great addition for my nieces. They are both beginning to play the ukulele and I can see how great this would be for them. Thanks for the chance.

  11. Oh this is so neat! I have not seen one before, oh we would have so much fun with this! We love to play musical instruments! So fun for the whole family!

  12. How much fun! Thanks for the walk diwn memory kane to the days i homeschooled my own littles! I have two little grand-daughters, now, that would enjoy a lap harp!

  13. It looks like such a wonderful instrument for children to learn about music with! Because it is also small and portable, I think it would be especially appealing.

  14. I believe that my grandchildren could really have used this Lap Harp instrument to learn about music with, too.

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