When kids take up an instrument, it might be the guitar, piano or the drums, but one of the newest faculty members at the University of Northern Iowa says there’s a resurgence in the popularity of a very old instrument.
Jacquelyn Venter Ridder is a recent masters graduate from U-N-I’s Music School and has been hired to teach a beginner’s course in the harp. The 26-year-old Cedar Falls native has been playing the harp since she was ten and says there’s a renewed demand for harp teachers and players, though it’s not a cheap venture.
Venter Ridder says a student’s smaller harp can cost 35-hundred to six-thousand dollars. To avoid that investment, Venter Ridder says budding harpists can usually find one to rent for much less. She says she was captivated by the beauty of the harp as a girl, growing up in northeast Iowa.
Venter Ridder says “My mom always used to take me to the ‘Nutcracker’ ballet when I was five and six and instead of watching the ballet, I used to watch the harpist.” She says her parents thought she was crazy but she started harp lessons in fourth grade and has stuck with it ever since. She’s offering an introductory class in the heavenly instrument at U-N-I August 15th through the 17th. For more information, call the U-N-I Suzuki School at (319) 273-2508.