Guide to Course Levels & Teaching Method

Guide to Course Levels & Teaching Method

Course Levels

  • Beginner: You have no experience of playing the harp.
  • Post-beginner: You took last year’s Beginners’ course, have had relatively few lessons and/or require help with basic technique.
  • Elementary: You can already perform simple tunes, require further help in consolidating basic technique and wish to work slowly and carefully.
  • Elementary/Intermediate: As Elementary but you feel ready to stretch your boundaries.
  • Intermediate: You already have good technique and can work at a moderate pace.
  • Intermediate/Advanced: As Intermediate, but you are ready and willing to work at a faster pace.
  • Advanced: Your technique is good and you wish to work at a good pace to stretch yourself.
  • Mixed Ability: For all levels, except Beginner.

For further advice about course levels please contact us on +44 (0) 131 445 2022

Teaching Method

  • E: teaching will be by ear with written music given out only at the end of the course.
  • E+M: teaching will initially be by ear with written music given out during or at the end of each session.
  • M: teaching will be from written music.
  • M+E: written music will be given at the start of the course. However, teaching will be sympathetic to all levels of skill in reading/assimilating music.
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Upcoming Events › Workshops

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April 2017
£8.00

The Latin Harp – Diego Laverne Rojas

April 1 @ 11:00 am - 12:00 pm
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The workshop will focus on analysing rhythmical structures which are in most of the traditional songs played in a geographical area between Colombia and Venezuela, where they share the same musical heritage. Concepts like: Corrio, Seis Por Derecho, Tonada, Gavan, and many others, will be explained. Participants also will see how different harmonic progressions are built and will have the chance to understand these concepts with basic exercises on their own harps. You are welcome to bring your harp with…

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£8.00

Breton Dance – Tristan Le Govic

April 1 @ 11:00 am - 12:00 pm
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 Like music and singing, dancing is an important part of the Breton traditional daily life. People share unique and joyous moments all together all through the year. It is a way to create a deep social link between them. In this workshop you will learn how to dance the most popular Breton dances such as An dro, Hanter-dro. No prior experience needed. The dances are fairly simple to learn. If you like dancing, singing or dancing and singing, come along…

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£8.00

Harmony Singing, Corrina Hewat

April 1 @ 11:00 am - 12:00 pm
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Corrina has a new song she would like to bring to the Harmony Singing this year. As it has never been performed a cappella before, the Harp Festival singers will be the first. It will be taught by ear with words available, and possibly even the dots to take away! There’s no need to worry that you may not be a ‘singer’; bring your voice in whatever shape it is in plus a smile and a willingness to learn –…

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£8.00

Ceilidh Dance – Sheila McCutcheon

April 2 @ 11:00 am - 12:00 pm
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Come and learn our most popular ceilidh dances here in Scotland. Learn a few steps and movements and in no time you'll be birling round the floor with your friends. Prepare to have a great laugh, some exercise and learn at the same time. Wear light clothing and comfortable shoes.   Powered by Eventbrite

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£8.00

Songs and Dances from North to South Italy – Adriano & Caterina Sangineto

April 2 @ 11:00 am - 12:00 pm
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Italy has different musical traditions: we can find several types of songs with different dialects and different ways to dance. From gloomy lullabies to the energetic songs of South Italy, Adriano and Caterina will tell stories and legends. Moreover they will show the differences between the steps of a typical dance in the North Italy, such as the Mazurka/Walzer, and the Tarantella/Tammurriata, from the South. All are be invited to join in the singing and dancing.   Powered by Eventbrite

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£8.00

Dephasage: Phasing – François Pernel

April 2 @ 11:00 am - 12:00 pm
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Phasing is “The relationship between the timing of two events.” In this workshop, small, phased phrases will create beautiful music. Bring your harp and be part of a glorious meditative cathedral of sound.  

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£10.00

Mindfulness and Movement, Elinor Brown.

April 3 @ 10:30 am - 12:00 pm
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Mindfulness draws on our natural, human capacity to tune into our senses and be fully present in the here and now. It can help us see more clearly and take better care of ourselves even in challenging situations. This workshop is open to all and offers a basic insight into what mindfulness is and isn’t and offers the opportunity to experience some practices, with a focus on mindfulness in motion.  

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£10.00

Masterclass – Catrin Finch

April 3 @ 10:30 am - 12:00 pm
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With her wealth of performing experience, Catrin Finch is much in demand to give her inspiring harp masterclasses. She will work with students at varying levels, sharing her ideas, insights and perceptions to help them enhance their technical abilities, performance skills, and understanding of a breadth of repertoire. Supported by: The Clarsach Society Northumbrian branch.     Powered by Eventbrite

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£10.00

Fingers, Feet, Heart: a harper’s introduction to Cape Breton Step Dance, Dominique Dodge.

