“Arrange Yourself” at Harptoberfest!

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Sun. Oct. 19, 2014  • 1:00 – 3:00 pm
Pacific Harps • Pasadena, CA

922 N. Craig Ave, Pasadena, CA 91104
Hands-On Workshop $50 (Use discount code “CAMAC” for $10 off!)
Come for the workshop – then stay for the VIP Reception and Salon Concert!

>> Register: Harptoberfest.com <<

Whether you play classical, folk or improvisatory jazz – whether you perform in thousand-seat concert halls or at the bedside of a friend – whether you’re an impassioned beginner or an experienced professional … the skill of arranging is one of the most important you can learn. Once you know the basics of arrangement, you can turn any melody into a ‘piece,’ you can vary the length and even change that arrangement on the spot!

In this workshop you’ll learn the fundamentals of arrangement: how to EXPAND simple tunes, SIMPLIFY complex ones, and use techniques like variation, vamps, improvisation, introductions and codas to create your own arrangements – so you can stop worrying about the notes on the page, and start playing the music you love at your level or ability … plus you’ll learn some cool harp tricks to impress your friends and family!

Deborah Henson-Conant is an award-winning composer and performer who specializes in creating music for harp, chamber ensemble, orchestra and music-theater. She’s the world’s leading electric harpist, creator and founder of her own online school for harp, “Pluck University.” “Arrange Yourself” is excerpted from her popular 10-week online course ‘Hip Harp Toolkit.”

Tix & Info: Harptoberfest.com

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“Hip Harp Toolkit” Webinar REVIEWS

My love affair with web-broadcasting started as soon as I new it was possible.  Using my studio as a TV studio fulfills dreams I’ve had since I was a kid!  Dreams of having a theater in my basement, a TV show right outside my kitchen!

Broadcasting solo from my own studio doesn’t always work perfectly.  At last weekend’s Webinar for “Hip Harp Toolkit” I couldn’t get on line for 15 heart-banging minutes because the webinar platform had changed it’s log-in protocol.  But it allows me to CONNECT with audiences thousands of miles away – and to coach musicians all over the world.

So when I recently got a set of REVIEWS from harp coach Sharon Thormahlen after her students spent an evening watching my “Hip Harp Toolkit” webinar, it felt like the PERFECT response!

You can see this original Webinar HERE.

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Susan Schoonover
“play with commitment, grace and fluency.”

SusanSchoonover

I enjoyed the whole workshop.  Concerning DHC Hip Harp Toolkit:  I was able to feel the structure and then the freedom through the examples.  It was inspiring and gave me hope.  I even was able to come home and begin applying the concepts.

This information is drawing out of people their natural gifting at the skill level they are at.  The stories are amazing tools to cement the information.  

No matter how many sugar crystal grow, they are all unique, beautiful and growing with continued food. Much like us.  The structure explanation literally took me on a journey and then brought me back to real life.  

Fun!  Inspiring! A one-liner for me,  “play with commitment, grace and fluency.” Thank you for offering this to us.

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Jane Scheidecker
“Good advice for any experiential level.”

JaneScheidecker

I’m watching Mason Williams and Deborah playing “classical gas” as I write.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0vXtywOlayc

For me it was encouraging to hear her  story – coming late to the harp.  Having issues (like a very limited repertoire) and finding ways to cope in the moment and long-term.  I keep looking for messages that reinforce my future with the harp– her story makes mine seem possible.  We just need to keep working.

I also appreciated the concept of a simple melody line and a simple base line or a few notes or chords–simple can be beautiful too — and for now it is all I can do –so that spoke to me.

Perhaps for the more experienced harpist, that reminder to keep it simple might be a good thing and have a different meaning than I would take away.  Good advice for any experiential level.

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Jan Dromlewicz
“I have always wanted to move towards improvisation and creating my own arrangements, but didn’t know how to begin.”

