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 2016
£8.00

Learn how to manage stress more effectively – Part 1 / Tana Collins

April 2 @ 11:00 am - 12:00 pm
Tana Collins

In this workshop we will be exploring the nature of stress, what it is and how to recognise the signs and symptoms. Panic and anxiety attacks, which are symptoms of stress, are underpinned by faulty breathing habits. Come and learn some simple breathing exercises and practical coping skills that can literally change your life! Meet the tutor: Tana Collins

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£8.00

How not to be afraid of grade exams / Alison Bell

April 2 @ 11:00 am - 12:00 pm
Alison Bell

Whether you are new to teaching or not, the moment when a parent says 'And when does she/he start grade exams?' can send a shiver down your spine. Alison still gets those chilly moments, but has the advantage of knowing how it works from the inside, because she's a local rep for the world's longest established external music exam system, Trinity College London. An illustrated session, really useful for teachers, parents and anyone contemplating sitting a grade practical. Meet the…

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£8.00

Harmony singing / Corrina Hewat

April 2 @ 11:00 am - 12:00 pm
Corrina Hewat

Once again we have a chance to lift up our voices and share the joy of song with each other. Corrina will bring some fitting songs for springtime, which will be taught aurally.  Some warm-up ideas, fun harmony lines, and a good song or two plus a lot of fun - who needs anything else? Please feel free to bring along a recording device. And no harps are needed. Meet the tutor: Corrina Hewat

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£8.00

Everything you always wanted to know about the harmonica, but were afraid to ask! / Brendan Power

April 2 @ 11:00 am - 12:00 pm
Brendan Power

A Q&A session; open to all. Whether you’re an expert or have never played a harmonica in your life, come along and hear one of the world’s acknowledged expert players and makers discuss this fascinating little instrument. Ask a question or just listen in, it’s up to you. Brendan has an encyclopaedic knowledge of all things harmonica, and will demonstrate points along the way with some of his unique customised wee moothies, or mouth-harps, as they are also known. Meet…

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£8.00

Learn how to manage stress more effectively – Part 2 / Tana Collins

April 3 @ 11:00 am - 12:00 pm
Tana Collins

This follow up and more in depth workshop will enable you to assess your own personality type. If you are the type that is more prone to stress what can you do to reduce the risk of long-term stress that can lead to illness? We will be looking at what determines your ability to manage stress and explore ways in which the most common negative thinking habits can be changed in to positive ones! Both workshops are stand alone workshops.…

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£8.00

The revival of the çeng / Sirin Pancaroglu & Bora Uymaz

April 3 @ 11:00 am - 12:00 pm
Sirin Pancaroglu & Bora Uymaz

The çeng is an angular harp with its origins in Mesopotamia. The instrument has a prestigious and colourful history. Played in the medieval courts, it is often a political symbol of a power, evoking a strong past. It carries also a mystic symbolism which is mostly due to its hunched back, with the soundbox positioned in the uppermost part of the instrument, as if rising to the sky but bending at the top. A favourite theme among poets as well,…

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£8.00

Ceilidh dancing / Sheila McCutcheon

April 3 @ 11:00 am - 12:00 pm
Sheila McCutcheon

Don't understand what we mean when you 'set' to your partner and 'polka'? Learn a few of the traditional Scottish dances and more to get round the dance floor at the Monday ceilidh. Everyone can enjoy the dancing at any level. Meet the tutor: Sheila McCutcheon 

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£8.00

Playlist for Life / Andy Lowndes

April 3 @ 11:00 am - 12:00 pm
Andy Lowndes

Being able to respond to music – the first sense in the foetus and the last to go at the end of life – is the one thing dementia cannot destroy. In this workshop Andy will discuss how, if you have dementia, the music that has been meaningful in your life – even TV theme tunes or Christmas carols – can make you feel better. He will highlight the work that the charity Playlist for Life does to support people…

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£10.00

Lever Harp to Mouth Harp / Anne-Marie O’Farrell & Brendan Power

April 4 @ 10:30 am - 12:00 pm
Anne-Marie O'Farrell & Brendan Power

Bring your harp to learn a tune and arrangement which you can use to duet with all your harmonica playing friends! Here you’ll discover more about the expanded possibilities of duetting, and ways of achieving variety of pattern in your accompaniments. You’ll also find ways of making your sound more colourful so that you can create interesting textures and timbres. Meet the tutors: Anne-Marie O'Farrell & Brendan Power  Bring your harp along     Supported by:

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£10.00

Equilibrium: new music, new instruments, timeless themes / Pete Sparkes, Amy Moar & Rhona Smith

April 4 @ 10:30 am - 12:00 pm
Rhona Smith and Amy Moar

Explore the creative process of making new music that includes musicians playing music technology alongside those playing acoustic instruments. Rhona Smith and Amy Moar will lead a session with Pete Sparkes from Drake Music Scotland explaining the laptop technology that Rhona uses to create her ‘Digital Harp’, with opportunities for everyone to try out amazing music apps on iPads and examples of repertoire including music from Young Mary’s Suite by Amy. Music has an extraordinary capacity to connect people and…

