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Workshops: A-C

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Accompany with Sensitivity: Sarah Deere-Jones
Type: Hands-on Level: Int-Adv When: Fri. 9:30-11am Where: TBD
Accompaniments are often underestimated and can ‘make’ a song or piece but accompanying somebody else is tricky. Sarah will give you tips on how to create a sensitive non-intrusive accompaniment to the ‘main player’ e.g. a singer or instrument, bearing in mind mood, themes, subject etc with a variety finger and musical techniques. You will get plenty of practicing of these techniques to produce the best possible accompaniment.
Accompanying Other Instruments: William Jackson
Type: Hands-on Level: Int. When: Sat. 3:30-5pm Where: TBD
The modes used in Scottish and Irish traditional music will be discussed. Some approaches to accompanying other instruments and ideas for playing in sessions by improvising chord patterns will be covered. Take this workshop and have a headstart on playing in the Saturday night Irish session.
Arpeggiate Your Life: Deborah Henson-Conant
Type: Hands-on Level: Any When: Fri. 3:30-5pm Where: TBD
Description to follow. Stay tuned.
Art of the Small Harp: Martha Gallagher
Type: Hands-on Level: Any When: Thurs. 3-4:30pm Where: TBD
Set your misconceptions aside and discover how less can be wonderfully more! Having fewer strings doesn't mean limiting your creativity. Bring your small harp to this workshop and expand your discovery of the music that lies within it and you!
Badass Blues: Martha Gallagher
Type: Hands-on Level: Int-Adv When: Sat. 9:30-11am Where: TBD
It’s time for you and that harp of yours to take a little walk on the wild side. This workshops is Blues with an attitude. You'll be movin’ and a-groovin and get really comfortable with lever changes. Be sure to bring a harp that has at least F and B levers! You can do this workshop with little or no previous Blues experience.
Beginners Boost #1: Debbie Brewin-Wilson
Type: Hands-on Level: Nov.-Beg When: Fri. 9:30-11am Where: TBD
If you've just started to play the harp, this special workshop builds on skills Debbie and Carol Thompson covered in the Beginners' Boot Camp on Thursday, though you can drop-in on this workshop without attending Thursday's workshop. Debbie will be reinforcing harp fundamentals and skills that you need to make progress in playing music, particularly if you don't have a teacher. Get comfortable with the instrument and yourself! Music-reading ability is not necessary.
Beginners Boost #2: Debbie Brewin-Wilson
Type: Hands-on Level: Nov.-Beg When: Sat. 9:30-11am Where: TBD
If you've just started to play the harp, this special workshop builds on skills Debbie and Carol Thompson covered in the Beginners' Boot Camp on Thursday, though you can drop-in on this workshop without attending Thursday's workshop. Debbie will be reinforcing harp fundamentals and skills that you need to make progress in playing music, particularly if you don't have a teacher. Get comfortable with the instrument and yourself! Music-reading ability is not necessary.
Beginners Boot Camp: Debbie Brewin-Wilson & Carol Thompson
Type: Hands-on Level: Nov.-Beg When: Thurs. 10am-5pm Where: TBD
This all-day Thursday workshop is especially geared for absolutely new players. Carol and Debbie enjoy helping beginners get off to a good start so if you've just gotten your harp and want to start building a solid foundation for learning and playing it, sign-up for this experience. To help beginners get the most out of their Somerset experience, Carol Thompson and Debbie Brewin-Wilson will guide you through the basics of tuning, hand position, placing, playing, and forming chords while having fun and being introduced to a tune. Lots of hands-on! See our Beginners page for workshops we highly recommend for the rest of your Somerset weekend. Please sign-up in advance for this workshop.
Blues Basics for Beginners: Martha Gallagher
Type: Hands-on Level: Beg-Int When: Fri. 3:30-5pm Where: TBD
Get down with the Blues! Join Martha for a workshop where you'll learn and understand the structure of the Blues, which extends to exploring improvisation. Using rhythmic and percussive elements you'll learn how to create a groove and discover how to work those lovely levers with ease. All this and more--with attitude! You’ll learn a Blues tune, with sheet music to take home, as well as loads of tools and techniques you can continue to explore long after the workshop is over.
