Christy-Lyn Dosé

Learning the Harp

What does your company do?

It all started when Christy-Lyn was 24 years old and wanted to learn the harp (yes, the instrument that angels play!) She didn’t think that she would get very far because she’d always heard you have to start as a child, but she decided to try anyway. She started posting videos of her playing on YouTube and people started asking her for lessons. At first she refused because she didn’t feel qualified to teach, but eventually she took one student and they said “You have a talent! You must stop saying no!” Fast-forward 10 years and she went from teaching individual students over Zoom to creating online courses which thousands of students have learned from. Along with her two sisters, Megan and Cara, she founded Learning the Harp, an online learning platform which now serves over 1,000 people all over the world who are learning to play the harp. Their team of 9 employees creates high quality courses, programs and YouTube videos each month, and hosts an online community similar to Facebook, exclusively for harp players. Christy-Lyn believes that harp music has the ability to touch and heal people in a unique way, and that anyone who dreams of learning to play the harp should be equipped to learn successfully, no matter their age or musical background. Christy-Lyn uses her Occupational Therapy background to create learning materials that give excellent results for people of varying abilities and learning styles. The impact on people’s lives is tangible: “I’ve seen more progress in 6 weeks than in the whole time since I purchased my Harp in 1994!” (Emily Klimek) “You brought me back to believing I could learn and make progress. I now love to practice and play again!” (Deborah Radke) “It was an incredible moment—going from not reading music, to playing a piece correctly. Your program truly works wonders, and I'm immensely grateful for it.“ (Emy Hoeg) “I'm beyond excited to share how this musical journey has completely changed my life. Your teaching method is an absolute game-changer!“ (Cherie Maffey) “As a fellow educator, I must say your method of breaking down complex concepts is simply brilliant. There's so much I could praise about your teaching.” (Diane MacIntyre) “I started this journey at 50, and here I am at 66 feeling like a whole new person who can actually read music! I used to doubt I'd ever get here, but thanks to your guidance, it's been an incredible journey.” (Lise Mayne) “This is what you've been put on this earth to do! You are making this world a better place, one harp student at a time. Thank you for your passion and your joy.” (Beverly Wilson)

What is your biggest success?

When we first launched our own online platform in 2021, we thought we were being ambitious by aiming to get 400 people to join a monthly membership. We got over 1200 members! It was a crazy, overwhelming, stressful time and one we'll never forget. That's the moment when we moved from three girls with a dream, to a fully-fledged business which we had to learn how to manage, streamline and create processes for. We wanted to create something sustainable that would allow us to spend time on what's truly important to us, our families. And the biggest success is that since 2022, each of the three owners have had babies, and have each been able to take 4 months of maternity leave and the business has functioned without us. We've come so far!

What has been your biggest hurdle?

In 2022 we experienced a dip in our membership which put our company under huge financial strain. We had employees to pay each month, many of whom were friends or family, and things weren't looking good for the future. After trying many different strategies and experiencing failure for 18 months, finally we hit on something that turned the situation around. We started offering higher priced 6-week programs which acted like a bootcamp, taking people through an intensive learning experience on a specific topic. When we launched our first 6-week program we aimed for 100 sales and we got 340! It has brought so much life into the business, and it's been a great opportunity to serve our students in a way we had never been able to before.