Exploring the Enchanting World of the Harp: A Visit from Franziska Huhn

By Pauline H., GISB Intern

For the past few weeks, the 3rd and 4th graders have been exploring the orchestra as part of their music lessons, learning many new things about the individual instruments and how they play together in an ensemble.

In small groups, they created three-dimensional models of a classical symphony orchestra and listened to symphonic works such as “Die Moldau” by B. Smetana. The highlight of this musical discovery tour took place on May 9 when we received a visit from one of the largest orchestral instruments: a harpist!

When the children streamed into the music room, their curiosity was piqued. They knew something special was about to happen. Excitement and whispers spread as harpist Franziska Huhn introduced herself. Born in Berlin and currently a lecturer in harp at Boston University, she began to introduce the harp to the children. With shining eyes, they listened to her as she talked about the history and sound of this unique instrument. The students learned that the harp has a history spanning over 4,000 years and that its strings are made of animal intestines.

Then she began to play. Among other pieces, the harpist performed an arrangement of the well-known “Die Moldau.” The gentle sounds of the harp filled the room, creating a wonderful atmosphere. After she had played a few pieces, Ms. Huhn invited the older fourth-grade students to try out the harp. The children plucked a few strings and had a lot of fun.

The students were very impressed by Ms. Huhn’s visit and gave her a loud farewell applause.