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£10.00

Masterclass / Elinor Bennett

April 4 @ 10:30 am - 12:00 pm
Elinor Bennett

Join us to observe the master at work in a public masterclass from the distinguished Welsh harpist, Elinor Bennett. Renowned and revered as a harp teacher, Elinor will work with a range of harpists from the very young up to Conservatoire level on both the clarsach and pedal harp, sharing her insights and experience of this vast and varied repertoire. Meet the tutor: Elinor Bennett 

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£10.00

Welsh gypsy harping: the music of John Roberts ‘Telynor Cymru’, the ‘Original Cambrian Minstrel’ / Robin Huw Bowen

April 4 @ 10:30 am - 12:00 pm
Robin Huw Bowen

2016 is the 200th anniversary of the birth of John Roberts ‘Telynor Cymru’ (1816-1894), the great Gypsy harpist and impresario. The music of the Roberts family comes to us as a living unbroken oral tradition, having been passed down through the family generations to John Roberts’ great-grand-daughter Eldra Jarman, who very generously shared the melodies with Robin Huw Bowen. As a celebration of this auspicious anniversary, Robin was awarded a Welsh Arts Council grant to organise harp workshops throughout Wales in…

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£10.00

Dance in France, and back for lunch / Park Stickney and Violaine Contreras

April 4 @ 10:30 am - 12:00 pm
Stickney & Contreras

Learn some traditional music from le Centre France (et ailleurs). We’ll play mazurkas, gavottes, cercles circassiens, bourrées, chapelloises, etc… tunes that have travelled far, via the ears/hands/feet of musicians and dancers over the years.  And then we’ll learn the dances that go with them. The tunes and sheet music are available to download below. Advance preparation is useful and welcome, but not essential. The main goal of this workshop is to share a moment together, playing and dancing this lively and…

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£10.00

Harp and fiddle with Catriona and Chris / Chris Stout & Catriona McKay

April 4 @ 10:30 am - 12:00 pm
Catriona McKay

Learn a few tunes and develop skills to enhance the rhythm, harmony and flow of the music. Explore how the two instruments can work together to enhance the music. Enjoy being part of a duo - an exciting combination that has kept Chris and Catriona enthralled for many years! Meet the tutors: Chris Stout & Catriona McKay  Bring your harp along

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£8.00

From Wales to Patagonia / Gwenan Gibbard

April 5 @ 11:00 am - 12:00 pm
Gwenan Gibbard

Come and hear about the close cultural connections between the people of Wales and the people of Patagonia, Argentina, and their shared love of the harp. An hour of music, stories and songs. Meet the tutor: Gwenan Gibbard Supported by The Clarsach Society Transpennine Branch

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£8.00

Mali, Mandingo ancient and modern strings / Vincent Zanetti & Samba Diabaté

April 5 @ 11:00 am - 12:00 pm
Vincent Zanetti

Samba Diabaté (guitar, jeli n’goni) is a master of Mandingo guitar playing and Vincent Zanetti (guitar, zena harp-lute) has played and arranged this music for more than twenty years. The griots' tradition from Mali is their daily bread. Between traditional themes and original compositions, their musical speech is rooted into the Sahelian traditions, but also feeds on subtle jazz and folk influences, which makes the music accessible to the Malian villager as to the non-African public. Meet the tutors: Vincent…

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£8.00

The popular harp in the Italian culture / Adriano Sangineto

April 5 @ 11:00 am - 12:00 pm
Adriano Sangineto

There is a little known, though well-documented, folk harp tradition from Viggiano in the south of Italy. The folk harp tradition was introduced along with the diatonic accordion and zampogna (double chantered pipes) from the classical world of the Naples Conservatoire. Adriano will tell this story with cheerful and sad tunes and tarantellas. After more than a century of oblivion this tradition is being revived. Meet the tutor: Adriano Sangineto

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£8.00

Waulking, yet still sitting – the tweed songs of the Western Isles / Màiri Macleod

April 6 @ 11:00 am - 12:00 pm
Waulking

In the far north of Scotland, in the rural villages of the Outer Hebrides, the women would be hard at work - gossiping, making loud banging noises on tables and singing their hearts out. What's it all about? Join in with some simple Gàidhlig waulking songs, find out about the history of the Harris Tweed culture and how modern it has become in recent days. Meet the tutor: Màiri Macleod Supported by Harris Tweed Hebrides and The Clarsach Society Isle…

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£8.00

The Canaries / Vicente La Camera Mariño

April 6 @ 11:00 am - 12:00 pm
Vicente La Camera Mariño

Explore this lively music/dance! We will travel back in time to its origins. Where did it come from? How did it spread through Europe - appearing in Scottish manuscripts? How should we interpret them on the harp - Canaries jam session! Meet the tutor: Vicente La Camera Mariño Bring your harp along

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£8.00

Learn a jazz piece in an hour. (Keep going like this and you’ll learn 8,760 pieces per year) / Park Stickney

April 6 @ 11:00 am - 12:00 pm
Park Stickney

We’ll create a group jazz piece--maybe a blues… depends on the weather--which you’ll then be able to play by yourself (or with friends) at home. There will be some improvisation, and probably a joke or two. No jazz experience necessary, all levels welcome. Meet the tutor: Park Stickney Bring your harp along

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