Harpist Hannah Flowers of Forest Lake feels that the harp chose her at birth. Born prematurely, Hannah “lived” in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit for a very long time, where harp music calmed her and helped regulate her vitals. Hannah also tells us that “music came as naturally as breathing” for her and she played several instruments while growing up (piano, violin, harp), and now the harp is her primary instrument.
Hannah is a previous IMDA Educational Grant recipient (2015), where she used her grant to refine her playing of the lever harp. Hannah’s newest grant will enable her to study fiddle, expanding her skills as a musician with the goal of becoming accomplished enough to play fiddle in sessions and increase her understanding of tune playing and ornamentation as a traditional musician. Hannah explains that “the harp as both a tune-playing and accompaniment instrument often falls into its own special category and the way you understand tunes as a harp player is very different than playing a melody instrument alone.” Hannah tells us that “learning fiddle has given me a whole new perspective on the shape and form of traditional tunes.”
An active professional musician performing on harp and voice, Hannah also teaches both at the Center for Irish Music. Having studied both lever harp and wire-strung harp as well as the Irish language both here in Minnesota and in Ireland, as Hannah hopes to pursue a Master’s in Traditional Irish Music in Ireland. Hannah’s various experiences studying traditional music and language have led her to pursue Irish music as a career path. She feels strongly “that learning another instrument, the fiddle, to a high level will help me gain a deeper knowledge of dance tunes and melody playing and improve my musicianship. It will also have a positive side effect of improving my harp playing and singing to help me become the kind of well-rounded and accomplished traditional musician I strive to be.”
The Irish Music and Dance Association is delighted to help this dedicated musician continue to expand her skills and enjoyment of music and continue to contribute to our community.