Join us for a SUMMER of IMPROV
And a LIFETIME of creative FREEDOM!
Join these harpists around the world to find YOUR freedom.
Hip Harp Academy was created by Award-Winning harpist, composer and performer Deborah Henson-Conant as a year-long virtual learning experience for harpists worldwide who want the skills, tools and inspiration to break away from the notes on the page and develop their unique creative expression through improv and self-expression.
We do that through through CLASSES, COACHING and a powerful, supportive COMMUNITY so you can always ask questions and you never have to do it alone.
Classes ~ Coaching ~ Community
The Academy combines dozens of CLASSES you can take self-paced or as part of the Guided Curriculum – with COACHING from an Award-Winning international harp innovator and role-model to give you direction and support- and a powerful, inspiring, supportive COMMUNITY of harpists around the world – so you never have to do it alone.
What if you had it all …
All the skills you needed to express yourself
But you didn’t know how to use them?
That’s what it’s like for most harp players
If you play the harp, you probably think you need to develop faster technique or more skills in order to play ‘better.’
But that’s a myth
The truth is that just DON’T KNOW HOW to use what you ALREADY HAVE!
You’re stuck to the page because you haven’t been taught how music ‘works’. This goes for advanced and professional as well as fledgling or intermediate players. And heres the thing:
If you don’t know how to use what you have, then getting more won’t make a difference.
Well, that’s all about to change!
“Hip Harp Academy” is all about learning fundamental skills of creativity to support the talents you already have and give you the tools, templates, blueprints and practices to turn that into music that frees you from the page.
While everyone is different, and Academy members range from fledgling to professional, this is a typical creative trajectory:
- In Academy Year 1 you develop a foundation of creative freedom by learning basic improv forms, arrangement skills and repertoire-building – and how to use those creative tools at your current playing level.
- In Academy Year 2 you expand your repertoire and skills by using them in real-life situations, such as performances. bedside playing, ensemble playing and social media. You also join the “Elite” chats, with other members committed to a deeper level of self-expression.
- In Academy Year 3 you become fluent in the language of creative musical expression – at your level – and expand the ways you apply it to performance, arrangement and improv. You solidify your creative technique & expand your repertoire, improv and ability to share yourself, your vision and your story through music.
Each year in the Academy you go deeper, building more repertoire, more skills and a great ability to share who you are through music.
More and more members are now continuing beyond these 3 years with special projects and use the chats and office hours to get guidance and feedback on their projects.
“The Learning Vault”
The Academy Learning Vault has dozens of classes in improv, arrangement and performance to give you the skills you need to break away from the notes on the page. The basic training is all pre-recorded and available 24/7 for those who like to learn at their own pace. For those who work best with accountability, community and live coaching, the “Guided Curriculum” takes you through each class in sequence – with LIVE masterclasses and creative projects – throughout the year.
Join us for 2021 Summer of IMPROV
Here’s a selection of classes from the Academy Learning Vault
Jazz for Harps
“Jazz for Harps” covers the 4 Quadrants of Learning Jazz & Improv: Harmony, Rhythm, Roadmaps of tunes, and Improvisation.
Learning the basics of how jazz ‘works’ expands your ability to improvise in every style of music – from jazz to folk to meditation music – and gives you skills in creating your own music, playing with ensembles and expanding the pieces you already play by adding improv sections or expanding the harmony.
You can also take this class ‘a la carte’, which includes 6 months of self-paced learning. To learn more about the class and register for it as a single, stand-along class, visit the Jazz for Harp Info-Page
“Blues Harp-Style” is 6-Module online course, especially for harp players. It gives you secrets to playing one of the world’s most fun, useful, and expressive musical forms: the Blues – no matter what your skill level.
By the end of the course you’ll be bending notes, improvising bass lines, comping, playing riffs and rhythms – and you’ll know how to do it alone or with others!
You’ll liberate yourself from the page by learning how the Blues WORKS – then expand your improv skills by learning to simplify, embellish and even modify Blues for therapeutic playing!
