Workshop Options

Following your early bird registration, in mid September, you will be sent an email asking you to make choices regarding the workshops you would like to attend.  
Some of the workshops have size limits, if the class size has reached it's limit by the time you  make your choice, you can ask to be put on the waiting list, and we will do our best!  All workshops are designed for those who have harps and spectators.

Youth Programme workshops are designed for, but not exclusive to,  our Forest of Harps Adventurers - harpists aged 12 years and under, and working between grade 1 and 4 (approximately). Caregivers of children please refer to the FAQs, and the parent/caregivers information sheet, with regard to your obligations.

There are two workshop sessions each day (session one, session two) and in the subject line you will see the title of the workshop, the presenter, and the approximate level. You can only pick one workshop in each session.

The stated level is where the presenter is focussing the teaching, however this does not preclude harpists of a higher or lower level taking part or observing. You can attend any workshop at any level, with or without a harp. The presenters have been asked to include elements in the workshop which will interest spectators without harps.

Saturday 4th February 2023
Session One Options

1a Technique Focus Course Day One - Oscar Rodriguez do Campo - All levels

Oscar Rodriguez do Campo will be teaching a progressive three day workshop, two hours each day, on ‘Scales & Relaxation Technique for Healthy Playing and Sound Quality Improvement.’

While harpists can take part or observe the workshops for any one or all three days, the full benefit of Oscar’s method will be fully realised by seeing the progress over all three days.

· Saturday 9-11am – Day one - Oscar will begin demonstrating techniques with the beginner harpist (lever or pedal) and offers places to three harpists to demonstrate a piece they are confidently playing to apply his technique to.

Oscar says, “It takes time to practice and to understand the concepts implied in the real ‘relaxation’ itself, not in the mime of it. So the relaxation concept will be explained, then it will be applied to the scale technique and in the third stage it ALL will be applied to the piece.”

On each of the three days Oscar would like three harpists to be active participants, like a masterclass student, bringing a piece of music they have learnt to a high level. Oscar says, “the active participant´s piece will be used to show and apply my theoretical explanation, from the most simple piece on the first day to a more complex piece the last day.”

This workshop is for active participants, hands on harpists (who can be trying out his techniques on their harps during the workshops), and spectators. There will be time allotted through the workshop for Oscar to respond to questions.

There will be an opportunity to register an expression of interest to be a participant, either at beginner, intermediate or advanced level, when you choose your workshop options.

1b Effecting the Harp - Adriano Sangineto - All levels

Have you ever tried to combine your harp to some sound effects? This workshop is aimed to deepen the knowledge about the pedal stomp box which can be used to overdrive, freeze, loop or modulate the pure sound of your instrument. First of all, it’s mandatory to know how to amplify the instrument and then, let’s have fun with numerous effects that can widen the horizons of your performance. No harps required, you will get a chance to try an electro-acoustic harp in the workshop.

1c Learn a Paraguayan/Venezuelan Harp Tune - Andy Rigby - Intermediate level

Andy will teach a Paraguayan ‘Polca’ and a Venezuelan “Joropo”. Both have driving left hand rhythms and signature right hand patterns. Notation will be available, but the emphasis will be on learning by ear.

1d The Secrets of Sightreading - Felice Pomeranz - Elementary Adult

Would you like to be able to sit down and simply read new pieces? Spend less time learning because you can read faster? This class will help you find patterns, form, and more, to make you a better reader.

1e Traditional Tunes by Ear - Mary O'Neill - Youth Programme

Have a go at learning a new tune in the traditional way with Irish harper, Mary O’Neill. Students will learn the melody line and accompaniment separately (time depending) in a group situation. Mary will guide the students through the tunes by calling out note names and finger patterns, playing the phrases and getting students to repeatedly play with her. Taught by ear with notation given to the students at the end. It is advised that the students have a device (phone) to record the new tunes on so they can listen back to it.

Saturday 4th February 2023
Session Two Options

2a How to 'Tackle' the Blues - Amanda Whiting - Intermediate/Advanced

A simple 12 bar blues is a conversation which speaks for itself across the world. Come along and learn how to play the blues and improvise with a language to transcend all languages.

2b Seated Pilates for Musician - Judith West - All Welcome (no harps required)

How do you feel after an hour playing your Harp? Curious to better support your posture, release tension and increase comfort? Come along to our 'Harp Pilates' session, experience moves to assist you to relax, stretch, strengthen and more, all while seated!

