Sylvia Woods Harp Center
October 2014

In this issue:top
Sylvia Woods Harp Center logo
newA Personal Note from Sylvia Woods

It is hard to believe that it has now been a full year since I moved here to Hawaii.  I love life here in the islands, and I'm so glad I made the big move.

I look forward to many more years of serving all of my world-wide customers from here in the middle of the Pacific Ocean.

Aloha to you all,
PDFHarp Center Catalog:
A History, and a New Announcement

I've been printing and mailing Sylvia Woods Harp Center Catalogs since the early 1980s.  The final issue of the catalog that I printed and mailed was the 2012-2013 issue.  So, I'm happy to announce that I have created a new PDF catalog that you can download from my website and print on your computer. This 18-page PDF includes most of the harps, books, accessories and gifts that you'll find on the site.  It is handy for people who want to read about our products when they're away from the computer.  It will also be useful for teachers who want to share information with their students.  You can download and print this new PDF catalog at

The earliest catalog that I have in my archives was from 1983.  At that point I had only written 3 books:  Teach Yourself to Play the Folk Harp, Songs of the Harp, and The Harp of Brandiswhere
. That same year I published Volume 1 Number 1 of The Sylvia Woods Harp Center News, which was printed on newsprint.  The paragraphs in blue below are excerpts from a few of the articles that were included in that first 1983 newsletter.  The words in brown are my comments today.

Any of you who subscribe to the Disney Channel on cable TV may be aware of a new harper in our midst.  Yes, on a recent episode of "Welcome to Pooh Corner," Piglet played a small harp!  He tried to teach Pooh, Owl, and Eeyore how to play, but Piglet was definitely the most talented of the bunch. Piglet Plays the Harp Keep up the good work, Piglet, and let us know when you'll be giving your first recital!

About 10 years ago, one of my favorite employees, Rachel Jones, gave me this plush Piglet from China.  It is now one of my prize possessions.  She said that she stayed up all night to be sure she won it for me in an e-Bay auction. I've never seen another one like it! Thanks again, Rachel.

Many students at the Sylvia Woods Harp Center now have a new additional instructor: an Apple II computer.  Yes, the computer age has finally come to the aid of the music student (and teacher). The program is called "Apple Music Theory."  It is  extremely easy to use, and it helps teach many important skills: music reading, notes, rhythm, and ear training.  In many of the drills the computer even plays music.  What will they think of next?

We've come a long way since 1983! 
PDFsA Friendly Reminder  
'Twas 2 months before Christmas, and all through the land
The harpists were scrambling to meet the demand
Of music for Christmas. They needed to know
New noels and carols before there was snow.
They went to the website harpcenter dot com 
For music to showcase the Christmastime calm.
They practiced and practiced and practiced with glee
Until they were ready to play 'neath the tree.
So if you need music, you know where to look
For Christmas sheet music, and maybe a book.

Christmas music books and PDFs
wantWhat Do You Want?   Santa's Lap
Speaking of Christmas, now is the time to sit on Santa's lap and tell him what you want for Christmas.  No, let me re-word that.  Now is the time to sit on Sylvia's virtual lap and tell her what music you want her to arrange!  Are brides requesting music that you can't find for harp?  Are there gaps in your repertoire you'd like to fill?  Who is your favorite singer/band/movie/composer whose music you'd like to play?  What pieces are your students requesting? 

Let me know by emailing your suggestions to  Please be as specific as possible.   For example, don't just say "music by Maroon 5" . . . give me a list of songs by Maroon 5  that you'd particularly like to play.

As you know from experience, even if you ask Santa for something, that doesn't mean that you'll actually get it.  And, like Santa, I get lots of requests, and can only fulfill some of them.  But one thing is certain: if you don't ask . . . you probably won't get it. The more requests I get for a particular piece, the higher it gets placed on my large to-do list.

Thanks for your help.
PDFsMore New PDFs  

Once again, I've been hard at work adding more harp music PDF downloads to

Here are some of the new PDFs you'll find in the New Harp Books and PDFs category:

Rhett Barnwell - Eternal Father, Strong to Save (Navy Hymn)
Linda DeBrita
- Light of Darkness, Roberta's Garden harp & flute, Whispers harp & flute
Julianne Johnson - Folk Songs for Small Harps
Joanne Meis - Harp's Delight harp duo, Mary's Wedding ensemble
Laura Olson - Black Hounds of Cwn Annwn ensemble
Joyce RiceContemporary Collection #1, #2, and #3, Petty Larcenies #2, Spirituals Medley duo,
Meg Robinson - Falling Snow, Plums
Louise Trotter - Blue Danube harp duet, Londonderry Air (Danny Boy) harp duet, Moonscape pedal harp solo, Taste of Texas

Keep checking New Harp Books and PDFs periodically to see what new music has been added.
  SchoolKathryn Cater Kathryn Cater 2 harps


In this 5th installment highlighting the composers and arrangers whose music is available through, we're featuring Kathryn Cater.  Here's what Kathryn has to say about herself and her music.    


