North Dakota Nice: “Note”-worthy kindness with one of the world’s oldest instruments

Meet Dakota: an amazing nine-year-old from Reynolds, ND who spends her free time making her community more beautiful by playing the harp.  Dakota kindly offered to tell us a little bit more about how she is using music to spread joy:


What made you want to volunteer to play music?

I enjoy giving up my time to perform for people.  It’s fun to see people’s reactions.  It’s just fun!

Who are some of the people you have performed for?

Residents at Valley Memorial Homes, church congregations, and my whole school.  Lots of parents!

I can’t imagine it’s easy moving a harp around; what’s a typical performance like for you?

My harp is about 40 lbs.  My mom puts down all the back seats and we carefully slide it in.  She carries the top part and I carry the bottom.  I get to ride in the front of her SUV when the harp is in the back!

What got you interested in the harp?

When volunteering at the Empire Arts Center I always enjoyed the orchestra events.  I would always watch for the harp.

What is your favorite thing about playing the harp? And what’s your favorite thing about volunteering your time?

My favorite thing about playing is mastering new songs and volunteering to play them for others.  My favorite thing about volunteering to play is sharing an instrument that a lot of people have never seen or heard in person.

What’s up next for you?

I look forward to when I get to upgrade to a new pedal harp, I have a beautiful lever harp right now.  I call it Coco.  I would like to go to college and play harp.  I have three performances coming up this spring.

Thank you, Dakota, for making North Dakota such a nice place to live!

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