Workshops

Playing Level Guide

BASIC – knows their way around a harp, can play a simple melody with 1 hand

INTERMEDIATE – understands levers, and can play 2 hands together

ADVANCED – understands chords and keys, can play hands together at a reasonable speed

Workshops

ROBIN GRENON & GISELE GUIBORD

Pentatonic Games – Who said learning was not fun? With this workshop, you will learn the five pentatonic finger positions through many relaxing and pleasant exercises. These techniques will allow you to improve your sound, your touch and your concentration, while your mind and body gradually relax. These fingerings will be quite useful for different styles: Irish music, blues, zen improvisation, etc.…
MULTI-LEVEL

The Guarania – Created by José Asunción Flores in 1925, the Guarania is an expression of the Paraguayan soul. The slow ternary rhythm of the Guarania, romantic and poetic, creates a place where time no longer exists. Come and dream with us with the Guarania.
MULTI-LEVEL

Learn 2 Easy Pieces with the Composers – Following its success at the last Huron Harp Fest, Robin and Gisèle will introduce you to two new (or more!) compositions that you will be able to learn easily with their help. There is no better way than a human exchange to integrate new music.
MULTI-LEVEL

Robbin Gordon-Cartier

Lead The Way – Discover how much more music you can play by using lead sheets and making up your own arrangements. Learn how to read chord symbols, create bass patterns and play different styles of music using lead sheets.
MULTI-LEVEL

I’ve Got Rhythm! – Who can ask for anything more!!! Well most of us who find playing rhythmic music a challenge need to know how to get rhythm. This workshop will show how to work your way through the rhythms so that you can play them with ease.
INTERMEDIATE, ADVANCED

The Icing on the Cake!  – Use special effects to enhance your music and add dimension to your playing.  An overview of harp notation, effects and techniques as used by modern harp composers such as Andres, Salzedo and Ortiz. Practical tips on how to achieve the effects and where they sound the best.
ALL LEVELS

Lever it up! – Are you limiting your playing to one key, no accidentals and certainly no lever slides? Come learn how to get the most out of your levers. This is a hands on workshop designed to get you playing in many keys, modulating and even jazzing it up!!
INTERMEDIATE, ADVANCED

MARTHA LAWRANCE

HARP THERAPY – LESS IS MORE
A brief overview of the Therapeutic Harp field – What is Harp Therapy? Play selected Elemental Music found in nature and learn how they correspond to the different modes. Ie. earth – Ionian Mode
Experience how a Harp Therapist adapts playing therapeutically/interactively for Rehabilitation, Alzheimer’s, Palliative/Hospice Care patients, and why the selection of music is important. What are the key musical elements in therapeutic music?
BEGINNERS WELCOME * to listen only
BASIC – ADVANCED 

HARP THERAPY – MODES FOR MOODS
An introduction to modes – explore how the entire mood and physiology of a listener can be affected by a change in Mode.  Increase your playing flexibility as you experiment with improvisation while incorporating musical elements and their application to healing. Learn how and where to add intervals, rhythm and space/breath to your music. Create an emotional journey moving from 3-4 modes.
BEGINNERS WELCOME * to listen only
BASIC – ADVANCED

DOMINIQUE DODGE

Gaelic Song – Learn a beautiful but simple Gaelic song and a harp accompaniment to go with it.
BASIC/INTERMEDIATE

Harp Accompaniment – an introduction to chord shapes and rhythms for accompanying other instruments and singers.
INTERMEDIATE

A Cape Breton Waltz – Though they originate in continental Europe, waltzes have been popular in the traditions of Scotland and Ireland for many years. These lyrical, danceable tunes are naturally suited to the harp, and accessible to players of all levels. This workshop will highlight a waltz from the Cape Breton tradition. We’ll explore melody by ear, ideas for ornamentation, variation, and layering of lush chords in the right hand, followed by an arrangement for the left hand with a nod to rhythms and chord charts for those interested in creating their own setting. 
BASIC/INTERMEDIATE

Flat Hand Damping Technique – This is an important technique for playing octaves, tenths, and other two-note intervals.
INTERMEDIATE/ADVANCED

Debbie Brewin-Wilson

Basics for Beginners I – New to the harp? Learn the basics to help build a solid foundation for playing. We’ll cover using an electronic tuner, how to sit at the harp, good hand position, and basic exercises to reinforce good technique.
BEGINNER/BASIC

Basics for Beginners II – We’ll pick up where we left off in Beginners I and work on standard chord patterns, crossing under and over, how to put your harp into different keys, and—time permitting—learn a tune together.
BEGINNER/BASIC

Make a Joyful Noise – Using Your Harp in Worship
If you’re ready to begin playing in public, your house of worship is often a great
place to start. In this workshop, we’ll talk about selecting music, adapting hymns
for the harp, and creating your own sacred music.
BASIC/INTERMEDIATE

The Musical Genius of Robert Burns – Many people know that Robert Burns was a famous Scottish poet, but they may not know the range of his songwriting ability and his love for the traditional music of his nation. You’ll learn a bit about Burns and we’ll play a few of his tunes.
BASIC/INTERMEDIATE

MARY ROSS & CLAYTON PETERS

Percussion for Harpists – Learn how to play a variety of hand-drums and auxiliary percussion instruments! Once our hands know what they’re doing, we’ll learn patterns to play while accompanying harp tunes!
MULTI-LEVEL

The Rhythmic Harpist – Experiment with soundboard drumming and incorporating different rhythmic approaches to harp accompaniment & phrasing.
INTERMEDIATE/ADVANCED

GRAINNE HAMBLY

The Jig Is Up – There’s nothing that says Irish so much as the sound of a jig. Yet
getting that “lilt” is a nuance that escapes many players just reading eighth notes on sheet music. Learn a jig or two from a master player and find out how to get the lightness and lift into your playing.
INTERMEDIATE/ADVANCED

Irish Christmas Tunes – It’s never too early to start preparing your Christmas repertoire! Learn to play some beautiful Christmas carols and tunes unique to the Irish tradition. Lyrics will be provided, in Irish and with translations.
Tunes will be taught by ear and music given out at the end of the workshop.
BASIC/INTERMEDIATE

Carolan and Music of the Harper Composers – We’re still playing his music more than 250 years later. Simple, elegant melodies that are as popular today as then. Learn about Carolan and the other harper bards in this hands-on workshop that will add a new piece to your repertoire. Taught by ear with written music distributed at the end of the workshop.
INTERMEDIATE/ADVANCED

Aural Learning Made Easy – Do you find the idea of learning by ear daunting? Do you avoid classes that do not use written music? Come and explore different techniques and tips for aural learning, presented in the context of a simple Irish tune. And discover that it’s easier than you think!
BASIC/INTERMEDIATE

SHARON JOHNSTON

All In A Circle – Join a traditional harp circle where anything goes.  Suggest a tune, play a solo, do some improv, etc.  We will go around the circle and everyone gets a chance.  No pressure, just come and join in when you can.
MULTI-LEVEL

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