Making music was fun for Shasta Head Start preschoolers who played harps while singing Row Row Row Your Boat and other familiar songs.

Sixteen preschoolers from the Mount Shasta center took a field trip to College of the Siskiyous in Weed Monday to hear Celtic Harpist Lisa Lynne and her puppet play songs on her harp.

Lynne brought with her 17 harps for the kids to play on their own. They were small harps, the perfect size for a preschooler.

Jenna Walker, 5, said she liked the songs.

Four year old Tristin said it was fun.

Neither of the kids had ever played the harp before.

For Row, Row, Row Your Boat, Lynne asked the kids to pluck the red harp string while they sang.

For another song, they strummed along while singing.

Eleven Shasta Head Start groups from Siskiyou County and Redding and the Karuk Head Start visited with Lisa Lynne on Monday and Tuesday for a hands-on experience with the harp

Lynne said the harp is an empowering, beginner friendly instrument that someone can make beautiful music on right away.

Carla Clark, Executive Director of Shasta Head Start, coordinated the opportunity so all the children would get the chance to listen to beautiful music and make their own.

“I don’t think children get enough exposure to live music,” said Clark.

She has purchased autoharps for the centers, and teachers are getting training on how to play. She said she wants to promote the use of live music as part of their curriculum.

Lynne, a recording and performing artist, learned the harp 30 years ago and has been playing professionally for most of that time.

As part of her Hands on Harps program, she brings harps to hospitals, elder care centers, and schools.

She said the harp has a “profound” effect when she plays in elder care centers. “I just love doing that.”

The noise and chaos calms down while she plays. “It’s subtle. It’s really effective,” she said.

Lynne said she plays in the common areas of the center giving residents a choice to stay and listen or not.

Lynne and Aryeh Frankfurter played a benefit concert at the Temple of Intention in Mount Shasta last Friday.