Hope Through Harp – Giving Tuesday 2020

Click below to donate!

Giving Tuesday Goal: $5,000

Sample of Lyra’s Costs:

  • $20: one harp book for a student
  • $50: one private lesson for a student
  • $170: one lever harp regulation
  • $450: three students to play in All-City Orchestra
  • $500: one pedal harp regulation; a full set of strings
  • $2,000: full scholarship for one student per year
  • $3,200: one new lever harp
  • $11,000 – $35,000: one new concert grand pedal harp

Lyra during COVID 

Thanks to the Lyra Family, we continue to work with our students by delivering harps to students’ homes and teaching weekly lessons virtually. Lyra teaching artists have given over 300 virtual lessons and classes since the start of our lockdown! This has kept not only our students, but also our teaching artists grounded and has given them something to look forward to. We have continued to pay all our staff in full. For almost all of our teaching artists, Lyra’s pay has been their only income, so we are grateful to all of you that have contributed to us!


The “I AM A HARPIST”  shows international harpists – working in different fields, genres of music, and walks of life – to communicate the sense of community, identity and confidence that the harp gives to anyone that plucks a string. The harp is the best vehicle to give a Philadelphia student, who perhaps has not found their voice yet, a feeling of pride, a community of friends and mentors, and an instrument to speak. Lyra has seen countless students come out of the shells, communicate through their music, and become a confident young person. This confidence then translates to their endeavors in school and beyond.

From Elizabeth Hainen, Founder & Artistic Director:

“It might seem like everything is canceled: our schools, religious services, graduations, celebrations and concerts. But what isn’t canceled is our ability to share our gift of music. This is why now, more than ever, we must take a stand to support the arts. ‘I AM A HARPIST’ is a message that the gift of the harp impacts the identity of each person no matter where their path takes them in life.”

Hear from Lyra student, María, 11th Grade:

“By putting a harp in my hands and incredible teachers by my side, the Lyra Society has made an irreversible impact on who I am and the person that I will become. Being able to play for Ms. Maryanne and simply connect, albeit virtually, is honestly what I look forward to every week. To the Lyra Society, thank you for bringing happiness to my home during this time. I am beyond grateful; words cannot do justice to the gift you have given my family and me – since the beginning, and especially during this time. I would like to extend this gratitude from the bottom of my heart to the friends and supporters of the Lyra Society as well; you, too, have given me this experience that I will never forget. Because of all of you, whenever I will think back on my time spent during the COVID-19 pandemic, I will first and foremost remember how blessed I was to be able to continue my study of the harp and continue having that source of peace, beauty, and inspiration in my life. I hope that you all have found your source of brightness, too, and that you and those you love are and will remain well.”

Hear from Director of Education & Teaching Artist:

“It is not an understatement to say that being a Teaching Artist for The Lyra Society has been the single most positive force in my life during the pandemic. (Okay, maybe it’s a tie; my cats have been pretty important too!) Apart from the obvious and essential benefits of being able to continue to work from home and receive a paycheck, of which I am exceptionally grateful, being able to connect with my Glissando students has absolutely and exponentially improved my life and perspective as we all learn to live in isolation. As the spread of COVID-19 necessitated the sudden closing of schools, helping to coordinate the moving of instruments from school buildings to students’ homes and setting up an online teaching studio provided me with a sense of purpose that, as an artist with performances rapidly vanishing from my calendar, otherwise would have disintegrated. Actually being able to interact with my students in real time, to see their smiling faces and talk to each of them as we all adjusted to a new way of life was such a ray of sunshine in those first uncertain weeks. By far the most inspiring aspect of serving as a teacher during this “stay at home” era, however, is witnessing the incredible progress my students have been able to make by virtue of having instruments at home to practice on. Their enthusiasm has been so contagious, and seeing their happiness and pride in their rapidly accumulating accomplishments has been incredibly rewarding to me and in turn pushed me to work harder as their teacher. It’s a toss-up at this point who is getting more out of our weekly lessons, students or teacher, but it is obvious to me that the rewards to all of us are great and that our Lyra Society community will emerge from this catastrophe stronger, humbled, grateful, and more ready than ever to share the music that connects us all.”