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Workshops: N-R

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New Tunes with Michael Michael Rooney (CANCELLED)
Type: Hands-on Level: Int-Adv When: Sun. 9-10:30am Where: Salon 1
Michael has written so many new tunes since his last Somerset appearance--from jigs and reels to minuets and suites! This is a fun workshop for the more advanced player to play through some of those pieces and pick his brain on accompaniment and arranging. Nothing to prepare in advance. Sight-readers welcome.
No Levers, No Problem! Cynthia Cathcart
Type: Hands-on Level: Any When: Fri. 3:30-5pm Where: 3
Have you ever had someone express sympathy for you and your lever-free harp, because you "can't change keys?" Well, no more! In this workshop Cynthia explains what gapped scales are and how to use them to let you change keys, even in a continuous set. We will also explore ways to impose a gap on a non-gapped tune to widen our tonal horizons.
Perform with Confidence: Lisa Lynne
Type: Lecture Level: Any When: Sat. 1:30-3pm Where: 8
If you experience the physical sensations of nervousness when it comes to performing in front of people, no matter how big or small the group, formal or informal settings, this workshop is for you. Whether it's on stage, at a wedding or playing background music, this workshop will explore what stage fright is, why it happens, and what you can do about it. Besides sharing stories and experiences of stage fright, get solid tips from Lisa on how to rise above the nerves and give your best performance every time.
Performance Anxiety & Stress Reduction with yoga: Shyamali Hauth
Type: Demo Level: Any When: Fri. 3:30-5pm Where: 1
Reduce performance anxiety and decrease muscle fatigue through the use of yoga. This hands on workshop will teach you yoga asanas (poses) and pranayamas (breath work) that help reduce stress, stretch and strengthen your body, and prepare your mind for playing our beautiful instrument. Learn to work your wrists and fingers and tone and relax the arms and shoulders. You will also learn several stress reduction techniques including the use of essential oils. We will end with a wonderful End Relaxation sequence—almost as good as a massage! No mats required! (Though if you want to bring one for the End Relaxation you are more than welcome to do so!) This class is for every body—modifications and chairs provided!
Pick a Chord, Any Chord: Sharon Thormahlen
Type: Hands-on Level: Beg. When: Sat. 1:30-3pm Where: TBD
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.
Play a Pavane: Ellen Tepper
Type: Hands-on Level: Beg.-Int. When: Sat. 3:30-5pm Where: 6
The Pavane is a slow processional dance that was common in Europe in the Renaissance during the 16th century. The music for pavanes outlived the courtly dance itself and they make great harp pieces. In this workshop Ellen will teach a pavane from the Paris of 1529. The music is slow and there is plenty of time to flip that lever, which always happens on the same string, without too much bother! The tune will be taught by ear, although sheet music will be provided. Learn historically appropriate accompaniment too.
Play El Condor Pasa: Nicolas Carter
Type: Hands-on Level: Int When: Sat. 9:30-11am Where: TBD
You're probably familiar with El Condor Pasa as the melody made famous by Simon & Garfunkle from their Bridge Over Troubled Water LP. This captivating melody goes back to the time of the ancient Incas and is considered the second national anthem of Peru. Join Nicolas to learn this piece and let this popular Peruvian classic be your entry point to learning many different Latin harp techniques and fun left hand accompaniments. This piece will be taught by ear. Bring a recording device to jog your memory later.
Play Harp Without Fear: Rhett Barnwell
Type: Hands-on Level: Any When: Sat. 3:30-5pm Where: 11
Rediscover the joy of making and sharing music with others without the baggage of fear attached. Often, we can play quite well in the practice room but seem to come apart at the seams when we have to play in front of someone, be it at a lesson, for friends, in a church service, or in a concert. Why? More importantly, what relatively simple steps can we take to overcome it? Explore with Rhett why you are fearful of playing in front of others, but more importantly, learn concrete methods of overcoming the fear. The session will be very interactive, and all who are willing will be encouraged to play individually during the course of the workshops. You will visit several different approaches to the issue of fearful playing and learn to create a “transformance” instead of a shaky performance.
Play It Pretty: Rhett Barnwell
Type: Hands-on Level: Any When: Fri. 1:30-3pm Where: Salon 4
The harp is technically a percussion instrument, and too often, it can sound clunky and twangy in the wrong hands. Don’t let those hands be yours! In this workshop you'll learn ways to use fingers, hands, and entire body and breath to create a beautiful, lyrical, legato sound on the harp. Rhett will draw from a virtual “toolbox” of techniques to teach you to approach the harp as a “singing” instrument. This is an interactive workshop and participants will be encouraged to play in a supportive environment as they learn together how to play as smooth and beautiful as possible.
Play the Nightingale: Deborah Henson-Conant
Type: Hands-on Level: Any When: Fri. 9:30-11am Where: Salon 1
“The Nightingale” is one of Deborah's most-requested songs, which she wrote in memory of her mother’s voice. While you're learning this song from the songwriter, you'll get insight into the songwriting process as well as how an arrangement develops. Accompaniment techniques for singing and playing at the same time will also be shared. Players of various levels will come away from this workshop owning the song for themselves. Click here to see a video.