April 3 @ 10:30 am - 12:00 pm
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An introduction to Cape Breton step dance through a classic strathspey and reel set. Steps and tunes have a common ancestor in Gaelic speech rhythms, so we’ll begin by learning to sing the tunes as puirt-a-beul. We’ll bring these rhythms from the voice to the body by exploring foundational strathspey and reel steps. When approaching these tunes on the harp, we’ll give attention to appropriate pace, phrasing, and accompaniment. Please wear smooth-soled shoes, either flat or with a 1-3 inch…

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£10.00

Exploring Pibroch, Bill Taylor & Barnaby Brown

April 3 @ 10:30 am - 12:00 pm
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Bring your harps and expect to sing: this is an active session for all ages and stages. Through canntaireachd, we will explore practical ways of plundering Scotland’s largest and most exotic chest of musical goodies. You will leave with a range of ideas to work into your practising, arranging, composing or improvising – ideas road-tested by Gaelic harpers and pipers over centuries. All examples will be from ‘Colin Campbell’s Instrumental Book 1797’, produced in Argyll. These will introduce pibroch’s full…

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£10

Cheryl Ann Fulton, History of the Triple Harp.

April 3 @ 10:30 am - 12:00 pm
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In this lecture, Dr. Fulton, one of the world’s top performers and scholars of the triple harp, will present the history and development of the Italian/Iberian arpa doppia and the Welsh triple harp. Topics will include the major treatise sources for the arpa doppia (Galilei, Giovenardi and Mersenne), how the triple harp was brought to the British Isles, tunings and temperaments, repertoire, as well as technique – basic duple articulation, tone production and specific techniques for accessing the middle row…

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£10.00

Irish Harp & Fiddle – Laoise Kelly & Tola Custy

April 3 @ 10:30 am - 12:00 pm
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Laoise and Tola will use their vast experience of collaboration in Irish music to guide harpers and fiddlers in this well-loved repertoire touching on tune form, harmony and ornamentation. You are welcome to bring your harp with you to this workshop.  

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£8.00

Harp Care and Maintenance, John Hoare.

April 4 @ 11:00 am - 12:00 pm
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The best way to look after your Clarsach or Pedal harp and keep it sounding at its best. Fitting strings, gut and wire. How to deal with knocks, scrapes, buzzes and rattles. Checking intonation and adjusting levers. How best to travel with the harp by car or by air. Supported by: The Clarsach Society London Branch

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£8.00

The Life and work of Kristen Noguès, Tristan Le Govic and Patsy Seddon.

April 4 @ 11:00 am - 12:00 pm
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Among the pioneers of the Celtic harp, Kristen Noguès (14th March 1952 – 5th July 2007) remains one of the most creative and visionary musicians ever. Often avant-garde, still very modern on both acoustic and electro harp, Kristen’s music reflects the main artistic movement of her time, intermingling Breton traditional music with Jazz and Contemporary music. This workshop on the 10th anniversary of her death, will celebrate her legacy as well as providing historical background since the 1970s. She was…

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£8.00

Macmath : The Silent Page, Wendy Stewart.

April 4 @ 11:00 am - 12:00 pm
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This is the title of a recent project which brought to life an almost forgotten archive of songs collected in the Glenkens area of Dumfries & Galloway by William Macmath in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Macmath contributed enormously to the famous Professor Child’s Ballad collection but is relatively unknown himself. Now, thanks to song researcher Ali Burns, we have a stage show and CD to celebrate him. Wendy will illustrate how she, and fellow musicians from Scotland’s…

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£8.00

Héloïse Russell-Fergusson (1896-1970): Pioneering Clarsach Player, Stuart Eydmann & Helene Witcher.

April 5 @ 11:00 am - 12:00 pm
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An exploration of the life and music of this intriguing and enigmatic musician who took the clarsach around the world in the 1920s and 30s and who made a series of experimental gramophone records in the late 1960s, just prior to the modern clarsach revival. Presenters Helene Witcher, the musician’s niece, and ethnomusicologist and historian Stuart Eydmann had been researching Héloïse separately before learning of the other’s work but now come together to share their findings and discuss the significance…

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£8.00

Acoustics of Plucked and Bowed String Instruments, Murray Campbell.

April 5 @ 11:00 am - 12:00 pm
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A lively, entertaining and non-technical introduction to the science of stringed instruments. The acoustical and musical properties of harps are discussed and compared with the behaviour of other members of the chordophone family, including the guitar, the lute, the banjo, the pipa, the sitar, the violin, the viola da gamba and the erhu. The talk is illustrated by many scientific and musical demonstrations.  

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£8.00

A Fruitful Collaboration, Mr. McFall’s Chamber & Corrina Hewat

April 5 @ 11:00 am - 12:00 pm
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Workshop exploring how to write for harp and strings, using examples from Corrina’s compositions. Mr McFall’s Chamber comprises of Cyril Garac and Robert McFall on 1st and 2nd violin, Brian Schiele on viola, Su-a Lee on cello and Rick Standley on double bass. Strangely enough this is an unusual line-up within classical music – far more common is the string quartet without bass. Having the bass there, however, not only allows for a reinforced bass line, it also creates the…

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