You can also take this class ‘a la carte’, which includes 6 months of self-paced learning. To learn more about the class and register for it as a single, stand-alone class, visit the Blues Harp-Style Info-Page
Summer Harp Jam
“Summer Harp Jam” is a 6-week playalong Virtual Summer Camp for harp players that’s all about learning improvisation by playing along.
You’ll get left-hand patterns, right-hand patterns, rhythmic patterns and chord progressions that start you improvising immediately.
Learn improvisation while you play…liberating you from the notes on the page and opening up your creative power!
You can also take this class ‘a la carte’, which includes 6 months of self-paced learning. To learn more about the class and register for it as a single, stand-alone class, visit the Harp-Jam Info Page.
This essential course is always available for “at your own pace” learning because it gives you a theory and harmony foundation specifically for HARP – with hands-on exercises that get the harmony directly into your fingers.
“Hands on Harmony” teaches you the essentials of how to EXPAND chords, create ALTERATIONS and apply SUBSTITUTIONS. It also gives you an introduction into the world of harmonic PROGRESSIONS, with many play-along exercises to integrate what you’re learning.
This class is also available ‘a la carte,’ which includes 3 months of self-paced learning. To learn more about the class and register for it as a single, stand-alone class visit the Hands on Harmony Info Page.
Lead Sheet Bootcamp
What if you were liberated from the notes on the page, free to interpret music any way you wanted: as a meditation, as a joyful upbeat romp, as a sing-along, as a rhapsody.
What if you were creating a full arrangement – including improvisation – by looking at a single line melody and some chord symbols?
What if you could spontaneously sit down and create a whole repertoire this way?
This is what it means to arrange from a lead sheet. Anyone has the technical ability to do it as soon they have basic facility on their instrument. You just need to know the process for doing it AND the practice of applying that process.
That’s exactly what I’ll show you in Lead Sheet Boot Camp. Learn more at Lead Sheet Bootcamp
Baroque Flamenco’ Beyond the Page” is a 3-week, 12 module course created especially for the impassioned harp player. Learn secrets from the composer of how to play her harp fiery showpiece, “Baroque Flamenco”,’ at your skill level on your harp.
You’ll learn to EXPAND it if you’re an advanced player and SIMPLIFY it if you’re still a fledgling player. You’ll learn to make the dramatic Flamenco cadenza SIZZLE and how to end the piece with so much inner fire that you COMPEL your audience to jump up and shout! You’ll even learn to RESTYLE the piece to play it as a meditative or bedside piece!
You can also take this class ‘a la carte,’ which includes 6 months of self-paced learning. To learn more about the class and register for it as a single, stand-alone class visit the Baroque Flamenco Beyond the Page Info Page.
Hip Harp Toolkit
The Academy’s repertoire-building powerhouse program, the 10-week “Hip Harp Toolkit” teaches you to create spontaneous arrangements from any simple tune using a 5-part arrangement blueprint.
You’ll also learn how to modulate, create medleys and power-generate repertoire whether you’re a professional harpist looking to liberate yourself from the notes on the page, an impassioned amateur who wants to play for family or friends, or a harp therapy practitioner looking for ways to be more responsive to your clients while expanding your repertoire and improvisation techniques.
The Toolkit also includes a module on the business basics of promoting and sharing your repertoire.
This class is also available ‘a la carte,’ which includes 6 months of self-paced learning. To learn more about the class and register for it as a single, stand-alone class visit the Hip Harp Toolkit Info Page.
Sing & Play Harp
What if you could learn the art of singing and playing harp – together at the same time – in just a couple of hours?
Well, you CAN – if you know how to approach the learning process, and are able to simplify it to start with only 3 chords – so you can shift between them with your eyes closed (yes, literally closed).
This is actually the way that every ukulele and guitar player starts – with 3 chords – and you can start the same way, too – learning by shape and quickly developing a repertoire of songs you can sing alone or with others.
Once you’ve learned to do this at a simple level, “Sing & Play Harp” also shows you how you can expand and embellish what you’ve learned as your skills develop.
