A moment that changed me: ‘I threw away the sheet music and all the colour and passion I had for the harp came back to me’

I fell madly in love with the instrument as a child, but my dyslexic brain fought with the way it was taught. For years I struggled – until some advice from my dad set me free

The day I first came across a harp is a memory stored in all my senses. The sound of the strings, the pleasing curve of the neck, the smell of the May blossom that was dancing on the breeze. It was love at first sight, that is for sure. In contrast to the vivid colour in which I recall this first encounter, I also remember my parents’ faces turning pale when I announced: “I’m going to play the harp!”

We were at a school fair. My parents had scrimped and saved to send my two brothers and me to a Steiner school, where the arts and creativity are held in equal regard to academic achievement.

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