Congratulations! You have a harp! Now—what do you do with it? To help beginners get the most out of their Somerset experience, Debbie Brewin-Wilson will guide you through all the basics to get you successfully started on the road to Harpdom. We have a wide range of workshops especially geared for new players.
Debbie enjoys helping beginners get off to a good start in order to build a solid foundation. Her workshops will be dedicated to making sure that you have a firm grasp, so to speak, on how to learn the harp. You'll get the fundamentals plus a whole lot of confidence that you can play this instrument! Debbie will be able to give lots of one-on-one personal attention to guide each person along. In addition to our 'live' workshops (in-person and simultaneously online) with Debbie, we are making a number of her previous Somerset Online introduction videos available to our subcribers.
Pending the status of the pandemic, Debbie's workshops will be held 'live' in-person in Parsippany and simultaneously broadcast on zoom for online-only attendees. These workshops will be small and you will get plenty of attention. We'll even have those "warm-up" videos for you to go through beginning on July 1.
Friday 10-11:30am: Beginner's Basics
Let's get to work! Debbie will cover all those basic starters; from using electronic tuners and how to tune the harp (the best and fastest way!) and move on to sitting, posture and hand positions. If you started the harp on your own without a teacher, you might think you knew all this, but really, it's good to work it! Lots of warm-up and exercises with the right hand to maximize dexterity.
Friday 3-4:30pm: Beginner's Chord Basics
Get a solid grounding in chords and chord shapes and getting the best tone when plucking. If you're having trouble getting your hands to cooperate with forming chord shapes, Debbie will demystify chord structures and reinforce the harp fundamentals you’ll need to become more fluent in playing chords. She'll show you how to play your favorite tunes using a “lead sheet” , which is just music that displays a chord letter rather than using the bass clef for the left hand.
You'll have a chance to take Debbie's Beginner Boost series workshops beginning July 1, when Somerset Online opens up. This will give you a 3-week headstart on our beginner-level workshops 'live' on festival weekend, July 21-24. Go at your own pace and in your own good time! Stop and start the videos as needed where you need to really work on a concept.
I put together a Beginner's Itinerary for Somerset which can augment the fundamentals that you'll get in the Beginner Boost video series with Debbie Brewin-Wilson and her 'live' workshops on festival weekend. These are workshops I would recommend to my beginning harp students if this was their first Somerset experience and they needed to treat the whole weekend like harp boot camp. I tailored this particular list for our LIVE ON-SITE and LIVE on ZOOM workshops so you can make the most of your time in workshops that you might actually be able to query the presenter. You are certainly welcome to get in over your head for the other 200 workshops which are on video: the beauty of that being that you can fast forward and rewind as much as you like and replay a video to your heart's content.
Below is the list of the director's suggestions for a comprehensive and well-rounded focus for beginning harpers, including necessary workshops like how to change strings and maintain your harp. These are all hands-on workshops.
There are plenty of lectures and other special events you'll want to check out as well for those times that your brain is just fried and too tired to play any more in the day. If there's a topic that you really want to explore and it's above your playing level, there's nothing to stop you from getting in over your head! If you're signing up for the All Access subscription, you can spread out your exploration in the next few months.
Videos will be accessible until October 31. Learn at your own pace.
|Time (ET zone)||"Live" Workshops||Presenter||Level|
|7/22/2022 10-11:30am||Art of Noodling||Deborah Henson-Conant||Any|
|7/22/2022 10-11:30am||Beginner's Basics||Debbie Brewin-Wilson||Nov.-Beg|
|7/22/2022 11am-6pm||THE EXHIBIT HALL IS OPEN!|
|7/22/2022 11:30am-12:15pm||DIY harp maintenance 1: Knot Tying||Liza Jensen||Any|
|7/22/2022 12-1pm||Small Harp Tasting|
|7/22/2022 1-2:30pm||Improv for Introverts||Kim Robertson||Any|
|7/22/2022 1-2:30pm||Strathspeys Starter Kit||Rachel Hair||Beg.|
|7/22/2022 1-2:30pm||Therapeutic Harping in Today’s World and Beyond||Edie Elkan||Any|
|7/22/2022 3-4:30pm||Beginner's Chord Basics||Debbie Brewin-Wilson||Nov.-Beg|
|7/22/2022 3-4:30pm||Ergonomics 101||Jen Narkevicius||Any|
|7/22/2022 3-4:30pm||Renaissance Dance Class||Nancy Hurrell||Any|
|7/23/2022 10-11:30am||Beginner's Coordination Basics||Debbie Brewin-Wilson||Nov.-Beg|
|7/23/2022 10-11:30am||Selecting the right harp for you||Jen Narkevicius||Any|
|7/22/2022 11am-6pm||THE EXHIBIT HALL IS OPEN!|
|7/22/2022 12-1pm||Large Harp Tasting|
|7/23/2022 1-2:30pm||Creating Dreamy Music for the Bedside||Edie Elkan||Any|
|7/23/2022 1-2:30pm||Musical Cartoons||Deborah Henson-Conant||Any|
|7/23/2022 3-4:30pm||DIY harp maintenance 2: Tuning||Liza Jensen||Any|
|7/24/2022 10-11:30am||Two-Hand Teamwork||Kim Robertson||Any|
|Time (ET zone)||Second Weekend "Live" Workshops||Presenter||Level|
|7/30/2022 10-11:30am||Creative Beginner||Sunita Staneslow||Beg.|
|7/31/2022 10-11:30am||Finetune Your Phrasing||Sunita Staneslow||Any|