You can also take this class ‘a la carte’, which includes 6 months of self-paced learning. To learn more about the class and register for it as a single, stand-alone class, visit the “Sing & Play Harp” Info Page
Strings of Passion
“Strings of Passion” is a ten-week program to develop creative rigor: the ability to distinguish and use the 7 principles that turn a creative impulse into creative expression.
We’ll learn the 7 strings: Impulse, Structure, Character, Roles, Practice, Deconstruction, Lift-Off – and how they work together to empower and liberate your creative journey internally – and externally through your instrument.
This class will enhance your ability to listen as you play, to use blueprints for improvisation, and to develop your own daily creative practice – with video lessons, prompts, meditations, an online “Creativity Gym” and a workbook full of creative exercises. This class powerfully combines mindset with usable techniques whether you’re playing classical music, jazz, or improvising a meditation.
You can also take this class ‘a la carte’, which includes 6 months of self-paced learning. To learn more about the class and register for it as a single, stand-alone class, visit the “Strings of Passion” Info Page.
“Beyond the Page”
“Beyond the Page” Immersions show you how to deconstruct and reinvent pieces including New Blues, Pachelbel’s Canon, The Nightingale and others — these immersions are currently only available as part of the year-long Academy Curriculum.
One Song: The Nightingale
“One Song” is a new way of learning music: to distill a piece, get to the heart of it quickly, and then to go deep with it, learning to play it as a simple instrument, or to sing with it, to turn it into a duet, an ensemble piece, or a meditation for responsive playing.
When you learn to do that with One Song – you’ll know the secret of how to do it with any song.
This new self-paced class comes is FREE with your Hip Harp Academy yearly membership … or you can purchase it as a stand-alone class. LEARN MORE & REGISTER HERE
Blueprints for Creativity
“Blueprints for Creativity” is a set of seven creative music templates that give you just enough structure to set you free – and the training in how to use them to create massive repertoire very quickly. LEARN MORE HERE
Purchase individual classes – or save by choosing Academy Membership
Many of the classes above can also be purchased separately – but we’ve priced the Academy so that if you want to take more than one major class a year it’s usually more more affordable to just join the Academy, which gives you access to ALL the classes PLUS lets you take advantage of all special events, masterclasses and drop-ins like the “Office Hours”.
You don’t have to do it all! Most Academy members take 2-5 guided classes a year, and then attend chats or special events when they’re not actively in a class. For more about the “Guided Curriculum” read on!
“The Guided Curriculum”
The real power of the Academy is in the “Guided Curriculum” – a series of classes taken from the Learning Vault and guided with optional weekly assignments, LIVE weekly Masterclass-chats with coaching from Academy creator, Deborah Henson-Conant and the option to get feedback on creative projects to give you accountability and support.
The chance to work through the classes with live coaching and weekly assignments, being able to ask questions in real time and having the support of the powerful Academy community – which lets you learn from others – is one of the most empowering learning experiences you can have.
“You provide the most inspiring, amazing space for students to break through the challenges, let go, and feel free.
It is so fascinating how you explore the emotional and spiritual aspects of music together.
I love how you keep it real and think out of the box all at the same time, and I love both the fun and profound sides of what you express and explore.”
No child should EVER go through years and years of music lessons and end up like so many of us … unable to really play anything without the music in front of us.
You are the way-shower for anyone who actually wants to know music and make music. You are freeing humanity to tune into the music that we were born to express.
Dr. Christiane Northrup
The Academy Community is a powerful and supportive group of harpists from all over the world. In addition to the official Academy Curriculum, Academy members create mini-trainings to teach specialized skills to each other, host a Harp Therapy Mastermind, Social Salons and member-run classes within the Academy to support each other in learning. Members direct-connect with each other during the LIVE Masterclasses and Office Hours and in the membership Facebook Group.
It’s all about CONNECTION … not perfection.
- With a commitment to connection, not perfection, the Academy Membership of harpists from around the world, are committed to support each other in breaking away from the notes on the page
- When you see others challenge themselves it’s more inspiring and encouraging than all the self-help books in the world.
