Are you ready to play with FREEDOM?
This is where it all starts
Join these harpists in finding your freedom. Hip Harp Academy is where harp players around the world learn the skills and tools to free themselves from the notes on the page – with an Award-winning coach and an impassioned and supportive community.
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.
Classical training , as you know. Is rife with snobbery, arrogance, judgement, competition. All left-brained training. Right out of our hearts and our inner muse.
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
What if you had it all …
and you didn’t know how to use it?
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 you 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.
You just don’t know how to use what you already have.
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.
In your first year you’ll learn the fundamentals of basic improv and arrangement like how to use melodies and chord symbols to develop ‘fencepost improvising’ and how to use standard jazz and arrangement forms. You’ll also develop your performance skills in “Strings of Passion” and your basic Jazz skills in classes like “Hands on Harmony” and “Inside Jazz tunes.”
Each year in the Academy you go deeper, building more repertoire and more skills.
Each year is broken roughly into 3 trimesters. In the first 3rd of the year we focus on performance skills and repertoire-building. From mid-may to early September we focus on Blues and Jazz … and repertoire building. From late September to December we focus on arrangement skills … and repertoire-building.
Gallery of Academy Classes
All these classes are available once you join the Academy. You’ll have 24/7 access to them, and most of them are also ‘guided’ once a year with live trainings, masterclasses, assignments and feedback. When you join the Academy you automatically have access to the “guided” versions of all classes
Academy Schedule 2021 (click to open)
The Universe is in a constant state of flux - and things do change - but this is the basic Academy Schedule for 2021:
Winter/Spring (January - April): Performance, Mindset & Improv
Strings of Passion & the Art of Creative Resonance
Classes Start: Jan. 18 , 2021 - Mar. 31
This program combines the 7-week "Strings of Passion" curriculum with 5 improvisation forms (Standard Arrangement Form, Rondo Form, Story Form, Song-with-Interlude, Improvised Motif-Based Suite). The goal is to develop a mini-music-set you can play in any situation - from concert to bedside - and to use this set to develop your performance, mindset and improvisation skills during the class. Those who don't want to use the music provided can use the music they already play as they develop performance, mindset and improv skills in this program.
Includes the following classes, retreats & immersions:
- Strings of Passion (Full 7-module class)
- Telling Your Story with Music (Immersion)
- Baroque Flamenco Beyond the Page* (simplified / Immersion)
- The Warmup Class - This classes helps you create a daily warmup that will support all your other playing
- The Nightingale Beyond the Page* (simplified / Immersion)
- Vision-Music Suite a simple 5-part Improvised Suite based on simple motifs
*NOTE: These are simplified music forms learned in immersion classes. For most, the immersions are based on a larger academy class we'll go through later in the year
Spring/Summer (May - August): Blues, Jazz (& Improv)
Jazz for Harps: Blues Harp-Style, Jazz for Harps, Harp Jam
Starts: Mid-May , 2021 (Warmup Immersions included)
Includes the following retreats & immersions:
- Blues Harp-Style (5-Week Class)
- Summer Harp Jam
- Jazz for Harps
- Rhythm Bootcamp (4-Day Immersion)
- Hands on Harmony (Immersion)
- For those who've taken Blues Harp-Style Before: Blues by the Dozen
Fall/Winter (September - December): Arrangement (& Improv)
Main Classes: Hip Harp Toolkit • Jazz for Harps (continued)
Starts: Sept. 2021 (Warmup Immersions included)
This is the foundational arrangement and repertoire-building course in the Academy. For those who've taken it at least once and can play spontaneous 5-part arrangements on simple tunes, they can continue with the jazz-harp curriculum.
Includes the following retreats & immersions:
- Hip Harp Basics
- Hip Harp Toolkit
- Harp Improv Challenge
- (Jazz for Harps Continued for 2nd, 3rd, 4th year students)
- Holiday Lead Sheet Bootcamp
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.
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.
New Blues Beyond the Page
“New Blues Beyond the Page” is a self-paced Immersion class meant to be taken in an afternoon. It takes you inside one of my most popular song, “New Blues”, shows you how to deconstruct it into basic building blocks, so you can create your own semi-improvised version to play quickly, or to expand and explore for years.
“New Blues Beyond the Page” is 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
Additional smaller classes include: Untangle, Loops and Vamps, Harp Time Live, Creating Conducive Conditions, 5-Day Improv Challenge, Season of the Night, Pacelbel with a Latin Beat, Inner Play, Hip Harp Basics and others.
Please note this is a dynamic document – the content changes as we add and update classes.
Invest in Your Creative Freedom
A Full YEAR of Academy Classes & Community
Including ALL Full-Level Courses Above
Take Your Creative Expression to the Next Level
ONLY the FIRST 25 PEOPLE WHO SIGN UP!!! (only 3 left!)
