HipHarpAcademy.com Presents

Already in the class?  Log-in now!  If not  … READ ON!

Classes NOW OPEN! Registration Closes Midnight Apr. 17th

What if you discovered … 

What if you discovered there was a musical GAME that taught you to improvise to your heart’s content?
A game that taught you to play improvised music with others.

 What if it liberated you?

What if you were liberated from the notes on the page, free to interpret this music any way you wanted: as a meditation, as a joyful upbeat romp, as a musical game to play with friends – even non-musical friends, as a fun encore, as a sing-along with children (or grownups!)

What if you could use it many ways …

What if you could use it to sit down and just play with friends and family, to create a musical gift for people you love, to meditate, to grieve, to celebrate …


Hey, check this out! The video above says this is a 4-Week course – but we’ve now EXPANDED it to 6 weeks — to include more playalong sections, more review and a new section on contemplative blues to use in therapeutic and hospice situations.  

What if this is the beginning of the greatest creative adventure of your lifetime?

—Deborah Henson-Conant

Blues gives you STYLE & STRUCTURE

Blues is both a musical STRUCTURE and a musical STYLE. 

So … what does that mean?  It means that you can take the simple 12-bar Blues ‘structure’ – which is like a simple theme-and-variations – and you can play it in any style  – including therapeutic or meditative music.  It also means that you can take the Bluesy ‘style’ and apply it to other pieces of music to make them sound more jazzy.

Blues is also one of the most fun kinds of music to play on harp, because you can set up Blues scales, bend notes and have a rollicking good time!

Unlike most guitarists, harmonica players or pianists who play Blues —  I didn’t grow up playing Blues. I had to figure it out once I was an adult, and that’s one of the reasons I love teaching it. I know how simple it can be and I know how confusing it can seem.

One of the things I love about Blues is that the basic structure is so simple that you could learn it in a single lesson. But it’s so rich that you can spend a lifetime exploring it.

The Blues: So simple you can learn the ‘basics’ in a single session.
So rich you can spend a lifetime exploring it.

Another thing I love about the Blues is that it’s a great form to learn, both for singing and for instrumental playing – and if you want to sing, you definitely don’t need a trained voice to sing the Blues – in fact, the more raw your voice, the better the Blues – so it’s a great form for ‘non-singers’ to sing.

The Blues is also a great way to get to know other musicians. Once you learn the simple ‘roles’ of the jazz band, and who does what when, you can play with other musicians – musicians who don’t even speak your language, and, so long as your rhythm is strong, and the structure is clear (and you’ll learn how to make both of them strong and clear in this course), you can have FUN playing with musicians both above and below your skill level.

That’s great news for performers, for harp teachers, and for anyone who wants to play along with other musicians.

The Blues also just sounds really cool on the harp!

In other words, Blues is not a matter of technical skill, but of understanding the basic form, knowing how to set up the scales, what role you play and then putting it into practice.

And you’ll get lots of practice with this course. There’s optional homework every week, and there are also play-along audio-files so you can ‘get down’ with the band inside your computer. I want you to be playing Blues from the first week of this course — and for the rest of your life. If you play the harp, this is the class that will help you do that.

Invest in Your Creative Freedom

Join me for this foundational 6-Week Course, including online video trainings, LIVE online Q&A chats and post-course review.

PLUS you get these two GREAT BONUSES to help you put everything you learn INTO PLAY!

AND REMEMBER:  once you’re signed up, you get any additional bonuses I add to this course! So register NOW and jump right in!

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. 

“NEW BLUES – BEYOND THE PAGE”! This very cool, virtual workshop uses a simplified version of my popular piece, “New Blues” so you can personalize it and take it beyond the page – using techniques from “Blues HarpStyle” to create your own variations and basslines so you can learn it faster, add the wow factor all with my personal input. Yay!

BONUS “BLUES BY THE DOZEN” REPERTOIRE-BUILDING CHALLENGE! After you’ve gone through the program, I want you to take all your new skills out for a fabuous musical test-drive! In the “Blues by the Dozen” two-week challenge, you’ll get a different Blues tune every day so you can apply what you’ve learned to it – and you can share it on YouTube or Facebook to enter the challenge (for shy players, you can share more secretly just within the class community). You’lll BLOW YOURSELF AWAY seeing how you can spontaneously turn each melody into a complete Blues arrangement.

