Grainne Hambly (left) leads the advanced level workshop.
"...it was a wonderful weekend in
every way- I loved the people, the teachers, and the learning experience.
Thanks for all your efforts. Having the CD to listen to the songs was a great
idea. It helped me learn them much more quickly."
--from a 2003 attendee.
"This was the first I ever played
this type of music, first time doing a weekend thing, first time all around. I
think I am hooked! You are fabulous."
--exactly what we like to hear. This feedback from a 2002 participant.
"My favorite workshop was Saturday night when everybody played what they learned and played together. It was inspiring and it boosted my confidence," said one 2002 participant.
We structure the entire weekend as one long-running workshop, covering all of the topics listed below, plus anything else that comes up as a result of the formal and informal discussions. You'll learn at least 2 new pieces in small group sessions. You'll start learning a tune by ear, work ornamentations into that and as things progress, work on chord basics and finally left hand accompaniment. It's a marathon day. Be prepared for total harp immersion!
Arriving: You can settle in at the Manchester Inn anytime after
2 pm. The hotel is only a block away from the beach so enjoy a nice walk
after your long car ride if you arrive earlier than that.
Dinner: We have traditionally started the evening by going out to dinner in small groups. It's a great way to unwind from your trip and get to know the other harpers.
We have a "get-to-know you" Harpers Circle on Friday night, starting roughly about 8 pm. Everybody gets a chance to play. Don't be shy. Even if you have only one piece, we're going to ask you to share it. Non-harping participants and guests are also encouraged to participate.
Based on feedback, we started dividing up the workshops into more levels a number of years ago and attendees seem happy with the outcome. In general, we'll try covering the same great topics but at differing depths and speeds. When you register you can follow our guidelines and place yourself in any one of the four levels or ask us for suggestions on placement. We break out into these groups for the Saturday workshops. Everybody will learn the same tune before the first break in the morning session. At the break, anyone who is uncomfortable at the level they chose can speak to the instructor and work out another placement. We cannot accommodate those who have never ever played a harp at all, even for the beginner class.
We will mail all registrants a "listening" CD of the pieces we intend to teach at the Escape at least 2 weeks in advance. All you're supposed to do is listen to it. Listen to it a lot. This is part of learning to play by ear. Some of the subject topics might change slightly at the weekend, depending on the experience and playing levels of the participants. If we need to bring in additional teachers to keep the class sizes suitably small, we may add to the list! The goal is always the same—learn by doing.
Everybody learns the same piece in the first workshop, at different levels, depending on the group you're with.
The Emigrant Experience: An after-dinner with Kathy and her husband Dennis performing music from their Bound for Amerikay program. Great music and interesting history on the experiences of emigrants coming to this country. What must it have been like? How did it feel to leave everyone and everything that is familiar to go off to a fabled land of freedom with streets paved with gold and untold wealth and opportunity? What was it like? Experience it through their music.
Leftovers: we wrap up by finishing off the day's loose ends. We play the whole evening "by ear." Whatever needs doing gets done.
Playing with Others: Get together in the dining room with all the harps and other instruments. We'll call this a "slow" jam session. What are the dynamics of interacting with other musicians? Play if you know it. Watch. Listen. Learn.
Our Sunday morning session is a refresh of the pieces "learned" on Saturday. You'd be surprised how much sank in while you slept. It's an intense practice session, with the goal of cementing everything "in your head and hands" before you leave the Weekend. We tidy up all the loose ends in these pieces for the harp orchestra performance in the afternoon public concert. You won't believe how exciting it all is!
Following Sunday morning's "Use it or Lose it"
session and a fabulous brunch, we'll head out to set up for the afternoon
public concert at 1pm. The site of the concert will be the Youth Auditorium,
just a block from the
Reviews of Past Weekends