clarsach [klahr-sakh]

Clàrsach is the Scottish Gaelic word for
harp, its equivalent in Irish being cláirseach.

Learn to play the harp in a Toronto studio with Maureen McKay,
Classical pedal/lever, Celtic & Suzuki harp teacher.
Maureen has been a faculty member for The Royal Conservatory of Music for over 30 years.

Maureen's students include all levels: beginner amateurs (children from the age of 3 to seniors)
and students who go on to become professional harpists.
Harp rentals are also available to students.

Maureen McKay

Harp Teacher for over 30 years

Maureen has taught Classical pedal/lever, Celtic, and Suzuki harp full time as a faculty member of the Royal Conservatory of Music (RCM), Toronto since 1980.

Harp Examiner

Maureen has been a harp examiner for the RCM since the introduction of harp exams in 1993. She contributed to the writing of the first RCM Harp Syllabus (1993) and is senior coordinator for the current (2009) Harp Syllabus.

Professional Training

Maureen studied concert harp with Judy Loman (former Principal Harp, Toronto Symphony Orchestra; Professor of Harp: University of Toronto) and Marie Lorcini (former Principal Harp, Montreal Symphony Orchestra; Harp Instructor, McMaster University). Maureen studied Suzuki harp teacher training with Mary Kay Waddington and Celtic harp with many harpers and Celtic musicians, including Kim Robertson.

Course Development

Maureen developed the Celtic harp course at the Gaelic College of Celtic Arts and Crafts in Cape Breton where she taught for many years. She was the harp instructor at the More than Music Suzuki courses held at Queen's University in Kingston and has also been the harp instructor at Havergal College, Toronto. She currently teaches accredited harp courses at Haliburton School of The Arts, summer session, with Fleming College.

Professional Associations

Maureen is a member of several harp associations: American Harp Society, American Harp Society (Toronto Chapter), World Harp Congress, International Society of Folk Harpers and Craftsmen, Suzuki Association of the Americas, Historical Harp Society and The Historical Harp Society of Ireland.

Performance Harpist

Maureen was Principal Harp with the former North York Symphony Orchestra. She continues to perform Celtic, classical and popular music for individual events. For consultations or to book a performance, please contact Maureen for more details.

Customized Private Lessons

Learn to play classical, Celtic, or any other genre of music on the pedal or lever harp. Maureen teaches using traditional, Suzuki and customized methods of approach to help students achieve their potential as musicians.

Teaching Philosophy

Maureen provides a learning environment which is adapted to the individual needs, goals and personality of each student. In addition to their private lessons, Maureen offers students the option to join group lessons, perform in ensembles or recitals, and attend harp-related social gatherings.

Healthy Technique

Maureen's specialized experience allows her to employ an extensive application of physiology education in injury prevention, which promotes a healthy approach to technique and practice methods.