Purchase includes access to all online materials for 6 months after the class is completed.
Plus download of all PDFs & MP3s from the class.

Please note that if you take this class separately (outside of the Academy) you won’t have access to the weekly Academy Chats or Homework Feedback, even though you may see them referenced in the class materials.

$597 $497 During Academy Registration

3 Payments of $215 $179 During Early-Bird
(Scroll down in order form to “Payment Plans”)

3 Payments of $215 $174 During Academy Registration
(Scroll down in order form to “Payment Plans”)

“Summer Harp Jam” is included, along with dozens of other classes, along with coaching & community in the Yearly “Hip Harp Academy” Membership: 

Your Investment: $1997 ($400 OFF) $1597

(credit card or PayPal)
Payment Plans Available

NOTE:  All students currently in Hip Harp Academy at the FULL Level – are ALREADY REGISTERED for Blues Harp-Style – and will get ALL bonuses announced for this program (so if you’re already a FULL-Level member of the Academy, don’t sign up again!). 

If you’re not in the Academy and you want to make sure to get absolutely everything, including a full year of classes at Hip Harp Academy check out Hip Harp Academy Yearlong Membership Here or just register here.  Hip Harp Academy Full Yearlong Membership includes “Blues Harp-Style” PLUS over a dozen other classes, including Hip Harp Toolkit / Arrange Yourself, Summer Harp Jam, Strings of Passion, Baroque Flamenco Beyond the Page PLUS any bonuses offered for single classes like this one.  If you have questions about how it works, just email using my Ask a Question Form.

How can some musicians just sit down and play together?
How do people create cool Bluesy solos out of thin air?
Are they just more ‘creative’ than others …
or do they have skills that anyone could learn?

The BLUES is something anyone can learn – and it gives you an amazing range of playing styles on the harp — from gentle therapeutic Blues to upbeat fun-and-funky Blues.

First I teach you a very simple, beautiful Blues form that you can play in any key – a form that’s so flexible you can even use it in a therapeutic situation – so you have a foundation for playing over and over.

Next, I show you what to do with your left hand, what to do with your right. And then start adding a sense of style – to bend notes, to play with Blues scales.

From there it’s all about making the Blues your own, having fun, using this incredibly versatile form to express yourSELF and play with others.

Check out these Blues Projects from “Blues Harp-Style”

At the end of every session, I encourage students to create a “Final-Beginning Projects.”  In these projects they use what they learned in the class to create a ‘Beginning’ point for the next part of their creative journey.  The goal is to have fun, create something original (or use a song from the course), and do it imperfectly.

All these people took the exact same class.  Notice how completely different each of the videos is.  The power of this music and this way of learning is that you can use it to tell your creative story and explore the creative territory you want to explore.

What happens when an advanced Classical Player takes Blues Harp-Style?

Nicole Müller (Germany) combined a background in classical technique with an original take on the Blues called “Those Bluesy Days”

“The freedom was that I didn’t have to worry about “right or wrong”. That is really liberating for a classical harpist like me.” Nicole Mueller

What if you mix Blues with electronics and drum machines?

Valerie Huart (France) took what she learned in Blues Harp-Style and put it to a beat with a drum loop, as one of the first projects she ever did with looper and harp.

“I made a swing drum loop to rely on as an underlying time limitation and structure, and also to train myself to be regular in the tempo. This incredible course, is ESSENTIAL to all harp players!” Valérie Huart

Can you apologize via Blues?

Harriet McKenna (USA) wrote an original Blues to apologize to her sister for missing a birthday party – now that’s a creative use of the Blues! Who wouldn’t accept that apology?

“It was not easy to video myself … and I probably would not have if it were not for DHC’s constant encouragement to each of us to appreciate what we can do at the level we are currently at and to use our limitations to spur our creativity and uniqueness instead of fretting over them.”  Harriet McKenna

Can the Blues make Teenagers clean their rooms?

In this project, Annelies Kole (Holland) enlisted her daughter in an original Blues called “Clean Up That Room”

“My personal Aha is that everybody can join in and play the blues. You only have to give them a few and clear possibilities they can use. That’s so great. And I really want to play the blues with other people.”  Annelies Kole

Kick back and play Blues with a friend!