BONUS ENROLLMENT in my first ever 4-Week “Jazz for Harps” Beta program. This brand new 4-Week “JAZZ for HARPS” Beta program is normally only open to Hip Harp Academy FULL Yearlong Members – so jump in on this bonus now! This is a chance to take everything you learn in “Blues Harp-Style” and learn how to apply it to jazz tunes.
16+ CLASSES IN ARRANGEMENT, IMPROV, PERFORMANCE & MINDSET: a yearlong support & challenge to help you create new REPERTOIRE, TOOLS, SKILLS & INSPIRATION throughout the year. This includes classes you can access at any time 24/7, or you can follow a schedule of GUIDED classes (see the list below) – all audio & PDFs are downloadable to add to your personal training library.
LIVE ONLINE CHATS, FACEBOOK COMMUNITY You get to ask the questions YOU have, and DHC personally answers them in the CHATS, which you can attend live or watch the replays which you can watch over and over; You also get to connect with a Facebook Community of supportive creative colleagues throughout the world — from dedicated, impassioned amateurs to professionals who know they want to keep expanding their expression.
YOUR TEACHER – YOUR CLASSMATES – YOUR COMMUNITY – You have several ways to get direct answers, input or feedback on your questions and your work, through the “Ask a Question” page, live online chats – and through the assignments and project you get DHC written or video feedback on how to implement, where to go next, how to simplify or embellish.
A MASTER TEACHER, your coach, teacher & mentor is creative artist, like you. She’s searching, growing, learning like you. Like you, she has creative challenges and, like you, she reaches out to her own master coaches to get answers … and then brings what she learns back to you, along with her own knowledge. A Grammy-Nominated, international touring artist who values your questions and insights in creating the next steps for your personal creative journal.
TOTAL VALUE of all classes is $5,750. But when you register for the Academy you get access to ALL for $1295 $997
Are you RENEWING?
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 renewal 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 in the mail (or lost it), use the “Ask a Question” form to let us know and ask us to send it to you.
Are you UPGRADING from another Class?
Use the forms below as the standard form won’t accept your upgrade code. Don’t know your upgrade code? Use the Ask-a-Question form to let me know which class you’re upgrading from.
- To Upgrade from: “Hands-On Harmony”, “Sing & Play Harp” or “One Song: The Nightingale”, use this order form to upgrade.
- To Upgrade from all larger multi-week classes: use this order form to upgrade.
Not sure which form to use? Just use the ‘Ask-a-Question” form to let us know if you’re having problems.
I look forward to spending the next year with you!!
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.
“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!”
“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.”
“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.”
Whatever you do, don’t die with all your music INSIDE you
You need to share it. That’s how it comes alive. To do that you need guidance, tools, support and community. That’s what the Academy gives you.
Curriculum for Creativity
The Academy mission is to develop and empower each member’s unique creative voice by teaching the fundamental tools and practices of improv and creative expression. We do that through a series of recorded trainings, live masterclasses, projects, retreats and community led by Award-Winning harp master Deborah Henson-Conant
Every student in the Academy is committed to developing their authentic creative voice and sharing it in their own unique way. Each member brings their own invaluable insights and questions – and students support each other in discovering and sharing their own unique voices.
Deborah Henson-Conant is considered one of the world’s most innovative and down-to-earth of harp pioneers and masters. From her early meditation music recordings to her jazz albums, and Grammy-Nominated compositions for orchestra, there is nowhere else you can work directly with a coach of this calibre who is also a highly sought-after teacher and workshop leader.
Connection – not Perfection
The best way to step out of your comfort zone and reach new levels of creative expression is to let go of perfection in a safe environment with others who support you and a coach who can guide you to both develop your self-expression and point out what already IS working.
What if this is the beginning of the greatest creative adventure of your lifetime?
I’m Deborah Henson-Conant and I’ve created the Hip Harp Academy just for YOU, the creative harp player – whether you’re a dedicated, impassioned amateur from fledgling to advanced – or a professional who longs to liberate yourself from the notes on the page.
I’ve spent my life committed to creating and empowering passionate, dedicated humans who play the harp – from amateurs to professionals.
Originally I did that by creating new concert works, concertos and chamber music for the harp – and then collaborating with CAMAC Harps to create the “DHC” electric harp (yes – the “DHC” harp stands for Deborah Henson-Conant).
The harp has brought incredible opportunities to my life. My journey away from the classical harp started with learning jazz, being signed to the GRP Jazz Label, and then getting to play all around the world, touring in Germany and France, playing solo shows at the Kennedy Center, and Chicago Humanities Festival; playing with Bobby McFerrin at Symphony Hall in Boston, opening for Ray Charles at Tanglewood, touring with guitar legend Steve Vai, developing a TED talk and playing my own original symphonic works with orchestras like the Baltimore Symphony, Pittsburgh Symphony and Boston Pops.