2c English Tunes on the Harp - Adele Coles - Intermediate

When most people think of traditional music, it conjures the sounds of Irish, Scottish, Welsh, Manx, and Breton music. But England too has a rich history of traditional music. In this workshop we will look at this, at times overlooked, tradition, and learn by ear, one of these tunes.

2d Start Improvising - Esther Swift - All Levels

Improvisation is a scary word to some people, but it is all about the right head space. It has nothing to do with skill or technique…HONESTLY! In this workshop I will show you some of my favourite easy improvisation techniques which will build your confidence, as well as give you tools to take your music making practice down different paths that you might not expect.

2e Make Your Own Music - Elizabeth Volpe Bligh - Youth Programme

We will talk about how you can use music to describe emotions or images. We will play a game where we have pieces of paper with words on them, like "princess" or "bear", and each student will improvise something to describe that word. Then the others try to guess what the word is. We can improvise an ensemble describing some of the images, using a pentatonic scale so that it all sounds good together.

Use your harp and creativity to explore turning words and feelings into music. Learn about special effects on the harp, and how to use different patterns to express emotions

Sunday 5th February 2023
Session One Options

7a Technique Focus Course Day 2- Oscar Rodriguez do Campo - All levels

Day two of ‘Scales & Relaxation Technique for Healthy Playing and Sound Quality Improvement.’

While harpists can take part or observe the workshops for any one or all three days, the full benefit of Oscar’s method will be fully realised by seeing the progress over all three days.

· Sunday 9-11am - Day two - Oscar will demonstrate these techniques with the intermediate harpists (lever or pedal) with three active participants.

Oscar says, “It takes time to practice and to understand the concepts implied in the real ‘relaxation’ itself, not in the mime of it. So the relaxation concept will be explained, then it will be applied to the scale technique and in a third stage it ALL will be applied to the piece.”

On each of the three days Oscar would like three harpists to be active participants, like a masterclass student, bringing a piece of music they have learnt to a high level. Oscar says, “the active participant´s piece will be used to show and apply my theoretical explanation, from the most simple piece on the first day to a more complex piece the last day.”

This workshop is for active participants, hands on harpists (who can be trying out his techniques on their harps during the workshops), and spectators. There will be time allotted through the workshop for Oscar to respond to questions.

There will be an opportunity to register an expression of interest to be a participant, either at beginner, intermediate or advanced level, when you choose your workshop options.

7b The Harp in Worship - Robyn Allen Gouge - All Levels

Minister and harpist Robyn Allen Gouge will explore the way the harp can be used in worship, looking at some resources and practical ways to make sure your harp can be used to the best advantage in different settings.

7c Five Ways to Move - Esther Swift - Intermediate

I was lucky enough to write 5 pieces for Harpenz, the New Zealand harp weekend, which represent my experience of travelling around New Zealand and Scotland, the two places I feel most at home at in the world. These 5 pieces are about different aspects of travel and movement, and combine Scottish tunes with simple riffs and cross rhythms. I will look at elements of these tunes in these workshops and encourage participants to go and develop them in their own ways.

7d Decoding Leadsheets - Amanda Whiting - Intermediate

“What does that mean?” When we see the short hand chords written above the music. We will look at some popular lead sheets and try and decipher them.. then bring them to life.

7e Rambling Through Rhythms - Andy Rigby - Youth Programme

Join Andy for a fun exploration of South American music and the exciting rhythms that characterise the music.

Sunday 5th February 2023
Session Two Options

8a How to Approach a New Tune - Josh Layne - Intermediate

In this workshop Josh will teach his composition Forgotten Summer. This three page piece for lever or pedal harp is about grade 3-4 level, and includes a few harmonics, some xylophonic sounds (don’t worry, they’re easy!) and even a chance to improvise should you wish! We’ll work through the sections with Josh offering practice strategies, technique tips, and musical insights. Sheet music included.

8c Rhythm Boot Camp - Felice Pomeranz - Intermediate/Advanced

Do you want to play more contemporary tunes/pieces, but the syncopated rhythms are terrifying for you? Come find out some strategies for conquering new rhythms.

8d Accompanying Songs with Harp - Mary O'Neill - All Levels

Mary will demonstrate ways to create a harp accompaniment around a song, using the NZ folk song ‘Darling Johnny’. Bring your harp, your voice and your creativity! You will be provided with lyrics and chords (feel free to bring a device so you can record the song) and be ready to have fun working to put your own twist on this song.

