Magical Sound of the Harp Launches Music Taster Sessions

The enchanting sound of the harp has been resonating through the Music departments in both Junior and Senior schools, with a demonstration and Taster session launching a new opportunity for pupils to learn the instrument.

The Taster session was run by Italian harpist Clara Gatti-Cornini, a professional harpist and Trinity Laban Conservatory scholar who has recently been appointed as Colfe’s first harp teacher. Ms Gatti-Cornini brings an impressive pedigree as a member of Young Musicians Symphony Orchestra and European Union Youth Orchestra, and holds awards including the John Marson Prize for Outstanding Musicianship and the Cherubim Music Trust Harp Prize.

Pupils were enthralled by the sound of the instrument performed by Ms Gatti-Cornini, who introduced the three different sizes of harp from the hand-held lyre harp to the full-size pedal harp. As well as playing an excerpt from Tchaikovsky’s Nutcracker, full of the familiar and delightful arpeggios and chords, Ms Gatti-Cornini also demonstrated the special effects employed by, for example, John Cage, using tin foil, bells and even a screwdriver to produce much more eerie sounds. Pupils then got to try the instrument for themselves, before finishing the session with a Q&A.

Lessons are offered to Junior pupils from Year 1 and above, and to pupils from all years across the Senior school, and there has already been an enthusiastic uptake.

The harp Taster was the first of a series of sessions designed to introduce a range of instruments that may be less familiar to pupils. The second in the series is an organ Taster session run by the newly-appointed organ teacher Matthew Morley, taking place in the splendid surroundings of St Bride’s Church, Fleet Street. This is followed by a DJ session run by Colfe’s very own Head of Chemistry Tom Armstrong.

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