- You get support and camaraderie in learning the skills, tools, mindset and confidence to express yourSELF with your music.
- Members range from dedicated, impassioned amateurs to professional players, all dedicated to overcoming perfectionism, sharing their most authentic creative self through the harp – and having fun doing it!
If there is one lesson that DHC emphasizes over and over, it is to appreciate and enjoy what we can do at this time, knowing that we can and will continue to improve.
This support has had an effect on me that has gone beyond my harp-playing.
Invest in Your Creative Freedom
With Full Membership in the Academy
TOTAL VALUE of all Academy Classes if purchased separately: $7,125.
Academy Membership gets you get access to ALL for $1297
$597 $497 During Early-Bird
One Payment of $1297
FOR 12 MONTHS Access to all Classes, Masterclasses & Chats, Office Hours and Academy Events
3 Payments of $215 $179 During Early-Bird
(Scroll down in order form to “Payment Plans”)
3 Payments of $215 $179 During Early-Bird
(Scroll down in order form to “Payment Plans”)
12 Payments of $118.89
(Scroll down in order form to “Payment Plans”)
For 12-Months Access to all Classes, Masterclasses & Chats, Office Hours and Academy Events
Join NOW and Lock in your Price
When you join now your price is locked in for as long as you maintain membership, even when the Academy membership price goes up.
Hip Harp Academy Full Yearlong Membership includes over a dozen classes, including Hip Harp Toolkit / Arrange Yourself, Jazz for Harps, Blues Harp-Style, Summer Harp Jam, Strings of Passion, Baroque Flamenco Beyond the Page PLUS any bonuses offered for individual classes. If you have questions about how it works, just email using my Ask a Question Form.
For Upgrades & Renewals (click to open)
This info is for those who have taken a paid class recently and would like to upgrade to the full Academy Membership — or those who are current members wanting to renew.
Whenver you take a stand-alone class from the Academy Learning Vault, you have the option to upgrade to Full Academy Membership within 30 days, and apply 100% of what you paid for the class to your membership. We want to make getting into the Academy as easy as possible for you, so if you’ve missed the deadline, reach out anyway – and we’ll see what we can do.
- If you don’t have an upgrade code, use the Ask-a-Question form to let us know which class you’re upgrading from and we’ll send you the code.
- Once you have the code use this order form to upgrade (it has a special field where you can put your discount code. I look forward to spending another year with you!!
- If you’ve been in the Academy for at least one year & you’re renewing, use this order form to RENEW with your discount code and put your “Elite” discount code in the Promo Code field. You’ll be able to choose to pay in full or a payment plan. Renewal also gives you ‘Elite’ status with extra Elite-Only chats.
- If you didn’t get a renewal discount code, use the “Ask a Question” form to let us know and ask us to send it to you.
See you in the Academy!
Don’t die with all your music INSIDE you
You need guidance, tools and support to share YOUR music.
That’s how you bring it alive.
Use the Academy to support YOUR Learning style
People learn differently. Some want to work at their own pace, with the opportunity to ask questions and get feedback when needed. Others do better with weekly assignments and goals. Other have a busy lifestyle and simply want a coach and a community they can
Yearly Membership helps you learn
the way YOU learn best:
Academy Members all have busy lives, so the Academy is flexible, to support YOUR learning:
- Take only the classes you want, when you want them, at your own pace …
- OR … Get more structure and accountability, by joining the guided curriculum with LIVE Masterclasses, Chats & Office Hours
- Join other members of the Hip Harp Academy international harp community for social salons, Facebook sharing and masterminds …
- OR … Just focus on the curriculum and ask questions when you need to, through the live Office Hours or chats
- Do the weekly assignment and turn them in to get feedback …
- OR … Just come to the masterclasses, enjoy them and absorb what’s most important
There’s no wrong way to do it.
