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To ‘learn how to do it yourself’ or ‘play a fixed arrangement’
– this is the question!

Many teachers will choose to teach fixed arrangements by rote rather than teaching the student how to ‘do it for themselves’. The reasons for this are many – which include that the teacher may not be comfortable or able to teach any other way – perhaps because of their own lack of understanding or proper teaching skills! If they themselves are still playing fixed arrangements that they acquired from their teachers previously, even if minimally edited, they will have a limited ability to serve the student well. Where the teacher wishes to ensure excellent marks at Junior or Leaving Cert exams, it is perfectly reasonable that the teacher would ‘fix’ the arrangements for the student.

Eventually, it is the responsibility of the parent or mature student to ensure they have a teacher that will introduce them to all that Irish harping can be for them, to encourage their participation and enjoyment of playing in sessions, to build their confidence in stage, competition and examination performance, and to enhance their lives with a life-long love of their instrument and its music. If your teacher is not achieving this for you, you are encouraged to search out a better alternative.

If you are a teacher wishing to upgrade your skills, you are invited to shadow recommended teachers or perhaps consider taking some teacher-training. For more information on these, email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..