Playing Harp in an Irish Session: Michael Rooney
Type: Hands-on Level: Int. When: Sat. 1:30-3pm Where:
With just the right ingredients, an Irish session is a rollicking good time for musicians and listeners alike. It can be daunting for a harper because the tempo can be brisk. In this fun workshop, learn the ins and outs of being in a session and getting along with other musicians. Sharpen your listening skills and get some solid accompaniment technique. Guest Non-harp players will join in this workshop in the 2nd half.
Playing in an Irish Session for Other Instruments: Dennis Gormley
Type: Hands-on Level: Int. When: Sat. 1:30-3pm Where: Salon 4
With just the right ingredients, an Irish session is a rollicking good time for musicians and listeners alike. Dennis will help you decode the musical & social cues for playing in a session. This workshop is for non-harpers playing other traditional instruments. You'll sharpen your listening skills and get some advice on playing well with others. This workshop will join Michael Rooney's workshop on Irish sessions in the 2nd half. It's also preparation for the Saturday night Irish session after the concert! Open to non-harping companions
Prevent Injury & Play Better and Faster: Alfredo Ortiz
Type: Hands-on Level: Any When: Fri. 1:30-3pm Where: 2
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. Breaking bad habits may seem difficult but Dr. Ortiz will help you prevent or correct these issues. 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! This workshop is offered twice to maxmize the number of people who can take it.
Prevent Injury & Play Better and Faster: Alfredo Ortiz
Type: Hands-on Level: Any When: Sun. 9-10:30am Where: 4
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. Breaking bad habits may seem difficult but Dr. Ortiz will help you prevent or correct these issues. 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! This workshop is offered twice to maxmize the number of people who can take it.
Professionals’ Toolbox: Working Well with Others: Sunita Staneslow
Type: Hands-on Level: Any When: Sun. 9-10:30am Where: 11
How do professionals put together arrangements? How do you find new music for an unusual ensemble? What should you look for in another musician? What do others expect from a harp player? Sunita will offer advice and tips on rehearsing and practicing with different combinations of instruments. Bring your questions and stories. Let's share and learn from our experiences. The harp works well with almost any other instrument. Embolden yourself to create a new sound!
Recording Basics: Aryeh Frankfurter
Type: Lecture Level: Any When: Sat. 3:30-5pm Where: 8
Recording is essential to developing your musicianship and professional aspirations and you should think about recording yourself--either at home or in a professional studio. Whether it's to share your music on the Internet or just to listen and learn about your own playing or needing a demo to promote yourself or wanting a final packaged CD to sell, this workshop will touch on all the basics of recording you and your harp. Aryeh will go over the basic essentials of creating a good recording for the harp as well as the stages of recording. Learn about tracking, mixing, mastering, and producing a final packaged CD, as well as options for selling digital downloads. Come with your questions and get answers.
Reel Deal Reel Fast: Michael Rooney
Type: Hands-on Level: Int-Adv When: Fri. 9:30-11am Where: Salon 1
Playing a reel at a lively tempo can be a real challenge for a harp player. Making the left hand too complicated can bog you down. Melody fingering has to be geared for speed. Using some classic Irish reels, Michael will lead you through the process of making your dance tunes danceable. This workshop will be taught by ear. Bring a recording device as well.
Rhythm Workout: Maeve Gilchrist
Type: Hands-on Level: Int-Adv When: Sun. 9-10:30am Where: TBD
Rhythm brings vitality and drive to music and can make the difference between an amateur and a professional. Maeve will focus on rhythm and how to incorporate it into warm-up and practice routines to strengthen all aspects of your playing. Learn about hand independence, poly-rhythms, syncopation, ostinato's and more!
Rhythms & Sight-reading: Robbin Gordon-Cartier
Type: Hands-on Level: Beg.-Int. When: Fri. 3:30-5pm Where: TBD
Robbin has adapted her Let Rhythm Lead the Way workshop to help you improve your sight-reading and counting of rhythms. Robbin says that sight-reading familiar tunes can help with counting varied rhythms and this class will help tie-in music theory so you can solidify the music quicker and more accurately. A must-have workshop for beginning to intermediate harpists looking to get better grounding in rhythms and sight-reading.
Rounds in the Round: Ellen Tepper
Type: Hands-on Level: Beg.-Int. When: Thurs. 1-2:30pm Where: 9
Kickoff our Somerset historical harp track by playing Rounds in the Round! Ellen will lead a harper's circle and get everyone to play fun rounds from her new book. You can't help but love these little tunes, which not only help you keep count but create wonderful cascading melodies. Other instruments are also welcome to join in. Easily learned by ear though the sheet music will be given out.

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


 

Updated 5/8/17
Workshop descriptions and schedules are subject to change. Refresh your browser to make sure you have the latest version of this page.