It’s all about Connection … not Perfection
What students say about learning with
Deborah Henson-Conant & Hip Harp Academy
“My sheet music has always been my safety net, and I couldn’t imagine myself to perform anything by memory. But when you broke Baroque Flamenco down into small pieces, it all felt so simple. I felt so safe. Thank you so much for making me do something that I thought was impossible.“
“I have not had this much fun playing my harp for months. Since I’m fairly new to the harp; I’m also learning a great deal from the suggestions, ideas and comments of everyone. Taking copious notes & tucking them away for when I’m ready for new concepts.”
Laurie Esch Taylor
“I play almost daily at the hospital or hospice, and put all of this into practice immediately, so it really sinks in.”
Betsy Scott Chapman
“This was the single most important musical course I have ever done in years of learning harp, and I would recommend it to anyone at any musical level.
The course was absolutely jam-packed with incredible information, carefully structured so anyone at any level can work with the concepts … and the concepts I learned have become integral to my harping experience, like a kind of ‘harping code’.“
With this one course, Deborah gave me all the tools I needed for arranging music.” Blythe Tait (Australia)
“As an adult beginner on harp, I thought your “New Blues” was way too hard for me, but after I took ‘New Blues Beyond the Page’ I realized I CAN PLAY IT!”
Why work with Deborah Henson-Conant?
YOU find new creative solutions …
when you work with a legendary innovator
Academy creator and coach, Deborah Henson-Conant (“DHC”) is an iconic innovator in the harp world, co-creator of the CAMAC “DHC” harp and a Grammy-Nominated, international touring artist who is dedicated to passing on the power and freedom of her creative experience to harpists worldwide
YOU see yourself differently …
through the eyes of a visionary
Academy membership is a rare opportunity to work with an internationally recognized master on your instrument – in directed study, with the opportunity for personal feedback and breakthrough coaching moments. Through the assignments and projects you get DHC’s direct feedback on how to highlight YOUR unique creative voice, how to simplify and expand what you’re doing – and most importantly, the one thing you can rarely see yourself: what you’re already doing right, and how to let who you truly are shine through, no matter what your technical level.
YOU get to work with an iconic role model
DHC has spent a lifetime exploring and coaching personal self-expression. She’s performed her own original orchestral works as a soloist with the Boston Pops, Baltimore Symphony and National Symphony Orchestra, received multiple awards including a Grammy Nomination for her 2006 “Invention & Alchemy” Album, NEA and “Meet the Composer” Grants, collaborated on stage with Bobby McFerrin, Steve Vai, and Mason Williams, was the first woman instrumentalist signed to the GRP Jazz Label, and toured the US & Europe as a solo artist and with her band, The Jazz-Harp Trio. She’s been featured in two PBS Music Specials includes her own “Invention & Alchemy” and has been featured on NBC’s “Today Show,” CBS “Sunday Morning” and speaking from her harp in her TEDx talk at TEDxDHC.com. For more info, visit DHC’s Artist’s Website.
Deborah Henson-Conant has been featured In:
A Few Scenes from DHC’s Life in Music:
With Ray Charles & Seiji Ozawa after a show at Tanglewood
On tour with Steve Vai
On tour with Keith Lockhart & the Boston Pops
In concert with Mason Williams
At the Katharine Hepburn Cultural Arts Center in Old Saybrook, CT
In her PBS Music Special “Invention & Alchemy”
How long is the Hip Harp Academy?
You are signing up for a 12 month adventure when you join Hip Harp Academy. That means that you can take any or ALL of the courses in Hip Harp Academy, either at your own pace or in the guided interactive versions DHC leads (i.e. the “Guided Curriculum) — or BOTH — at any time, or as many times as you want for the whole year. If you renew your membership at the end of that year, then you’ll get another whole year of access.
You can join the Academy any time and get 24/7 access to everything in the Learning Vault, to learn at your own pace, BUT we recommend starting your membership at the beginning of a guided course, which happens several times throughout the year. That means you’ll be able to ask questions about the modules during the chats that take place only when guided classes are being run.
What if I’m not Tech-Savvy … or a downright Technophobe??