Jade Barnaby (Australia) wanted to change the way people percieve the harp, and be able to improvise Blues with a friend.

“In the past I have struggled with ‘the harp’s’ identity and my personal artistic direction as I would love to play the harp in a style that relates more to the average person, not the stereotypical,  angelic harp in an orchestra, rather music that is accessible and fun!

It was much more fun to go through the process of creating something with another person than me on my own, tearing my hair out!

It confirmed that sometimes you should just act and do things before you feel ready…  Jade Barnaby

Blues Duets with Classical friends?

Margi Miller (USA) started harp as an adult and plays both in therapeutic settings and just for fun with friends. She took what she learned in the class and shared it with a friend from her local symphony.

“I learned that I don’t need to read and memorize music to play the blues. How freeing is that? Take this course for the adventure of a lifetime!” Margi Miller

Evocative & Personal

Jan Hirsch (USA) used the meditative Blues from this class to create a very personal, evocative Blues with saxophone.

I would never have thought to pair a saxophone with the harp, but I was amazed at the sound …   This has opened up a whole new direction for me …I realized that I had to find my own expression because the Blues are so personal and come from so deep within.  Jan Hirsch

Finding your freedom is about connection
… not perfection.

Your Creative Coach on this Adventure

DHC playing the harp

I’m Deborah Henson-Conant – and Blues has been an important part of my repertoire ever since I started learning to play jazz on the harp.

Whether I’m playing solo in a concert, with a band or even with an orchestra, I always include Blues in my repertoire because it’s so much fun, so appealing to audiences and the perfect musical form to get other musicians to play with me even if they don’t know how to play Blues.

I discovered that Blues isn’t just a ‘style’ of music — it’s a foundation for any style of improvisation, a great first step for harpists who want to learn to sing and play – and a powerful structure for creating responsive moments – whether in therapeutic situations, telling stories, creating children’s sing-alongs or playing with others.

If you want to develop your improvisation skills, learn to play spontaneously with others, liberate yourself from the written page or simply have MORE FUN playing, The BLUES is the greatest way to start.

And if you love hearing people say “Wow!  I didn’t know the harp could do that!” just learn a Boogie-Woogie Bassline, and a simple chord bend and you can wow them morning noon and night!  You learn it all in Blues HarpStyle.

As Featured In:

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

How can some musicians just sit down and PLAY,
making up melodies seemingly ‘out of thin air’?

How do they KNOW what to play??




OPTION #2:  JOIN the FULL “Hip Harp Academy” Yearlong Membership and get a full YEAR of classes

Sign up for the Full/Core ‘Hip Harp Academy’ Year-Long Curriculum. ‘Strings of Passion’ is the first course of 2017, and the full curriculum INCLUDES “Strings of Passion” PLUS over 10 different programs including “Hip Harp Toolkit / Arrange Yourself,” “Summer Harp Jam,” “Hands on Harmony,” “Blues Harp-Style” – you can see all the courses at HipHarpAcademy.com


Pay in Full

($1997 for the full yearlong “Hip Harp Academy” Curriculum with over 10 guided courses INCLUDING “Strings of Passion”)


12-Month Payment Plan

($178 each month)
For the full yearlong Curriculum with over 10 guided courses

OPTION #2:  Join the Jazz Harp Track

You get 4 Classes for 4 full months of Training

    • OPTION 1:  Pay in Full  ($997 for the 16-Weeks of Jazz Harp Studies including Blues HarpStyle, Blues by the Dozen, Jazz for Harps and BONUS Summer Harp Jam 
    • OPTION 2: Payment Plan  (4 payments of $265)

“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

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

“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 has been the best workshop ever! I like having plenty of alone time to work with the concepts in the lessons. At other workshops I can’t hear myself think or play. I really like the online course”
Dawn Sessions Penland

“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


“Strings of Passion” is the first course in the 2017 “Hip Harp Academy” Curriculum
To register, sign up for “Hip Harp Academy” “FULL” OR Register for “Strings of Passion” a la carte


