When you're just starting the harp, you want to start from

Square One.

A beginning course for harpists (even if you aren't quite a beginner).


You finally took the plunge and bought a harp. You’ve been playing around with it for a while now and you love it, but you have lots of questions. 

Square One is the perfectly balanced course for the adult beginner harpist. It’s comprehensive enough to cover all the bases, but relaxed enough to let you have fun playing too. 

Unlike some beginner courses that load you down with too much information or feel too watered down, Square One leads you through the fundamentals of harp playing while you achieve musically fulfilling goals. You’ll experience the deep satisfaction of turning your new skills into music.

You will also learn the best systems and strategies for practice, the elements of physical technique, practical theory knowledge, and how to deal with some of those logistical problems unique to the harp. 

Whether you’re about to buy your first harp or you’ve been playing for a year or two and want to be sure to cover all the basics, this course is for you.

  1. Learn with a consistent, organized curriculum to give you a well-rounded perspective.
  2. Study with a cohort of like-minded beginner harpists who will motivate, inspire, and grow with you.
  3. Gain the skills you need to practice with focus and play with creativity and joy.
Are You a Fit for Square One?



Experience the ease of learning from your coach in a supportive, small group environment. 


Develop a solid foundation for growth with a comprehensive, step-by-step approach.



Feel confident as you discover the next steps in your new harp-playing adventure.



Adele loves the harp and lately she’s begun to wonder if she should actually try playing it. She’s never played an instrument before, and she worries that it may be too hard or require too much work to fit in with her busy lifestyle. She loves the idea of being able to play music on the harp, but she doesn’t have hours to practice each day. She needs a simple, one-step-at-a-time approach that will allow her to grow slowly but still experience accomplishment along the way. When Adele completes Square One, she will have several pieces she can play and be proud of and she will have played in her first virtual harp ensemble.

Bonnie already plays a couple of instruments, but playing the harp has always been her dream. She finally purchased a small harp and even though her musical skills are pretty good, she’s not sure where to start with the harp. She wants a well-structured curriculum that will allow her to progress quickly and prepare her for the music she’s always wanted to play on the harp. Bonnie’s Square One experience will provide her with the technical foundation to allow her to reach her musical goals.

Carla has a plan. She’s intrigued by therapeutic harp and she wants to know the harp basics that will allow her to get around the instrument, play simple patterns and improvise a little. But she doesn’t want to spend years taking lessons. She wants to know the shortest path that will allow her to achieve her objective. In Square One, Carla will learn from an expert coach who will make certain she gets the foundation she needs to begin her harp journey.


  • Start (or expand) her harp solo repertoire with several new pieces.
  • Play together with others in a virtual ensemble setting.
  • Feel confident in his technique foundation.
  • Have a practical understanding of the fundamentals of music theory.
  • Share her music with the others in the group.
  • Learn to play the harp with personalized help from an expert coach.

Questions? We Have Answers!


The most powerful aspect of Square One is that it is personal instruction. It is not a pre-recorded series of video lectures which leave you with questions and no way to get the answers.
You will be working with an expert harpist and coach whose mission is to teach you what you need to know to play the music you want to play. Whatever kind of music that is, or whatever avenue of harp playing you want to explore, you will have the foundation, skills - and more importantly, the confidence - that you need to enjoy the journey.

Meet Your Instructor

Caitlin Mehrtens is a harpist based in Houston, TX. A prolific concerto soloist, she has performed most recently with the Akademisches Orchester in Leipzig, Germany at the Gewandhaus, and also with the National Repertory Orchestra, Texas Music Festival Orchestra, Ocean City Pops Orchestra, Oberlin Mozart Players, and Orchestra Society of Philadelphia.

Caitlin is equally at home as an orchestral musician, performing with many professional ensembles including the Spokane Symphony, Mississippi Symphony, Colorado Springs Philharmonic, and Fort Wayne Philharmonic.