Even people who consider themselves completely non-tech-savvy have said they’re able to access and enjoy the course. Some people even say that one of the big benefits of membership is getting help becoming more tech savvy.
Most course modules are provided in 3 formats: streaming video, PDF worksheets and downloadable audio.
Do I have to do homework?
I encourage everyone to do the homework or as I like to call it “FUNWORK”, because each assignment guides you step by step through the courses. Almost all the homework includes creating a short video – which can be intimidating at first, but ultimately, liberating. Usually about 25% of the membership submit homework. The others simply come to the chats.
Are ALL the courses already available right now? If I wanted to hunker down and take them all in the first month could I do that?
When are the courses available and for how long?
The courses are available 24/7 for as long as you remain a member of the Academy. In addition to being able to go through the courses at your own pace whenever you want, DHC also runs interactive “Guided” versions of most courses on a schedule throughout the year. Once you’re in the Academy, you can choose either option – or both – whatever makes the learning work for you.
How do the “levels” of the Academy work?
The Academy is a Yearlong Membership program with THREE LEVELS
- FREE LEVEL includes fun resources everyone can enjoy (and you can stay in FREE LEVEL as long as you like – whether you renew your other membership levels or not)
- FULL LEVEL includes ALL the online courses you see on this page. When you join at FULL level, you can take any of the courses at your own pace any time OR join the guided interactive versions of the courses OR do BOTH.
- HARNESS YOUR MUSE – if you’re ready to develop a new project, like an album, a concert, a show (or you want to COMPLETE one you started), or work with a new kind of ensemble – like a trio, or chamber group – or if you want to work on career development you can apply for the “Harness Your Muse” mentorship project. Read more and apply here.
Is there any way to see inside the Academy to get an idea how it’s set up?
YES!! You can sign up for my FREE “HaRpy Birthday” mini-training (https://pr205.isrefer.com/go/HBF/DHC/) and you’ll get right into the FREE level of the Academy where you’ll see how it’s all set up.
What if I live in a timezone that makes it difficult for me to attend ‘live’ events? Will they be videotaped for replay?
- The TRAINING MODULES are all already all videotaped, and we’re just transferring them to the new classroom now (but there’s a lot of content so we’re doing it class by class)
- Any LIVE CHATS and EVENTS will be videotaped (barring major equipment gremlins) — and the replays will be available to everyone who has FULL membership.
- We currrently hold the weekly Masterclass TWICE each Monday so that it’s accessible for people in multiple timezone.
- For people who want to ask questions but can’t make the live chats or masterclasses, you’ll be able to submit your questions in advance via the “Ask a Question” form
Exactly what is the cost?
The regular yearly membership is $1297. Once you become a member, the price you paid is locked in – and will remain the same for as long as you maintain your membership.
Can I get credit for a class I took when I "upgrade" from a single class to the full Academy Membership?
YES! If you choose to upgrade within 30 days of purchasing any class, you can apply 100% of what you paid to Academy Membership as a class credit.
Do you provide payment plans?
Yes. We almost always have at least one payment plan available for any class that’s over $150.
Can I get a Refund?
We operate a strict no-refund policy. Join the community, take action, invest your heart and soul in our own creative expression and you’ll never want to leave, let alone a refund… trust me!
The next question might be the one you have! So if the answer to your question isn’t listed above, send it via my “Ask a Question” form and we’ll try to answer as soon as I can!
REGISTRATION for FALL 2017 GUIDED SESSION IS CLOSED
The Academy is Currently open for At-Your-Own-Pace Learning Only
Current Guided Program, 10-Week “Hip Harp Toolkit” is currently in Session.
If you missed registration for the Guided Session,
you can join the Academy for Self-Paced Learning
or join the First-to-Know list by downloading my Freebies.
REGISTRATION ENDS MIDNIGHT JAN. 24
Hip Harp Academy
REGISTRATION OPEN NOW
Is a year-long curriculum for Harp Players who want to develop Improvisation, arrrangement and performance skills so they can express themSELVES with their instruments and their music.
The Academy includes over a dozen different classes