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Workshops: A-C

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Arranging Music for Therapy: Laurie Riley
Type: Hands-on Level: Int When: Fri. 3:30-5pm Where: Salon 2
Playing for patients in medical settings requires that we use music in different ways than we do in a performance. Learn how to arrange pieces that create a restful environment, using both pulse-tempo and tempo-free styles. No need to know how to read music, but written music can be used by those who need it.
Arranging Shortcuts: Kim Robertson
Type: Hands-on Level: Any When: Fri. 9:30-11am Where: 5
So many tunes, so little time! Learn some practical and quick ways to create interesting arrangements in a hurry for various performance demands. Various left hand patterns, chord vamps and interlude ideas will be covered that are easy to play but will give instant variety to any arrangement. Students are invited to bring in one of their own arrangements for ideas, time-permitting.
Ask Me Anything: Kim Robertson
Type: Lecture Level: Adv. When: Fri. 3:30-5pm Where: 5
Here's a chance for advanced-level players to ask Kim for all kinds of professional and musical advice! This is a no holds-barred chat session where the professional and semi-professionals can get answers and ideas on professional musician topics. We'll have this in a comfy setting so bring a cup of coffee and ask away as well as share ideas on topics ranging from performance tips to working with other musicians and anything else that you and other folks bring up.
Basically Beginning I: Debbie Brewin-Wilson
Type: Hands-on Level: Nov.-Beg When: Fri. 9:30-11am Where: 1
If you've just started to play the harp, come to this special 3-day beginner class and get going with the fundamentals, particularly if you don't have a teacher yet. Get confortable with the instrument and yourself! Music-reading ability is not necessary to get started.
Basically Beginning II: Debbie Brewin-Wilson
Type: Hands-on Level: Nov.-Beg When: Sat. 9:30-11am Where: 1
Day 2 of this special 3-day beginner class and get going with the fundamentals, particularly if you don't have a teacher yet. Get confortable with the instrument and yourself! Debbie has done the beginner class at the Harpers Escape for over 2 decades and she is very calming and encouraging influence on new players. Music-reading ability not necessary.
Basically Beginning III: Debbie Brewin-Wilson
Type: Hands-on Level: Nov.-Beg When: Sun. 9-10:30am Where: 1
Day 3 of this special 3-day beginner class and get going with the fundamentals. Get confortable with the instrument and yourself! Music-reading ability is not necessary to get started.
Bass lines: going up, going down?: Sunita Staneslow
Type: Hands-on Level: Beg-Int When: Fri. 9:30-11am Where: Salon 2
Simplify your left hand and create the illusion of complex harmonies. Less is more especially on the harp. Sunita will show you how to harmonize songs using a simple descending and ascending bass lines. This can become a foolproof way to improvise over your left hand that will sound beautiful even if you are just starting to learn the harp. Understanding a simple bass line will pave your way to improvising between songs and is especially useful in therapeutic environments.
Bedside Harp Special Moments: Edie Elkan
Type: Demo Level: Any When: Fri. 3:30-5pm Where: 7
The harp is the only instrument mentioned in the Bible in the context of healing. Edie will demonstrate how those in Bedside Harp play to soothe, comfort and offer hope to patients, visitors and staff in healthcare settings. Hear what and how they play and how people respond in this heartfelt session.
Beginner's Renaissance: Carol Thompson
Type: Hands-on Level: Beg. When: Fri. 1:30-3pm Where: 6
If you've ever been enchanted by the sounds of Renaissance Music, then this is the workshop for you. This music's most outstanding characteristic is the ornamented melody line. How do we do that? We will practice ornament "licks" certain to give you that renaissance sound. Then we will add them to several easy to ornament tunes, together with left hand accompaniment, for a great addition to your repertoire. No experience necessary. Harps of any kind welcome.