Breakout Bass lines: Sunita Staneslow
Type: Hands-on Level: Beg-Int When: Fri. 1:30-3pm Where: TBD
It's time your left hand got out of a rut. Creating a simple, yet effective, bass line can give the illusion of complex harmonies. Less can be more, especially on the harp. Sunita will show you how to harmonize songs using simple descending and ascending bass lines. This can also 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.
Breton Music for Everyone: Tristan LeGovic
Type: Hands-on Level: Beg-Int When: Thurs. 1-2:30pm Where: TBD
Breton music is part of the Celtic repertoire along with Irish, Scottish or Welsh music. Tristan will introduce you to the traditional music of Brittany, which is now part of France. Add traditional dance tunes, marches and songs to your repertoire and learn the different styles with different modes and rhythms. You'll learn a melody by ear and then Tristan will step you through basic arranging appropriate to this music. No prior knowledge of Breton music is needed. This workshop will be taught by ear with music handed out at the end. You are encouraged to bring a recording device.
Breton music: Swing and Style: Tristan LeGovic
Type: Hands-on Level: Int-Adv When: Sun. 9-10:30am Where: TBD
Giving traditional music "swing" is key to advancing your understanding and style in this music. You'll learn some of the most important swings in Breton music such as in An dro, Hanter-dro and other typical Breton dances even if you've never played Breton music before. Tunes will be taught by ear, phrase by phrase, and you'll learn how to bring in arrangements and variations. The only way to feel the swing of a tune is to experience it with other people and you might learn a Breton dance too, so come and be part of this workshop! Heavy emphasis on playing by ear in this workshop. Bring a recording device too.
Breton Singing & Dancing: Tristan LeGovic
Type: Hands-on Level: Any When: Sat. 3:30-5pm Where: TBD
Like music, singing and dancing are an important part of the Breton traditional daily life. People share unique and joyous moments all together all along the year. It is a way to create deep social link between them. In this workshop you will learn how to dance Breton most popular dances such as An dro, Hanter-dro, while singing in a group. No prior experience needed. Come to have fun. The dances are fairly simple to learn. If you like dancing, singing or dancing and singing, come along and join in!
Build a Harp 1: Dennis Waring
Type: Hands-on Level: Any When: Sat. 9:30-11am Where: TBD
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 are discounted to $125 if reserved and purchased in advance by emailing Dennis. Last-minute kits can be purchased at the workshop for $165. 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. 1:30-3pm Where: TBD
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!
Bunting's Best: Grainne Hambly
Type: Hands-on Level: Int-Adv When: Sat. 3:30-5pm Where: TBD
This workshop will include some background information on the Belfast Harpers Assembly of 1792, the collections of Edward Bunting, and their significance in preserving the 17th and 18th century harp repertoire. Grainne will teach some of her favorite pieces from the collections and give ideas on how to adapt the published piano arrangements for harp. Harpers going on the 2019 Harp Tour will want to take this workshop to preview their visit to Belfast.
Carolan a la Carolan: Ann Heymann
Type: Hands-on Level: Int. When: Fri. 1:30-3pm Where: TBD
carolanUnder the guidance of an expert with 40 years of experience in this genre, gain understanding and direction for more authenticity in your own arrangements of the music of O'Carolan. How would he have played his own pieces? Ann Heymann has found convincing idiomatic style in iconic Carolan pieces on the Gaelic harp. Any type of harp is welcome in this workshop. Ann’s arrangement of a recently discovered Carolan planxty with a bonus in this class.
Celtic Hymns: Kim Robertson
Type: Hands-on Level: Int. When: Fri. 9:30-11am Where: TBD
There are many hymns in the United Kingdom and in our own Appalachia whose melodies, not surprisingly, originated Ireland and Scotland. Using some nice and easy left hand accompaniment patterns, explore some of these timeless hymns with Kim. The tunes will be on lead sheets but sight-reading not essential for this workshop. "Play by ear" harpers are welcome and audio recording is permitted.