She is also an avid supporter and performer of contemporary art. Most prominently, she is now the Marketing Manager and Harpist for Loop38 (www.loop38.org), a contemporary music ensemble bringing new music to the heart of Houston. Caitlin holds degrees from both the Oberlin Conservatory of Music and Rice University's Shepherd School of Music, studying under Yolanda Kondonassis and Paula Page, respectively. When she’s not playing the harp, she can probably be found enjoying the outdoors, listening to music with friends, or daydreaming about dogs.

“I know what it feels like to play music that I love, and through teaching I can take such joy in watching my students achieve that same feeling. The individuality in each student's ambitions, strengths, and perspectives makes teaching creative and educational for me.

I feel lucky to have worked with some incredible teachers, and it is an honor to pass along what I’ve learned from them. I’ve been especially thankful for the solid foundation of technique that they gave me. Now I prioritize it in my own teaching because it allows for efficient learning, greater facility, and it can even prevent injury!

Most importantly, I love playing music. Being able to share that and help students grow is one of the most rewarding aspects of being a musician.”


Square One is a 12-week course that is divided into two 6-week sessions.

  • Session 1 runs from October 13, 2021 to November 17, 2021.
  • Session 2 runs from February 16, 2022 to March 23, 2022.

All classes are Wednesdays from 7:30 PM to 9 PM Eastern time, 4:30 to 6 PM Pacific. Classes are held over Zoom.


October 13 | Lesson 1 - Get to Know Your Harp: Sitting comfortably; Simple Tuning Strategies; Theory Basics

October 20 | Lesson 2 - Technique: the What's and the Why's: All About Technique; Tempo and Your Metronome; Special Harp Notation

October 27 | Lesson 3 - Practice Habits and Techniques: More About Technique; Time Signatures; How to Practice 

November 3 | Lesson 4 - Performance Strategies: Glissandi and Muffles: Intervals; Performance vs. Practice

November 10 | Lesson 5 - Practical FAQ's & Group Project: Group Project Start and Theory Review

November 17 | Lesson 6 - Group Masterclass


February 16 | Lesson 7 - Chords and Keys: Playing Chords and Arpeggios; Major Key Signatures

February 23 | Lesson 8 - Coordinating all Four Fingers: Finger Facility and Speed; Reading Ahead; More Major Key Signatures

March 2 | Lesson 9 - Expression and Musicality: Choosing Dynamics: Expanding Your Dynamic Range; Minor Key Signatures

March 9 | Lesson 10 - Key Signatures on the Harp: Advanced Scales; Lever and Pedal Notation; All About Triads

March 16 | Lesson 11 - Get to Know Your Metronome: Using Your Metronome in Practice; Hand Shapes; Theory Review

March 23 | Lesson 12 - Group Masterclass

You will learn a short piece in each lesson as well as participate in a group harp ensemble and learn a solo piece that your coach will help you select.

Each session includes:

  • Six (6) live group coaching classes (90 minutes) including one masterclass-style lesson.
  • Downloadable course materials: Instructional PDFs, sheet music, etc.
  • Recordings of each class.
  • Access to the course website.
  • Private Member Forum for Square One students only.
  • Harp Ensemble playing experience.


Registration for Square One is $750.00. This includes tuition and materials for BOTH sessions. We believe this is the most cost-effective way to begin your harp study, and here’s why:

Individual harp lessons cost on average $75 per hour and up. Twelve 60-minute lessons would run to $900, and that’s just for the lessons, without the necessary sheet music books or anything else. In Square One, you have 12 90-minute lessons, all the course materials and sheet music, added support from your group in between lessons in your private forum, plus the confidence that comes from knowing you will be well-equipped to enjoy your continuing harp journey.


Every Square One student needs to start with these basic tools:

  • Harp with at least 22 strings (26 is preferable)
  • Electronic Tuner or Tuner App
  • Tuning Key
  • Adjustable Bench (preferable) or Flat Chair 
  • Music Stand

Need recommendations for any of these? We can help!
Email Anne Sullivan at 
[email protected]