Blissful Tone & Timing: Sunita Staneslow
Type: Hands-on Level: Int. When: Fri. 3:30-5pm Where: Salon 4
Add subtlety and passion to your playing by expanding and controlling your tone and letting the music breathe. Work on articulation, angle of the fingertip, where and how you pluck the strings in this workshop with a master of tone and timing. Discover how you can add real depth to your playing without compromising simplicity. The difference between just nice and truly therapeutic music lies in the the control of your tone and phrasing. Timing really is everything.
Body & Harp: Pain Free Hands & Arms: Laurie Riley
Type: Hands-on Level: Any When: Fri. 9:30-11am Where: 2
If you've had pains in your wrists, arms or hands as a result of your playing, take this workshop and learn what causes them. We will explore technique modification, repetitive stress avoidance, and how to interface with your harp in ways that allow you to play both well AND pain-free for a lifetime! Bring your harp.
Body & Harp: Pain Free Shoulders, Back and Neck: Laurie Riley
Type: Hands-on Level: Any When: Sat. 9:30-11am Where: 10
If you've had pains in your shoulders, back or neck as a result of your playing, take this workshop and learn what causes them. We will explore technique modification, repetitive stress avoidance, and how to interface with your harp in ways that allow you to play both well AND pain-free for a lifetime! Bring your harp.
Body, Mind and Instrument: Shyamali Hauth
Type: Demo Level: Any When: Sat. 3:30-5pm Where: 9
This targeted workshop will help you develop techniques to reduce tension in your body, increase muscle strength and flexibility and calm the mind so playing becomes truly joyful! Take the tension out of your upper back and shoulders using techniques from yoga; decrease finger and wrist problems using hand gestures (mudra); remove stress and tension from your neck through relaxation and breath work (pranayama); and focus your mind using simple relaxation and meditation techniques. We will be sitting in chairs and standing, though if you would like to bring a mat to lie down for relaxation you are welcome to do so. If you have specific concerns about harp (or other instrument) positioning, please bring your instrument.
Build a Harp 1: Dennis Waring
Type: Hands-on Level: Any When: Sat. 9:30-11am Where: Lobby
A 2-part workshop by Professor Dennis Waring of Waring Harps, who will guide you through the construction of their 19-string, corrugated cardboard and wood harp, built from their unique kit. Kits can be purchased at the workshop for the discounted price of $110. All tools and materials are provided. The 2nd session is in the afternoon.
Build a Harp 2: Dennis Waring
Type: Hands-on Level: Any When: Sat. 3:30-5pm Where: Lobby
2nd half of this workshop. In the first part you built the harp and in the 2nd part you have to add the strings! Professor Dennis Waring of Waring Harps will guide you through stringing your corrugated cardboard and wood harp, built from their unique kit. Strings are included in the kit. At the end of this session you'll have a completed harp!
Building Muscle Memory: Carol Thompson
Type: Hands-on Level: Beg. When: Fri. 3:30-5pm Where: 6
When you’re new to the harp and haven’t been playing all that long, it seems to be an uphill climb getting your fingers placed to play a phrase. You need to develop muscle memory! In this workshop, you’ll discover the joys (yes, the joys) of playing scales and arpeggios and learn how to place on key musical intervals. The goal of this workshop is to give you practice warm-up tools that will increase finger dexterity, build confidence in your playing and create fluidity in your phrasing.
Celtic Service: Debbie Brewin-Wilson
When: Sun. 8am Where: 11
Debbie is our official pastor in residence! Join her for her Sunday morning worship service and make "a joyful noise".
Carolan's Take on Baroque: Cynthia Cathcart
Type: Hands-on Level: Beg.-Int. When: Thurs. 3-4:30pm Where: 1
The last of Ireland's great bards was Turlough O'Carolan, whose popularity stemmed from his uncanny ability to straddle the old-style of Irish harping with the contemporary baroque music influences. Come to this workshop to hear about the period as well as learn a couple of his memorable and charming pieces. Sight-reading not required but the music will be provided.