Honestly, I wanted to be a ballet dancer, but Mom didn't know that, so I got piano lessons. In kindergarten my piano teacher gave such impassioned speeches that I discovered I could slip under Kathryn Cater at pianothe bench, run to the kitchen for a snack and return  before she even knew I was missing! My mother, however, was watching, and thus realized I was not a child prodigy.  


In second grade I started with a new teacher. I struggled with boring exercises, but would play the pretty pieces in my Thompson book for hours. I wished all my lesson pieces could be fun to play, so I started composing my own music. Unfortunately my teacher ordered me to stop "wasting my time" and I obeyed.


Fast forward through killing my hands playing Beethoven sonatas for competitions, accompanying choirs and the annual musicals: those condensed orchestra scores with pounding octaves shooting pain up my arms. My dream of being a professional musician was slipping through my weak fifth fingers. That was when I discovered the beauty of the harp, and joy that it fit my small hands without pain.

  Kathryn Cater in forest

I was blessed to be hired as a restaurant harpist for 20 hours a week right out of college, and quickly discovered customers preferred the songs they knew. Ten years playing pop tunes will teach anyone to improvise!  


Then my husband and I moved to my family farm to give our daughters the joy of exploring the woods and fields, a freedom I had cherished as a child.

At this time I was introduced to a brilliant flutist, Sandy Norman, and with her encouragement was soon writing arrangements for our duo, "RoseWynde". Because of Sandy's enthusiasm, I started to believe that writing music was not "wasting my time". Since then we have produced five CDs and are still writing, arranging, and performing in concerts.


Kathryn Cater - barn It was also after I returned to the farm that my lovely harp teacher, Marion Fouse, encouraged me to start teaching harp lessons and introduced me to some eager students. I soon realized that there was a wealth of rewarding lesson material for young pianists, but there were fewer works for young harpists. My harp students complained if they had to play the same pieces they had heard other students performing, so I just started writing for them.  


My goal was to give students short, easily learned pieces with an emphasis on playful melodies. I tried to incorporate exercise patterns, and employed repetition to help in memorization. Though designed for lesson material, I am so pleased to hear that these little pieces are being used for recitals, gig music and therapy music by harpists of all ages. I've heard they are especially useful when performing for children. This makes me so happy.


Thanks to the encouragement of my publisher and very kind words from teachers and students, I continue to enjoy writing music for students of all ages.


-- Kathryn Cater    


We've gotten lots of rave reviews for Kathryn's books over the years.  Here's just a sampling of what some of our customers have written.


Singing Wings -  "This little book not only teaches you new skills, but gives you fun music to play as well.  I am a "mature" new harper who wanted to learn new skills on the harp as well something to play for others.  Most exercise books don't have music you would like to play for people, but all of the little pieces in this book make enjoyable music to play for others, as well as yourself." - Suzette in Los Angeles, CA  

Singing Wings -  "This is a great book for teaching various techniques to beginning harpists.  The tunes give the player opportunities to exercise a variety of skills, but are "mature-sounding" enough that my daughter, an intermediate beginner, could play them for church, as background music at school for parent events, etc." - Judy in Raleigh, NC  


My Gallery -  "I am amazed at the diversity and versatility of Kathryn's style in this book.  I admire her ability to create such simple yet sophisticated compositions that are so completely different from each other.  These are perfect teaching pieces for harpers who wish to develop technique and dynamics in many different ways." Karen in Manila

Harping Cats and Dogs - "This is a great book for teaching.  Each song is built around a pattern or technique that repeats several times within the song and therefore is not that hard to learn.  Dynamics and tempo variations are added musical elements and the songs sound like they were written for the harp!  I have used Cater's "Singing Wings" and "Forever in Love With Horses" as well with many students.  What great additions to our teaching and recital repertoire." - Paul Baker in Los Angeles, CA 


To get the 15% discount on Kathryn's PDFs (listed below), enter the code word cater in the Promo Code box on your shopping cart page and click "Enter Code" by November 2, 2014. For more information, see the "Save 15%" section at the bottom of this newsletter.  