8e Italian Traditional Tunes for Dance - Adriano Sangineto - Youth Programme

In the workshop participants will learn folk songs and tunes for dancing from different Italian regions, by acquiring the fundamentals of a rhythmical technique to accompany the dance, especially the tunes taken from the unique Italian harp tradition from the town of Viggiano.
In the beginning the learning will be done by ear, through dancing and singing with the aim of a better assimilation of the tunes. At the end, scores of the learnt tunes will be given. Lever harps are required for the class and are preferred to pedal harps.

Monday 6th February 2023
Session One Options

13a Technique Focus Course Day 3- Oscar Rodriguez do Campo - All Levels

Day three of ‘Scales & Relaxation Technique for Healthy Playing and Sound Quality Improvement.’

While harpists can take part or observe the workshops, the full benefit of Oscar’s method will be fully realised by seeing the progress over all three days.

Day three - Oscar will demonstrate these techniques with the advanced harpists (lever or pedal) with three active participants.

Oscar says, “It takes time to practice and to understand the concepts implied in the real ‘relaxation’ itself, not in the mime of it. So the relaxation concept will be explained, then it will be applied to the scale technique and in a third stage it ALL will be applied to the piece.”

On each of the three days Oscar would like three harpists to be active participants, like a masterclass student, bringing a piece of music they have learnt to a high level. Oscar says, “the active participant´s piece will be used to show and apply my theoretical explanation, from the most simple piece on the first day to a more complex piece the last day.”

This workshop is for active participants, hands on harpists (who can be trying out his techniques on their harps during the workshops), and spectators. There will be time allotted through the workshop for Oscar to respond to questions.

There will be an opportunity to register an expression of interest to be a participant, either at beginner, intermediate or advanced level, when you choose your workshop options.

13b Tiddly-bits and Boom-chicks - Andy Rigby - All Levels

A hands-on approach to vamping tune accompaniments on the harp. Celtic tunes are a specialty – jigs, reels and polkas – come along and find out some of the tricks and tips of playing with other instruments.

13c Solving Technical Issues - Elizabeth Volpe Bligh - All Levels

Elizabeth will work with students to solve problems such as buzzing, collisions, falling off the strings, replacing with clarity - all very common harpy technical problems!

13d Composing in a Traditional Style - Mary O'Neill - All Levels

Using her own composition ‘Lynbrooke Ave’ as an example, Mary will show you tips and tools that can be used for composing your own songs and tunes in a traditional style. Bring a device to record your ideas on, pen and paper will be provided for brainstorming.

13e How to Make a Band - Esther Swift - Youth Programme

Join me in this epic harp jam session where we get to play the kind of music that you love to listen to and try it out on the harp as a band. Whether that’s theme tunes from films, your favourite song from the radio, or your own tune or song that we can turn into an epic band jam! In this workshop we are going to build a band together and give you all the tools you need to start your own bands with your friends.

Monday 6th February 2023
Session two options

14a Why Etudes are Good for You - Felice Pomeranz - Intermediate/Advanced

Learning etudes is a great way to work on technique. Let’s explore some etude collections which help to improve different aspects of your playing.

14b Mr Fixit - Harp Clinic - Josh Layne - Intermediate/Advanced

How do I get a better sound? How can I be more relaxed at the harp? What is the best way to finger this passage? How can I play this faster and more evenly?
Six participants in this one hour workshop will get a chance to work one-on-one with Josh to have their questions answered. Participants and attendees alike will come away with ideas and strategies on tackling all sorts of aspects of playing the harp. Want to be one of the six participants? Request to put your name on the list when you register for the festival. Participation will be on a first come, first served basis, with a waiting list.

14c Getting the Groove - Adriano Sangineto - All Levels

The workshop “Getting the Groove” is aimed at exploring the rhythmic aspect of the harp, developing that rhythmic-harmonic awareness that is essential for playing dance music. The workshop is divided into learning the basic steps of the dances (shown through the video), singing and studying the techniques on the harp. The course will deal with both Italian folk dances and original compositions of Adriano.

14d Harp Therapy Basics - Helen Morrison - Beginner/Early Intermediate

A hands-on practical workshop in harp therapy where participants bring their harps and learn music and skills related to therapeutic harp.

14e Throw Away the Music and Let's See What Happens - Amanda Whiting - Youth Programme

What happens when we throw away our music? Who are we? Can we speak through our fingers? What’s your sound? Let’s make it up and have some fun!