A. HARPISTS ONLY:  Register for the Full “Hip Harp Academy” ($997 for the full year – OR choose the 12-month payment plan). Core ‘Hip Harp Academy’ Curriculum is a yearlong program that INCLUDES “Strings of Passion” PLUS over 10 different programs including “Hip Harp Toolkit / Arrange Yourself,” “Summer Harp Jam,” “Hands on Harmony,” “Blues Harp-Style” (see them all at HipHarpAcademy.com)

B. ANYONE:  Register ONLY for the 10-Week “Strings of Passion” program  a la carte  ($797 for the 10-week “Strings of Passion” program – or choose the 3-month payment plan)



Once you learn the BLUES, you’re on your way to learning what jazz improvisation is all about.

Blues LIBERATES you from the page!

The way you learn Blues in this class gets the Blues into your BONES – and then you PLAY with it, over and over, in new and different ways you’ll discover. 

Blues gives you a shortcut to improvisation in any style – and it’s something anyone can learn.

Not only that … it’s FUN. From the very first week of the course, you’re actually playing the famous 12-Bar blues form that musician love all around the world. After that, you’re learning to add basslines, accompaniment chords and how to create melodic improvisations.

BLUES teaches you to play with others

When you learn to play Blues, you learn the fundamental ‘roles’ of musical collaboration that are at the heart of every musical ensemble, from a Symhony, to a Rock band, to an a capella choir.  When you understand how bass, accompaniment and melody work together — and how you can play these 3 roles by yourself and with others, you have a power of musical connection that you can use anywhere, with any music.


Say what??!?!  Most people confuse the ‘style’ of Blues playing with the ‘structure’ of the Blues.  When you understand the ‘structure’ of the Blues and how this simple, powerful form ‘works,’ you can change the style any way you want – including to meditative music!  And Blues makes a powerful, heartfelt meditation that you can use simply for your own meditation or to help others who need to relax.


When you understand how Blues Works, you’ve taken the first step to understand how improvisation works in jazz, and how bassline, accompaniment and melody all work together to give YOU freedom.

BLUES can open up freedom for THERAPEUTIC PLAYING

This is one of the biggest surprises that most people have with this class: the realization that you can take the freedom of the Blue form and apply it to a more therapeutic style of playing. 

BLUES helps you understand CLASSICAL MUSIC

One of the things that’s so profound about the Blues is the simplicity of how it’s structured.  It’s basically a very simple 12-measure theme and variations, where the basic bassline and harmony always follow a predictable pattern, and you learn to improvise melodies ‘over’ that.  If you know Classical music, this is similar to a Passacaglia or a Chaconne (who would have thought??)

BLUES is infinitely expandable!

Because it’s so simple at its core and has so much room for expansion and variation, learning the fundamentals of Blues helps you understand how ALL music works – especially the concept of classical theme and variations.

You can take your harp to a BLUES JAM  

WHEN THEY SAY ‘LET’S JAM’ YOU CAN SAY – “GREAT! HOW ABOUT A BLUES IN F?’ Knowing what to say when others say “Let’s Jam” is a great feeling.  Knowing what to PLAY is even better! You learn BOTH in Blues Harp-Style. And then you get to watch people’s amazement and surprise when you start playing the BLUES on your harp.


Nobody expects to hear the BLUES come out of your harpstrings – and when it does, they do a double-take. Then you can smile and say, “Sure!  This is BLUES HARP-STYLE!”

Blues HarpStyle gives YOU
the HARPIST’S Secret Playbook
for the GAME of BLUES

“Blues HarpStyle” is a 6-Week program of creative discovery into the secret playbook of the musical game they call the Blues.

Why do I call it a ‘game?’ Because unlike written music The Blues is a set of simple guidelines based on a 12-Bar chord sequence.  Instead of learning “Blues Pieces,” Blues players learn ONE basic form (which takes about 3 minutes to learn) –  and then apply simple techniques – basslines, chords and melodic ideas – to spontaneously PLAY with that form — exactly the same way you’d spontaneously play a game over and over, based on the underlying rules – always different, always fun.om.

Share this page with your friends

© Deborah Henson-Conant / HipHarp.com ∙ Privacy

Join the First-to-Know List!

You'll be first to know about specials, discounts and deadlines!

Yay! You'll be First to Know!