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Workshops: N-R

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New Tradition: Rachel Hair
Type: Hands-on Level: Any When: Sun. 9-10:30am Where: Room 9
Traditional music is forever evolving and its repertoire forever expanding with many fantastic tunes written by Celtic musicians throughout the world. In this course we’ll learn some tunes which have been composed in recent years by musicians who are still alive and have grown so popular that they’ve been absorbed into the Tradition and played throughout the world.
Ornamenting Music: First Steps in Composing: Tomoko Sugawara
Type: Hands-on Level: Beg-Int When: Sat. 9:30-11am Where: Room 6
Medieval and Renaissance music are a convenient stepping stone in learning to compose and improvise. Using the bass line as the ground for building melodies, conveniently called "ground basses", Tomoko will lead you through the process of ornamenting music and then creating your own compositions. No sight-reading required. An easy entry point for beginners and intermediate players to venture into composition.
Ottoman pieces for harp: Tomoko Sugawara
Type: Hands-on Level: Any When: Fri. 1:30-3pm Where: Room 6
The kugo, called the chang in Turkey, was played during the Ottoman period. The very old pieces are simple and beautiful, and suit the chang (kugo) well, which means they translate very well to harp. In this workshop Tomoko will take you through 16th and 17th century melodies by Gazi Giray Han and Ali Ufki. Learn about the instrument and the music in this unique workshop. Sight reading is required.
Pipe Up:: William Jackson
Type: Hands-on Level: Int When: Sat. 1:30-3pm Where: Room 3
Pipe tunes are such an integral part of traditional Irish and Scottish music. You'll get some useful ideas on how to expand your Scottish repertoire and how to select tunes from non-harp instrumental collections from William, who not only plays harp but the pipes as well. Learn how to develop creative arrangements and perform them by using devices such as intros, bridges and "outros". Tunes will be taught by ear. Bring a recording device (or just use your cellphone!)
Play for Church Without Losing Your Religion: Rhett Barnwell
Type: Hands-on Level: Any When: Sun. 2:15pm Where: Room 11
This workshop is part of The Heavenly Harp Sunday Special add-on event.
There may be no higher calling than when we are asked to play, or volunteer to play, for a religious service in a church or temple. Rhett will give you the practical side of playing in a religious setting and the Liturgical Calendar will be explored too. Practical guides to repertoire, compensation, weddings, funerals and other aspects of playing in a sacred setting.
Play the Blues: Patrice Fisher
Type: Hands-on Level: Any When: Fri. 9:30-11am Where: Room 10
There is a common Harmonic structure that makes up a typical Blues tune. You'll explore this structure and learn 4 scales that you can use to play and improvise on a blues tune. You can also use these scales, even if you just want to add some spice to any tune. By the end of this workshop Patrice will have you sounding like your from her New Orleans! Some sight-reading but "by ear" players should have no difficulty in picking things up.
Playing in an Irish Session for Other Instruments: Dennis Gormley
Type: Hands-on Level: Int. When: Sat. 3:30-5pm Where: Room 9
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. It's also preparation for the Saturday night Irish session after the concert! Open to non-harping companions
Pop Tunes in a Snap: Carol Thompson
Type: Hands-on Level: Beg. When: Sat. 3:30-5pm Where: Room 2
What the trick to quickly learning a pop tune that you would like to play but don't want to struggle learning someone else's arrangement? Carol's got just the tips you can use to learn how to do your own thing. She'll be using Somewhere Over the Rainbow and Edelweiss as examples but feel free to bring in your own examples of songs with at least the basic chords written on them.
Prevent Injury & Play Better and Faster: Alfredo Ortiz
Type: Hands-on Level: Any When: Sat. 3:30-5pm Where: Room 7
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!
Psalms of David: Sunita Staneslow
Type: Hands-on Level: Any When: Sun. 9-10:30am Where: Room 11
This workshop is part of The Heavenly Harp Sunday Special add-on event.
Psalms have been perhaps the most influential book of the Bible and have inspired countless hearts for two thousand years. The harp and the music of the harp are directly connected to the Psalms. Sunita will give an overview of the history of the Psalms and how they play an important role in the Jewish tradition. You will learn to play several gorgeous melodies from both the Christian hymnal and Jewish tradition. Psalms can be played in churches, synagogues, for healing services and in hospitals. The perfect music to play anywhere!
Regency Age Harping to lure Mr. Darcy: Nancy Hurrell
Type: Hands-on Level: Int. When: Sat. 3:30-5pm Where: Room 4
The novelist Jane Austen wrote, “A young woman, pretty, lively, with a harp as elegant as herself… was enough to catch any man’s heart.” In the elegant Regency age, harp music was the main entertainment in London drawing rooms as well as the music rooms of Ireland’s great houses. Experience playing period arrangements from 1800s harp books written for the small ‘portable’ harp as played by aristocratic harpists and Princess Augusta, the king’s sister.
Renaissance Gems from the 16th Century: Nancy Hurrell
Type: Hands-on Level: Beg-Int When: Fri. 3:30-5pm Where: Room 2
The sublime and sometimes quirky harmonies of the great Renaissance composers Josquin des Prez (1450-1521) and Luis de Narváez (1546) represent early music at its best. Join our Renaissance class consort and experience the satisfying sounds of another era. The arrangements, from Nancy’s Brandeis University Renaissance harp class, are accessible multi-level ensemble parts. Advanced beginners and intermediate level
Rhythmic Improvisation: Patrice Fisher
Type: Hands-on Level: Any When: Fri. 1:30-3pm Where: Room 10
In this workshop, you will learn to play chord progressions in several different rhythmic patterns, like Samba, Cumbria and even Swing and find out what it takes to accompany other musicians using improvisations on the rhythm. Patrice says to "let go of the logical, analysing part of your brain and original musical ideas will spontaneously flow." Some sight-reading but "by ear" players should have no difficulty in picking things up.

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


Updated 6/8/18
Workshop descriptions and schedules are subject to change. Refresh your browser to make sure you have the latest version of this page.