Workshops By Day
Below are the 2019 schedules
     Thursday
     Friday
     Saturday
     Sunday
 Workshop Listings By Title:
These are the 2019 workshops. 2020 Workshops are released January 1  
     A-C
      D-H
      I-P
      R-S
      T-Z
 Workshop Focus Areas
     Topic Areas for 2020 not yet available
     Beginners
     Career
     Celtic
     Harpers' Escape (Sun.)
     Historical Harp
     Lectures Etc.
     Skills & Technique
     Therapeutic Harp
     Youth Harp Program
 Schedule Downloads
These are the 2019 Schedules. 2020 will be available on January 1
     Excel file
     PDF
 More Great Stuff
     After-Hours Events
     Harp Parking
     Harp Regulation & Repair
     Harp Tastings
     Jams
     Loaner Harp Program
     Private Lessons
     Saturday Banquet
 
 
 

 

 

 

Workshops: I-P (These are from 2019)
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I Always Wanted to Play the Harp: Robbin Gordon-Cartier
Type: Demo Level: Beg. When: Sat. 10-10:45am Where: Festival Lobby
Have you ever said to yourself "I always wanted to play the harp"? Experience a harp first-hand, literally. This is a 45-minute workshop offered to any of our daily Visitors or non-harping companion guests as a "get acquainted" session. Robbin will talk about playing the harp and demonstrate how you can get started. Several harps will be provided for everyone to try out. Ask questions. Get Answers.
I Always Wanted to Play the Harp: Karen Peterson
Type: Demo Level: Beg. When: Fri. 10-10:45am Where: Festival Lobby
Have you ever said to yourself "I always wanted to play the harp"? Experience a harp first-hand, literally. This is a 45-minute workshop offered to any of our daily Visitors or non-harping companion guests as a "get acquainted" session. Karen will talk about playing the harp and demonstrate how you can get started. Several harps will be provided for everyone to try out. Ask questions. Get Answers.
Improving Your Improvising using Venezuelan Music: Eduardo Betancourt
Type: Hands-on Level: Int-Adv When: Fri. 9:30-11am Where: Room 9
The rhythms from Venezuela for the Joropo, Pasaje and Merengue are in 5/8 and provide the perfect underpinnings for building your general improvising skills. Eduardo will have you doing some fun fingering exercises to achieve faster and clearer play that will free up some of your creativity to improvise. Play by ear musicians and sight-readers will be comfortable in this class.
Instant Harp Ensemble!: Deborah Henson-Conant
Type: Hands-on Level: Any When: Sun. 9am-5pm Where: Room 9
What if you had a set of simple pieces you could easily show others how to play, pieces that you could play together with anyone in the world? Think of tunes almost as games: really easy to play and fun to play with others. If you have a harp circle and just friends who can get together, you can have an ensemble. Ensemble is all about role-play with music. Find out how you could use a simple ‘lead sheet’ with just melody & chords and create the role of bass player, accompanist or melody and then how to switch it up. This workshop runs from 9am-5pm. Delve into ensemble playing in a really deep way with lots of your Somerset friends.
Intro to Latin Rhythms: Alfredo Ortiz
Type: Hands-on Level: Any When: Fri. 1:30-3pm Where: Room 9
The traditional harp styles from Latin America are very rhythmic and exciting and use fun accompaniment patterns. You'll get the various unique rhythms, polyrhythms and syncopations of several countries and transform some well known melodies into habanera, salsa, cha-cha, meringue, conga, tango and more. Alfredo will teach you various ways of using octaves and chords for repetitive patterns while minimizing the effort to do it. Then you'll take these ideas to create your own rhythmic patterns for other music styles.
Irish Harp Ensemble: Janet Harbison
Type: Hands-on Level: Any When: Sat. 3:30-5pm Where: Room 5
For students and teachers who want to enjoy playing in an ensemble taught by one of Ireland's leading composers and arrangers. Teachers will see how to "layer" arrangements to maximize participation by all levels of players and the players will have a fun time learning how to play their parts. Each part is an independent piece, so you'll have something to play even without the larger ensemble later. Taught by ear and with sheet music.
Irish Ornamentation & Variation: Janet Harbison
Type: Hands-on Level: Int. When: Sat. 1:30-3pm Where: Room 5
Janet will de-mystify the art of ornamenting Irish music and playing variations that give this music its lift and vitality and show you the how, what and where to do it. You'll better understand what's behind these elements and besides practicing the various ornaments that comprise the character of Irish music, you'll develop the skills and confidence in using them in the right context. You'll also learn how to do variations, from the easiest to the most impressive and creative.
Irish Session: Event
Type: Fun Level: Any When: Sat. 10pm Where: Festival Lobby
An "after hours" activity. Open to all. Hosted by Kathy DeAngelo and Grainne Hambly. Bring musically appropriate instrument or just come to listen.
Latin music techniques & fun effects: Alfredo Ortiz
Type: Hands-on Level: Any When: Sat. 1:30-3pm Where: Room 3
Latin American harp traditions include many unique and fun special effects. Even if you've never heard these terms before, you'll learn muffling techniques, muffled glissandi, Paraguayan "trino" (mandoline-like effect) and more. If you're interested in pop or jazz or looking to do something with your own compositions, this workshop will expand your technique repertoire with these interesting effects. Even beginners will be able to master some effects right away while understanding others to put them into practice in the future.