Comfort Chords: Sharon Thormahlen
Type: Hands-on Level: Beg. When: Fri. 3:30-5pm Where: 4
Learn how to play and recognize chord inversions, and how to read them off the music score. Using major chords, you will experience shaping your hand and placing your fingers on the strings in the root position, first inversion and second inversion for each chord. Perfect workshop for Beginners taking our Basically Beginning workshop who have the basic root chord placement with 3-2-1 down. By playing some inversion etudes, you will memorize these inversions by seeing them played with your fingers. After this workshop, the harp will make more sense and your playing will reach another level.
Composing a la Scottish Harp Tradition: William Jackson
Type: Hands-on Level: Int-Adv When: Sat. 1:30-3pm Where: 10
Don’t think you can’t compose. Find out from a master composer how to use a simple chord progression as the basis for developing melodic ideas and then expand these melodic ideas into a larger work. In this workshop, you'll learn how to create a simple melodic idea of your own, and learn how to add a set of variations based on your own melody.
Composing & Arranging Tips & Tricks: Michael Rooney (added 5/15/17)
Type: Hands-on Level: Int-Adv. When: Sat. 9:30-11am Where: 8
Michael won the TG4 Composer of the Year Award in 2016 so this workshop will demonstrate how he composes music to paint a picture or to convey emotion. Whether it's for solo performance or ensemble playing there are tips and tricks for arranging music to make the new composition memorable. Michael will demonstrate how to arrange new compositions for harp and other instruments. Nothing to prepare in advance.
Core Arpeggios: Maeve Gilchrist
Type: Hands-on Level: Int-Adv. When: Sat. 1:30-3pm Where: 11
Fully explore the benefit of working with four note arpeggios as part of a comprehensive exercise and dexterity program. Delve deeply with Maeve and find how using them in different shapes will help stretch fingers and break muscle memory while increasing dexterity over the full range of your harp. By using unorthodox shapes and different inversions, arpeggios can be the most beneficial exercise that will help free up your hands and navigate your instrument more freely.
Cracking the Nutcracker: Tchaikovsky's cadenza: Josh Layne
Type: Hands-on Level: Int. When: Sat. 9:30-11am Where: 9
Learn the famous Waltz of the Flowers Cadenza from the Nutcracker. Yes, you can play it on the lever harp! It's such a fantastic workout for arpeggios and chord shapes that you'll focus on evenness, speed, and finding new shapes quickly. Start to master those downward rolls. If you ever wanted to play the cadenza, then this is the workshop for you. Regardless of size, you can get something out of the workshop but it will be most satisfying with a 34+ string lever harp that can play in the key of D. Sight-reading required.
Creating Music for Therapeutic Settings: Lisa Lynne
Type: Hands-on Level: Any When: Fri. 9:30-11am Where: 8
Come to this workshop to learn some useful harp chords and progressions for therapeutic environments and how to create patterns for improvising in any key. Learn the how-tos of choosing or creating appropriate music for many situations in healthcare. We will share ideas and experiences in playing for hospitals or hospices, and look at the current climate and opportunities for training and tips for playing music in medical settings. This workshop leverages the 15+ years Lisa has in the Harps for Heart program she created which places harps in hospitals and medical facilities.
Cuban Rhythms & Spice: Alfredo Ortiz
Type: Hands-on Level: Any When: Sat. 3:30-5pm Where: 4
Add some famous Cuban rhythmic styles to your repertoire. From the "Cha-cha-cha" to the "conga," Cuban rhythms are beloved around the world. Bring your harp and wear comfortable shoes to learn some very easy pieces and even learn some basic dancing steps! Easy printed music will be provided. You will also learn about the famous romantic Cuban "bolero" music style for a contrasting touch! Did you know Alfredo was born in Cuba?

If you find a mistake in any of these schedules pages please let me know!


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Updated 6/6/17
Workshop descriptions and schedules are subject to change. Refresh your browser to make sure you have the latest version of this page.