JanDromlewicz

My first, and biggest, takeaway is that DHC’s webinar – as a whole – is deceptively simple – and brilliant!  Seriously.  The five “secrets” presented in the webinar are simple, yet immensely powerful.

They were all presented in a lively, informative manner, and provided very useful tools that musicians of any skill level can access immediately.

The practical ideas and reassuring support are provided in a way that makes the tips very easy to remember and use.  

As a lower-intermediate, “paper-trained” harper who rarely strays from the printed page, I particularly appreciated all of DHC’s ideas.

I have always wanted to move towards improvisation and creating my own arrangements, but didn’t know how to begin.  The process always seemed so daunting.  Reading the pre-arranged dots on the page seemed a much easier alternative.

The tips in the webinar give me a way to achieve my goals in a simple and completely accessible way.  They will become the stepping stones of my journey towards a deeper, more freeing, relationship with my harp.

My miscellaneous comments on the individual Secrets:

#1 (Structure is the Foundation of Freedom):  This tip offers a way to present a simple melody that I already know how to play, and make it a longer, more interesting piece.  Attempting to create a modest variation or improv seems easier, more approachable, when it is sandwiched between 2 playings of an already familiar melody.  Brilliant idea.  What’s not to love?!

#2 (The 3 Musical Roles):  I never thought of the harp in this way.  Very useful, particularly for anyone looking for an accessible way to jam with other musicians.

#3 (The Power of Simplicity):  Many people today seem to be challenged by the concept “less is more.”  So while the power of simplicity is not a new idea, it is one that bears repeating.  Over and over.

#4 (Building Up and Down):  A great way to create simple, but effective, arrangements.

#5 (Alternation):  Alternation makes a piece easier to perform, but at the same time, it creates a sense of variety in the piece, making the performance more interesting.  Devilishly brilliant!

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Bobbie Schroering
“Keeping it basic and very fundamental helps the students of the webinar see how much space one actually has to explore once they master the simple basic tune.”

BobbieSchroering

 

I left this workshop with more tools in my tool kit.  I loved the Webinar!

I would have enjoyed taking Twinkle Twinkle thru the entire 5 Secrets on my own harp.  I know anything is possible if I concentrate on just one piece, one song.

Keeping it basic and very fundamental helps the students of the webinar see how much space one actually has to explore once they master the simple basic tune.

 

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Linda Easter Jones:
“So simple so effective.“

LindaEaster

 

I watched the videos and besides liking the way Deborah explains things, I loved watching her hands. She moves them so beautifully.

I knew the melody is at the top, but she has such a concrete way of showing it, that it gives confidence to a beginner. For instance really knowing twinkle and  then expanding it on my own, in my head, then to my harp.

I like the way the 6th adds depth and the way she takes you back to the basic one finger, or thumb was really useful. It shows the beauty of the simplest form.

I like the way she ended by playing the last line of twinkle three times. That was awesome.  So simple so effective.

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Christine Sauer
“This seems to be my theme these days – simplifying tunes until I can play them well and with feeling.”

For me, the webinar from DHC reinforced a lot of what I have already intuited and started working on.

Secret #3 “A single-line melody and a single note bass can be powerful and beautiful when played with commitment and grace.”  This seems to be my theme these days – simplifying tunes until I can play them well and with feeling.

Then comes Secret #4 after #3 is in place, “Building from the bottom up and the top down.”  This adds to the depth and development of the piece and takes away from the tune sounding “too” simple and straight-forward.  It also adds a way to lengthen a tune and make it sound different each time it is played.

Then this takes us to Secret #1 which is about the freedom that comes from structure.  Lots of good ideas.

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From DHC:

Thank you so much to all of you!  I LOVED reading your reviews and I know other people will too!  And thank you so much Sharon Thormahlen, for the gorgeous harps you build at your wonderful shop in Corvallis, Oregon, your spectacular teaching and your generous and passionate involvement in the world harp community!

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