Learning by Ear: Janet Harbison
Type: Hands-on Level: Any When: Fri. 9:30-11am Where: Room 11
Learning music by ear is the most natural way in the world – and is exactly how we learned language as children – learning it from the community around us from the most basic elements to the most flamboyant performance.  There are two aspects to learning by ear: learning ‘by rote’ (or direct imitation) and ‘by reason’ (understanding what is happening and being able to predict what’s coming next), both of which play their part.  The experience is totally accessible for all levels and the only request is that participants are relaxed and open.  People who lack patience with themselves will find this challenging! 
Learning to sing in harmony: Corrina Hewat
Type: Hands-on Level: Any When: Fri. 1:30-3pm Where: Room 11
In this workshop Corinna will teach you how to start to harmonise–firstly with others in an a cappella vocal setting, learning to trust your voice and others around you, and learning what you can all do to add to the mix. She'll teach breathing, tone and expression. Have some fun making up moving lines and chords as the class shares being the player and the instrument between us all. You'll then work with the harp and create harmony with yourself and others, which can help inform the way you write music, sing songs solo or in groups, and arrange in your own style. This will be a fun, relaxed workshop with no specific outcome apart from all the participants feeling more confident in their own sound! There will be no hand outs given at the end of the workshop so please feel free to bring a recording device for a memory aid.
Love Songs & Laments: Kim Robertson
Type: Hands-on Level: Any When: Sat. 1:30-3pm Where: Salon 4
From ancient to modern times, the Celtic harp has been used to accompany and convey the joys and sorrows of life. In this class, learn a sampling of beautiful melodies from Ireland, Scotland & Brittany, including few ideas for left hand accompaniment. Kim will also briefly take you through the Bardic tradition of spoken word with harp accompaniment and its significance today for modern harpers. Part of this workshop will include singing these songs! Tunes will be on lead sheets.
Lunchtime Concert: Friday: Event
Type: Concert Level: When: Fri. 11:30am-1pm Where: Festival Lobby
Pick up lunch at the Grab & Go station, have a seat, relax & enjoy the music!
Lunchtime Concert: Saturday: Event
Type: Concert Level: When: Sat. 11:30am-1pm Where: Festival Lobby
Pick up lunch at the Grab & Go station, have a seat, relax & enjoy the music!
Make Mine Merengue!: Eduardo Betancourt
Type: Hands-on Level: Int When: Sun. 9-10:30am Where: Room 8
Merengue is a musical form extended through all the Caribbean. As a dance craze, merengue acquired popularity in Caracas during the 1920s. It is rhythmically different, though, from Dominican merengue. Find out how! Learn the swing of Venezuelan merengue in 5/8. This lively music with its syncopated rhythms will get both hands working together. Learn a popular merengue tune with Eduardo.
Memorization Magic: Sharon Thormahlen
Type: Hands-on Level: Beg. When: Sat. 1:30-3pm Where: Room 1
Learn how to recognize patterns in your music to help you more easily memorize your music and get away from the dots on the page. You’ll learn to think about fingering shapes; steps, skips and jumps; phrases and chords. Perfect workshop for Beginners taking our Beginner's Bootcamp who have the basic root chord placement with 3-2-1 down. If you've been playing a while, this will get you up to the next level. After this workshop, the harp will make more sense and your playing will reach another level.
Mode Magic for Songs You Already Play: Karen Peterson
Type: Hands-on Level: Any When: Fri. 1:30-3pm Where: Room 1
One thing that makes harps so versatile is that you can change the key without changing your hand positions. Take a tune written in D minor, flip the levers to D major, and you have a different song using the same strings. The difference between G mixolydian and G dorian is whether or not you have a Bb lever set. In this workshop, Karen teaches you how to take your existing repertoire and play it in other modes with small changes. Perfect for therapeutic settings. All levels. Sight-reading not required.
Music Reading 101: Robbin Gordon-Cartier
Type: Hands-on Level: Beg. When: Fri. 1:30-3pm Where: Room 8
Just as there are many recipes for Chocolate Chip Cookies; there are many ways to learn how to read music. The key is finding the way that works the easiest and quickest for you. In this workshop Robbin will go over the many ways to learn the basics of note reading, drills for practicing reading and how to go from reading notes on the paper to playing notes on the harp.
Music Reading 201: Robbin Gordon-Cartier
Type: Hands-on Level: Beg. When: Sat. 3:30-5pm Where: Room 10
Building on Music Reading 101, this workshop will incorporate reading chords, playing from lead sheets and recognizing patterns rather than reading the notes one by one. Robbin will help you work on sight reading skills and identifying key signatures to make note reading as easy as reading words in an article. Learning how to count out rhythms and note values is also covered.
Optimize Posture & Performance: Tristan LeGovic
Type: Hands-on Level: Any When: Fri. 9:30-11am Where: Room 1