Celtic Service: Debbie Brewin-Wilson
Type: Level: Any When: Sun. 8-8:45am Where: TBD
Debbie is our official pastor in residence! Join her for her Sunday morning worship service and make "a joyful noise".
Chord Improv: Sharon Thormahlen
Type: Hands-on Level: Any When: Sun. 9-10:30am Where: TBD
In this workshop you will become very familiar with what notes make up a chord and how to use them for an improvisation. There's plenty of practice so you gain mastery of 3 note chord inversions. We will use play pattern finger shapes to build on improvisational possibilities. . Perfect workshop for Beginners taking our Beginner's Bootcamp or any level player, really.
Chordscapes for Accompaniment: Janet Harbison
Type: Hands-on Level: Int. When: Fri. 3:30-5pm Where: TBD
Janet has taken the 3 chord trick to the cleaners! Using a system of ‘close-position chording’, you'll explore her ‘plans’ for different tunes and rhythms. Janet's goal is to make accompaniment accessible and she shows you how to identify the ‘chord plan’, make choices on play-patterns and develop arrangements. These skills will move you to accompanying most kinds of music.
Christmas Latin Style: Nicolas Carter
Type: Hands-on Level: Int When: Sun. 9-10:30am Where: TBD
Here is an entertaining way to spice up your Christmas repertoire! Nicolas Carter has put a new twist on beloved North American traditional Christmas pieces so you can wake up your listeners with joyful rhythms and a delightful surprise to the ear. Nicolas makes all his workshops FUN, so he'll show you how to play "Joy to the World” as a Colombian Cumbia, a very popular Latin dance music style that will truly bring joy to the song. Feel free to bring a recording device.
Contemporary Carolan: Kim Robertson
Type: Hands-on Level: Int. When: Sat. 9:30-11am Where: TBD
Almost everybody loves the music of 17th century Irish composer Turlough O'Carolan. Learn to add a modern twist to some of those pieces. Using a few of his well known and lesser known pieces, discover how to create intros, interludes, rhythmic motifs and alternative harmonies for making contemporary arrangements of these timeless melodies. Lead sheets will be used. A basic knowledge of chord structure helpful.
Contemporary Covers: Nancy Hurrell
Type: Hands-on Level: Int-Adv When: Sat. 3:30-5pm Where: TBD
Playing covers or versions of pop and contemporary songs will get you noticed and impress clients and guests when you play for special events. Learn how to re-create the essence of a hit single, make an arrangement from a piano version and build up your repertoire quickly. Play songs by Ed Sheeran, Adele, Bruno Mars and others, as Nancy passes on tips learned from her job as harpist for tea at the Boston Ritz-Carlton. Sight-reading is necessary.
Core Arpeggios: Maeve Gilchrist
Type: Hands-on Level: Int. When: Fri. 9:30-11am Where: TBD
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.
Creativity Tools to Improve Practice & Performance: Donna Bennett & Jen Narkevicius
Type: Hands-on Level: Any When: Fri. 3:30-5pm Where: TBD
In this workshop, you will learn skills, tools, and techniques that bring the creativity secret to your work as a musician or a teacher. Find out how to actively apply creativity tools and techniques to improve your personal work processes and your overall approach to harping. These tools can prepare you for projects and gigs, regardless of your level of accomplishment or years of experience. Jen and Donna will give you techniques to help generate better ideas to expand your arrangements and repertoire without adding to your learning load.
Cuban Rhythms: Alfredo Ortiz
Type: Hands-on Level: Int. When: Thurs. 1-2:30pm Where: TBD
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!
Cut the Crap!: Deborah Henson-Conant
Type: Hands-on Level: Any When: Sat. 9:30-11am Where: TBD
It's All in Your Head. Many of us have those inner voices in our heads which affect both our ability to play and even our ability to learn. You have to learn to deal with all the self-doubts so that when you sit down to practice you're not berating yourself. Do you find yourself in a creative ‘stutter’ where you stop yourself because you think you hear a wrong note? How about always comparing yourself to somebody else? Take the first step in cutting the crap that's in your head that's holding you back.
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Updated 1/28/19
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