Harp & Soul: Student teaches his gift

June 18, 2009 3:54:54 PM PDT
It is a story that has brought together an ingenious young man and a lively octogenarian and the result is the magic of music. 18 year-old Jordan Thomas has been giving 83-year-old Audrey Johnson Thorton harp lessons for more than a year.

She heard him play in church and simply asked him to teach her.

"He said, 'oh yes, I'd love to.' So I'm just thrilled," Audrey said .

Jordan's passion for the harp began at age four.

"My grandmother used to take me to the Philadelphia Orchestra concerts when I was a little boy and I would always be interested in the harp, no other instrument," Jordan said.

Jordan's grandmother says his love for classical music actually began at four months when he heard a man on TV singing Avie Maria.

"He turned his little head back towards the television and he never moved again until the man finished singing," Jordan's grandmother said.

Jordan first took piano at Settlement Music School and then at age 9, he asked his grandmother for 'his harp.'

He is now teaching Audrey on her harp.

"I couldn't have asked for a better student. She's just so eager to learn and ready to learn," Jordan said about Audrey. "When you teach, you're sort of re-teaching yourself or reviewing what your own teacher is telling you to do."

But his dream is to share his music with many more.

"My big goal is to become the first African American harpist n the Philadelphia Orchestra," Jordan said.

Jordan will be studying at the prestigious Peabody Institute this fall.

Ms. Thorton says she doesn't know what she'll do without hi, but the young harp virtuoso says not to worry; he has already begun the search for just the right teacher to replace him.

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