Here are eight original compositions in Kathryn's inspirational style for the young student. These pieces inspire a wide variety of playing styles and develop musical interpretation skills. Little Moth teaches harmonics. It is very easy yet it sounds quick. Moon Spinner has a moving left hand with parallel 6ths in the right hand. Grasshopper's Jig teaches accents, is excellent for quick eye-hand coordination and scales, yet is not difficult. Monarch Wings sounds grand and glorious with full double triads. Bumble's Boogie uses enharmonics for a wonderful buzzing effect, and teaches swing rhythm. Golden Swallowtail gives the left hand a great opportunity to facilitate grabbing treble clef notes, therefore assisting with the melody. Busy Bees is fast, easy and just great fun. Green Dragonfly incorporates PDLT, glissandos, accents, and left hand damping, and makes a wonderful recital piece. The pieces are in the key of C or sharp keys, with no fingerings. 15 pages.     


  Regular Price: $12.00 Newsletter Sale: $10.20
These eight songs for lever or pedal harp feature a wide variety of moods and styles. All of the pieces are named after family pets. Danny Solves the Mystery is a cute minor melody in 6/8 using both hands for the quick melody. Lullaby For Smokey is slow and sweet with a repetitive left hand accompaniment. Walkin' Wally is like early 60's rock music: the left hand gets a cool walking bass, and the right hand has a fun syncopated melody. Just keep it slow. Poor Wally has very short legs (he's a Basset). Grumpy Dreams of Flying has mysterious glissandos and a whole note melody that is almost chant-like. Grumpy is a very lazy, fat cat. Chasing Buddy is perfect for the student who wants to play everything fast and loud, but it's not really hard! Very showy. Baron's Blues, with clever lever settings, is a slow jazz piece. This is a great piece for teaching counting and syncopation. Forest Friends and Buckwheat's Baby are great for teaching running eighth notes, and the latter teaches left hand I, IV and V chords as well. Students will love all of these pieces! The pieces are in the key of C or sharp keys, with no fingerings. 16 pages.
 Regular Price: $12.00
Newsletter Sale: $10.20
 Forever in Love with Horses by Kathryn Cater

These eight original compositions were created especially for the young harp student with the goal of teaching good technique and at the same time holding their interest! The tunes are very creative and fun, and are sure to inspire! The Andalusian has glissandos, PDLT and lots of triads in various forms. The Arabian is easy with a few triplets. Riding Sunflower is a cheerful waltz teaching scales, inversions and arpeggios. The Horse In My Dreams is a gentle piece in 3/4 time, teaching expressive right hand and left hand rolled chords. Irish Pony is a spirited 4/4 piece with lots of drones played in different octaves as eighths and quarters. Old Paint has that very western trail riding theme kids will love. The Silver Unicorn is a stately 6/8 piece which teaches inversions and the pattern of a dotted eighth followed by 16th It will make a great recital piece. Prancing Pony Rag is a lighthearted jovial piece not meant to be played too quickly, but retaining the lively feel. The pieces are in the key of C or sharp keys, with no fingerings. 17 pages.


Regular Price: $12.00 Newsletter Sale: $10.20
 Soaring Strings by Kathryn Cater

Soaring Strings is the 4th in Kathryn Cater's delightful series of books featuring original pieces about animals. This time, the pieces are about birds, and feature glisses, arpeggios, cross-unders, and crossing hands. As with all of Kathryn's books, the variety of styles and techniques included makes them perfect for beginning harp players -- and they are FUN! Although written for kids, adults LOVE these books, too! No fingerings are included. 20 pages..


Regular Price: $12.00 Newsletter Sale: $10.20
My Gallery by Kathryn Cater

The pieces in Kathryn's book, My Gallery, were inspired by paintings. Lever or pedal changes between the pieces have been kept to a minimum, so that the whole book can be played through, much as you would walk from painting to painting in a gallery. There are no lever changes within any of these pieces. All but 1 of the pieces have 2 versions: one for harps tuned to C, and one for harps tuned to 3 flats. For advanced beginners. 36 pages.  
Regular Price: $15.00 Newsletter Sale: $12.75


This is a collection of lovely baroque and classical period pieces transcribed and arranged for lever or pedal harp by Kathryn Cater. It is appropriate for wedding preludes and processionals, as well as providing gentle background music for any occasion. Accidentals have been kept to a minimum. Keys from 2 flats through 2 sharps. 22 pages. Includes music by Corelli, Clementi, Vivaldi, Arne, Sor, Tartinia, von Call, Boismortier, Finger, and Klingenberg. 
 Regular Price: $12.00
Newsletter Sale: $10.20   


This is a lovely medley of four traditional Swedish and Norwegian tunes freely intrepreted for harp. These tunes were handed down in Ms. Cater's family from musical relatives who played with true gusto and Scandinavian flair.

Although Kathryn arranged this music "for pedal harp only," we discovered that the only lever or pedal changes are between the pieces in the medley, not in the tunes themselves. Because of this, lever harp players can still play each piece individually, just not put together into a medley. They sound great! There are a few notes that are lower than the range of most lever harps, but they can easily be left out or moved up an octave without altering the arrangements.

