Stonehouse WI with a visit from Sue Edwards and her autoharp

IT’S not always a bad thing to get back into some sort of routine, especially after all that indulgence over Christmas and New Year, so our January meeting was something to look forward to and a great way to defy the bleak weather and get back out there and do something!

We had a visit from Sue Edwards who came to tell us all about the unusual musical instrument she plays - the autoharp.

She revealed that she was mesmerised by the sound when she heard it being played by a busker, in Stroud, over 20 years ago and has never looked back.

We were assured that the autoharp is a very simple instrument to learn and very user friendly too; Sue suffers with arthritis in her hands but still manages to play with ease.

Sheet music is available at all levels of expertise, but a lot of the time autoharp performers and tutors play by ear and Sue is no exception; she finds it a great comfort just to pick it up and play freehand.

Sue is very keen to spread the word of what benefits playing the autoharp can bring; not only in a musical sense, but also for the social side that develops alongside; she has travelled the world with her autoharp and, we all know, there is no language barriers in music.

Even in our own county of Gloucestershire a very high profile festival takes place every year at Stow-on-the-Wold.

To find out more about taking up the autoharp yourself, Sue can be contacted via the website so why not take a look and get involved.

Stonehouse WI meets every third Wednesday at 7.30pm in The Community Centre, Laburnum Walk, Stonehouse, GL10 2NS.

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