Hip Harp Academy

Where Harpists get their Creative Wings

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What does it mean to play with FREEDOM?

You’re about to find out!

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 already had all the skills you need 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!

Group of students around harp

“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 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.”

Tess Nurman


“She makes it possible no matter what your musical ability is. Thank you DHC!”

Katrina Sleight


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.

Harriet McKenna


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

December 2021

But that doesn’t mean you can’t join us for self-paced and live classes below right now 

Next Live Academy Class is
“Lead Sheet Bootcamp”
NOV. 3 – 6, 2021


Or join us year-round for any of the Self-Paced Classes 

Hands on Harmony  •  One Song: The Nightingale  •  Blueprints for Creativity •  Sing & Play Harp

$597 $497 During Early-Bird

One Payment of $1297

FOR 12 MONTHS Access to all Classes, Masterclasses & Chats, Office Hours and Academy Events

Join us for any of the self-paced classes or LIVE special events until membership re-opens

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 us for any of the self-paced classes or LIVE special events until membership re-opens

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.

Annette Sollie Hagen (Norway)

“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!”

Kathy King (USA)

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:

CBS News Sunday Morning Logo
NY Times Logo
Today Logo
PBS Logo

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?
Yes and no.  We’re currently moving all the courses from the old classrooms into the Academy.  Realistically, moving everything may take us ‘til the end of the year BUT people who need access to a particular course because of material they’re currently preparing can get immediate access to any of the older classrooms where they can immediately go through it all at their own pace.
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

  1. 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)
  2. 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.
  3. 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!

Next Question

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!


The Academy is Currently open for At-Your-Own-Pace Learning Only 

Get on the First-to-Know List by Downloading my Freebies

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.









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Hip Harp Academy


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

You Always Have TWO OPTIONS
for joining Academy Classes:

Get on the"First to Know" List for "Blues Harp-Style 2018"

Be the first to get discount and registration information when this course opens for enrollment.

YAY!  You're on the First-to-Know List for Blues HarpStyle!