The pieces are in the following keys: C, 2 flats with an F#, G, and D. The music is for intermediate players and includes chord symbols but no fingerings. 8 pages of music.


 Regular Price: $7.00 Newsletter Sale: $5.95       


These eight enchanting duets are for two harps (lever or pedal), or harp and melody instrument. Their fantasy theme includes mythical characters from different cultures around the globe. The music is easy, but sounds lovely with delightful melodies and arrangements.
Harp 1 is very easy, and contains the melody. It can be played on harp, flute, or violin. Harp 2 part plays a lovely, easy accompaniment. The Harp 2 parts are written in a score format, with both Harp 1 and Harp 2 written together. These pieces are fun and simple, involving no lever changes or tricky rhythms, and would be great for beginning and lower intermediate harpists, or for a teacher and student to play together. They are easily adaptable for small harp. Some pieces feature glisses, or interesting pre-set accidentals for a fun twist! The Harp 1 part includes 13 pages of music. The Harp 2 score part includes 16 pages.
 Regular Price: $16.00 Newsletter Sale: $13.60 


Great is Thy Faithfulness is a beautiful hymn which first appeared in 1956 Baptist Hymnal. William M. Runyan wrote both the lyrics and the music. Of the writing process he said,

This particular poem held such an appeal that I prayed most earnestly that my tune might carry its message in a worthy way, and the subsequent history of its use indicates that God answered my prayer.

Kathryn Cater has brought the tempo down, and put the meter in 9. It is very moving and impressive, in the style of Debussy. This trio arrangement is simply outstanding.

This PDF contains both a pedal and a lever arrangement at an upper intermediate level, with accidentals. The trio instrumentation is: harp, flute and violin. There is also a clarinet part included which can substitute for the violin part. The PDF is 24 pages, with 22 pages of music.


 Regular Price: $13.00 Newsletter Sale: $11.05       



Our customers LOVE Kathryn Cater's original music! This new collection of 9 pieces has a wide variety of styles for early intermediate level and above.  


The pieces are in keys of 1 or 2 flats, with a few C# and F# accidentals. There are only a few fingerings.  


Includes Barefoot Wanderer, Wildflowers, Salamander, Fox Trail, The Fawns, Tango of the Owls, Lady Buggedy, and Secret Agent Super Bunny.  

18 pages of music.   



 Regular Price: $15.00 Newsletter Sale: $12.75       


Kathryn Cater has made two stunning arrangements of the beautiful French Christmas carol Noel Nouvelet (Sing We Noel) that are interesting and fun to play. One arrangement is for pedal harp, and the other is for lever harp. Be sure to order the correct one for your harp.

LEVER HARP VERSION: The lever harp version is for lever harps tuned to 3 flats. There are fewer accidentals than the pedal version, and simple right hand fills allow time for the lever changes. It is for upper intermediate to advanced harp players. 5 pages of lush, gorgeous music.


 Regular Price: $6.00 Newsletter Sale: $5.10 


Kathryn Cater has made two stunning arrangements of the beautiful French Christmas carol Noel Nouvelet (Sing We Noel) that are interesting and fun to play. One arrangement is for pedal harp, and the other is for lever harp. Be sure to order the correct one for your harp.

PEDAL HARP VERSION: The upper intermediate pedal harp solo uses enharmonics and harmonies that will keep you and your audience mesmerized until the very last note. In the key of 7 flats with pedal changes listed. 5 pages of lush, gorgeous music.


 Regular Price: $6.00 Newsletter Sale: $5.10 
To get the 15% discount on Kathryn's PDFs (listed above), enter the code word cater in the Promo Code box on your shopping cart page and click "Enter Code" by November 2, 2014. For more information, see the "Save 15%" section at the bottom of this newsletter.   
codeOur newsletter promo codes are only redeemable on-line, and can only be used for the products featured in the sale section of this newsletter. They are not valid for phone, fax, e-mail, or in-store orders. This month's code word is cater and it is good for 15% off PDFs by Kathryn Cater.


Here's how to get your newsletter discount at 

#1. Put the items you want to purchase in your cart. 
#2. On the page where you view the items in your cart, type this month's code word
cater in the "Promo Code" box, and click on "Enter Code."
The actual price of the featured sale products on this page will then automatically change to reflect the discount. You'll also see a note below the Promo Code box saying the name of the promo code you entered, and the percentage amount of the discount.  


REMEMBER:  you must enter the this month's code word cater in the Promo Code box and click "Enter Code" on your shopping cart page by November 2nd to get the discount!
If you forget, or if you have trouble adding it to your order,
email us immediately.  
Offer Expires: November 2, 2014
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