Tristan will coach you in a fundamental technique called HARA, which deals with posture and breathing that will help your body release tension and control stress. Using simple and easy exercises, you'll understand how this technique can be applied while playing any instrument or in any facet of your life. Non-musicians welcome to this workshop. Instrument is optional. Learning this posture and technique will optimize your performance at any task.
Our Day as a Therapeutic Musician: Edie Elkan
Type: Lecture Level: Any When: Sat. 1:30-3pm Where: Room 4
You've heard of harp therapy and therapeutic music training programs, and you are interested in this field, but how does doing this work differ from a wedding gig, playing at church or a recital? Come and find out what therapeutic musicians do every day and what it's like. Discover what a fulfilling day can be and what special skills are needed. Come if you're interested in the topic. You don't know what you don't know. Come and get the answers.
Paraguayan Music 101: Nicolas Carter
Type: Hands-on Level: Int When: Thurs. 3-4:30pm Where: Room 11
Join Nicolas for this entertaining and easy way to slide into Paraguayan music. You'll learn how to combine 3/4 and 6/8 time signatures to create the syncopated rhythm, which is the hallmark of Paraguayan music. Nicolas will give you easy exercises in the traditional Paraguayan style: by observation, listening and hands on. No sight-reading is required or will be done. It is recommended that you bring some form of recording device as a reference for future practice. You don't need a Paraguayan harp for this workshop!
Paraguayan Romantic Music: Nicolas Carter
Type: Hands-on Level: Int-Adv When: Fri. 9:30-11am Where: Room 8
Recuerdos de Ypacarai is one of Paraguay’s most famous romantic songs and is played all over the world. This gentle and slow version of Paraguayan harp music will be taught by ear but the sheet music will be available as well. Plenty of hands-on. It is recommended that you bring some form of recording device as a reference for future practice. Want to listen to it in advance? Check out this video: https://youtu.be/6bLoUmQdtbc
Pick a Chord, Any Chord: Sharon Thormahlen
Type: Hands-on Level: Beg. When: Fri. 3:30-5pm Where: Room 5
When learning a song from a lead sheet with only the melody line, it can be challenging to figure out what chords to play with your left hand. In this workshop, through the use of simple songs, Sharon will provide practical tips to help you figure out what chords go with the melody. You will learn what the “chord family” is and how to use it. Perfect workshop for Beginners taking our Beginner's Bootcamp.
Playing in Lifecare Communities: Edie Elkan
Type: Hands-on Level: Any When: Sat. 9:30-11am Where: Room 4
In this hands-on workshop, Edie will share her repertoire and programming tips on her work in Lifecare Communities which includes conducting Sing Alongs and Name That Tune games in Independent Living, Assisted Living and Dementia Units. This is a hands-on on how to play chords to accompany yourself singing along with the seniors you'll be playing for which is much easier than having to deal with both melody and harmony. Edie will show you various ways to play the chords—from simple one-hand accompaniment to somewhat more complex stuff, with focus mainly on I, IV, V chords. You'll be singing and playing some simple chordal accompaniment in no time! Participants for the whole workshop will receive a discount coupon for Edie’s Strike the Harp and Join the Chorus, a guide on using the harp as an instrument of accompaniment.
Playing in Memory Care Settings: Joanna Mell
Type: Lecture Level: Any When: Fri. 1:30-3pm Where: Room 2
A burgeoning field for therapeutic harpists is Memory Care. Following a brief overview of what the Memory Care environment is like, this will be a brainstorming workshop to develop 3 useful repertoire lists that you can use as guidelines for playing in a Memory Care setting: religious songs, sing-alongs, and cultural-specific songs. Come with your harp and be ready to start picking out tunes you can have on your fingertips.
Practicing and Playing for Gigs: Sunita Staneslow
Type: Hands-on Level: Any When: Sat. 3:30-5pm Where: Room 2
Sunita will show you how to practice what is important for your upcoming gigs. Find new ways to practice that are a more effective use of your time and accomplish your goals. Sunita will discuss what can be simplified so you can play a requested song without becoming rattled!
Prevent Injury & Play Better and Faster: Alfredo Ortiz
Type: Hands-on Level: Any When: Sat. 3:30-5pm Where: Room 3
Every harp player needs to be aware of how their technique and body should work together to prevent injury and playing problems and facilitate the performance of difficult passages. With his medical background in the fields of Music Therapy and Sensory Motor Learning, Dr. Ortiz will help you focus on the right aspects of your technique and learn good habits. Prevention is the key and breaking bad habits may seem difficult but learning how your body works and responds to your playing technique is essential. Take this workshop if you've ever gotten up from the harp with sore hands, arms or shoulders! This workshop is not meant to diagnose each participant's individual issues but feel free to ask questions!
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If you find a mistake in any of these schedules pages please let me know!


 

Updated 7/8/19
Workshop descriptions and schedules are subject to change. Refresh your browser to make sure you have the latest version of this page.