Playing the Lyre - A Beginner’s Resource

Playing the Lyre - A Beginner’s Resource

You’ve just purchased a beautifully made lyre for yourself, your children or your classroom. Now what?



It’s exciting to unbox a new, gorgeously made wooden lyre.  You may have daydreamed of strumming beautiful notes already. And the lyre can make some beautiful, ethereal music for sure.

But when you’re new to stringed instruments, or even musical instruments in general, you may feel panicked when you realize you might just need more than strumming your fingers across the wires. 

So what’s a beginner to do! Thank goodness for books and the internet (and those willing to teach us!)


We carry two books that are often referred to beginners. They have a small tutorial section (how to hold, how to tune) and a larger section of beginner friendly sheet music: Meeting the Lyre by Gerard Beilharz and A Guide to Playing the Children’s Pentatonic Lyre for Parents and Early Childhood Educators. 


Meeting the Lyre by Gerhard Beilharz

A Guide to Playing the Pentatonic Children's Lyre

But we also found a gem of a book on a website called Learning the Lyre Harp by Sharon Brownell. According to Sharon’s Instagram profile, she’s a harpist, lyrist, pianist and more. But she’s also an author of a fabulous little book for beginners called How to Play the Lyre Harp. Sharon has a great flip through video clip of her beginner’s lyre book on her website along with dozens and dozens of tutorial videos and articles - all geared towards beginners! 


Though there are different lyre brands, shapes and sizes, they all have similar care and maintenance requirements.

Two of our favorite lyre brands are Auris and Choroi. Auris is a company based in Järna, Sweden, south of Stockholm and was founded by musician Kjell Andersson.  Choroi was founded by the Dutch musician, music researcher and instrument-maker Norbert Visser. Both companies make beautiful percussion, wind and string instruments that are valued worldwide, including a large selection of pentatonic instruments. The pentatonic scale allows anyone to play freely, creating any improvised melody, that will still sound nice. This is encouraging to children and beginners who may not know how to read music yet. Their websites have some valuable information for lyre owners. Here are a few downloadable instruction sheets from their websites: 

Besides books, here is something that came into my inbox recently. It’s an online course on how to play and teach the kinderlyre (children’s lyre) for parents through an online homeschool company called Earth Schooling.

There is also a tutorial playlist on YouTube by Sharon, as well. She really has so many wonderful resources. Neither resource is specific to any particular lyre, but just lyre harps in general. 

Good luck with your lyre! Remember to have fun :). 

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