Professional players and teachers often said that there was a need for good quality, yet inexpensive harps for teaching purposes. The investment required for a professional harp not only limited the opportunities for professional players to supplement their income through come-and-try sessions and teaching, but it also limited the supply of affordable harps for keen new players to buy or hire.
In collaboration with professional players, Mark’s experience and design innovation have created reasonably priced 27 and 34 string (launching 2020) starter and intermediate instruments that meet the needs of both teachers and players. The entry-level model of the 27 string starter harp even being designed to grow with a player’s skill progression and available finances through the optional addition of semitone levers and string upgrades.
All this collaborative input and design expertise led to the establishment of The Nifty Harp Project C.I.C., a not-for-profit Community Interest Company. By getting more quality and affordable instruments into community groups, therapy organisations, schools, adult learning settings, local music clubs, art centre venues, teacher-led classes, festival courses and pub or café music sessions, we will help to bring the harp to a broader audience. With enthusiastic new players learning and progressing their playing skills, The Project will ultimately benefit all harp makers as new players eventually go on to choose a professional harp.