Pulling strings into a top school: More parents are getting their children to play the harp as a way into prestigious institutions

Lana Lam:

More Hong Kong youngsters are following in the footsteps of Botticelli angels by learning the harp, with parents encouraging this special option as a way to secure a spot in a prestigious school.
Demand for harp lessons had steadily increased in the last three years and its appeal was multi-faceted, said professional harpist Joan Lee Wai-ying, who opened a home-based harp school in Sha Tin in 2008.
“Many parents want to widen the musical knowledge of their children but it’s also because of the school admission test which requires a basic instrument like the piano but also a very special instrument like the harp,” Lee said, with the number of students at her school increasing fivefold since opening.