In 2016 I created “Hip Harp Academy” to share my creative process with harpists around the world, and as the Academy shifts into its 5th year, I’m so proud of the thousands of students I’ve met and taught – and especially the dedicated members of the year-long Academy program and the “Harness Your Muse” mentorship program.
As Featured In:
How long is the Hip Harp Academy?
You can join the Academy any time and get 24/7 access to all the learning modules to learn at your own page BUT we recommend starting when the guided courses begin, 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??
Most course modules are provided in 4 formats including ‘lower-tech’ versions (audio files and PDFs) that you can download to your own computer so you don’t need to use interactive software like streaming.
- Video: Streaming Video
- Audio: Downloadable Audio versions of the videos
- OnScreen Content: On-Screen Text & Images
- PDFs: Many classes also include a downloadable PDF version of the text & images that are on the screen. Some include simpified cheat-sheets, overviews or playsheets instead.
One of the things technophobes (like I was!) love about my courses is that they become so more web-and-tech savvy just by taking the course. If you’re taking the VIP add-on, and submitting videos for me to give feedback on, we even have a short video tutorial to help you learn to create videos, submit them to YouTube and keep them out of the public eye!
Do I have to do homework?
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?
What Courses are actually included in the Academy?
- Hip Harp Toolkit (“Arrange Yourself”) – Learn all the basics of impromptu arrangement so you can take any basic tune and create a spontaneous arrangement (includes focus on therapeutic arrangements) (Learn more at the “Hip Harp Toolkit” Info Page)
- Hands on Harmony – Get a theory and harmony foundation from a harpist’s perspective! (Learn more at the “Hands on Harmony” Info Page.
- Baroque Flamenco Beyond the Page – Learn to play this expressive piece either as a fiery showpiece or a comtemplative fantasia
- Summer Harp Jam – Learn some of the simplest, most useful and most fun tiny improvisation forms that you can add as intros, endings and interludes in any piece — or turn into a full improvisation or jam. (Learn more at the “Summer Harp Jam” Info Page)
- Blues HarpStyle – learn to play one of the most fun, expressive forms of music for solo playing – or playing with others
- New Blues Beyond the Page – this is a brand new course I created just for students in the Academy as a companion to “Blues HarpStyle” (so there’s no public info page). You’ll learn a simplified version of my composition “New Blues” – and how to add all the tricks you learned in “Blues Harp-Style”
- Strings of Passion – this is a brand new program I’m developing in 2017 and everyone in the Academy will have the chance to participate in the debut Beta program, though it may be moved out of the Academy later on – so if you want to get it for free, make sure to sign up for “Hip Harp Academy” now.
- Additional “Beyond the Page” mini-courses
- Blueprints, Cheat-sheets & Playsheets like the “Arrange-o-Matic” and “Left Hand Pattern CheatSheet”
- An “Innerplay” mindset course
- New One-hour Mini-Courses throughout the year
- Fun arrangement and performance challenges after each course ends, to help implement and share what you’ve learned
- Access to a powerful international community of impassioned learners and players
MY GOAL is to give you everything I can to help you learn and implement the ‘DHC Method” so you can express yourSELF with your instrument at whatever technical level you’re at right now and be able to adapt to both changing environments and to your own developing abilitiies
When are the courses available and for how long?
In addition to being able to go through the courses at your own pace whenever you want, I will ALSO be running “Interactive” versions of each course 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 are having trouble completing one you started), or work with a new kind of ensemble – like a trio, or ensemble – 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?
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. For people who want to ask questions but can’t make the live chats, you’ll be able to submit your questions in advance via the “Ask a Question” form
Exactly what is the cost and does any discount come AFTER the $997 yearly membership or does that price include the discount.
If I join the Academy with a discount, can I rejoin in following years at the same discounted price?
Can I apply a discount to upgrades in following years?
ANSWER: Great question! Discounts only apply to FULL and VIP – and only what you invest in now. So if you’re interested in VIP, this is the time to lock that in, because that discounted price gets locked in if you decide to do VIP again the following year, and it will stay locked in as long as you continue to renew in consecutive years
Do you provide payment plans?
Can I get a Refund?
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
1. SINGLE CLASS PURCHASE
Once you purchase an individual class, all the training for that class is available for 24/7 access for 6 months.
You can purchase and join a class any time – HOWEVER, most people choose to join a specific class when Deborah (DHC) is “guiding” that class. She guides each class once a year, on a schedule, with live chats and assignments to help you put what you’re learning into play. To purchase a single class, click on it in the gallery of classes below.
2. YEARLY ACADEMY MEMBERSHIP
Get yearlong access to ALL classes in the Academy, including ALL guided classes, ALL self-paced classes and all live chats.
Scroll down to see a gallery of ALL the classes
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