COMING FALL 2018
from Deborah Henson-Conant & Hip Harp Academy
“Building the Bones”
A 12-Week Program that unlocks
the FREEDOM of creative STRUCTURE.
You’ll learn the art of building instant repertoire through arrangement, improv and creative expression.
(for Pedal & Lever Harp)
3 Levels: Fledgling, Intermediate & Advanced
It all starts by learning to Build the Bones
Refresh this page to see current updates as we prepare to open registration.
REGISTRATION CURRENTLY CLOSED
Registration for the guided version of this class is now closed for the year.
You can still access this class at your own pace by registering for the Full Yearlong Membership in Hip Harp Academy.
Click here or see the link below.
What if Structure … gave you FREEDOM??
Feel the Power of YOUR Creative Spirit
Unleashed in YOUR Hands!
“Building the Bones” combines 3 of my most popular classes that give you instant repertoire formulas for inventive, fun solo arrangements.
You learn to EXPAND simple tunes, SIMPLIFY complex ones, and use arrangement techniques like variation, vamps, improvisation, introductions and codas to create your own arrangements – or expand the arrangements you know and love!
Liberate yourself from the notes on the page
and bring the music you love to LIFE
This 12-Week program is way more than a series of training videos or weekly webinars. You get 24/7 access to video training, downloadable MP3s & PDFs of the trainings, PLUS live Q&A Chats and optional assignments, projects and feedback to help keep you on track. PLUS a community of passionate harp players around the world to inspire and support you.
Training on 3 Levels: Fledgling (Advanced Beginner) • Intermediate • Advanced
Learn to Build instant repertoire fast in “Arrange Yourself & Hip Harp Toolkit” – with a focus on 4 styles: Holiday music, Celtic music, Latin music & adaptation of all 3 styles for meditative or therapeutic playing
Build your improv skills with “Baroque Flamenco Beyond the Page” – and learn how this one piece can your key to developing improvisational skills in with a “safety-switch” when you get lost.
Build your harmonic savvy with “Hands on Harmony” which is available throughout the program
Build the CONNECTION between your brain and your hands with the new “Modulating Warmup Medleys”
Here’s What Student Say about working with me in Hip Harp Academy
Boosting my Confidence!
This course is helping to boost my confidence and I think this is directly related to exploring creativity through different activities…..and to help me take a fresh approach to practicing….to my relationship with my instruments….and to life in general. I love how the experience of each week builds…
There's no other harpist in the world like this ...
A sense of PLAY!
If I had only read about this course, I would have thought ‘I would love to take that some day when I’m good enough!’ … I’m so glad I took it now!
At the beginning, Deborah asked us what our personal goals were for the course. I said I wanted to have a sense of play with the harp. This has been the perfect course for me!”
Never in my wildest dreams ...
I’ve played harp for nearly 50 years. I have a strict classical background & never in my wildest dreams thought I could improvise. This makes it all come together in a way that I can relate to.
(Sally Walstrum, Las Vegas)
What do you Learn in “Building the Bones”?
Watch this video to find out what’s in the class … and oops – I got confused about just how many classes are included in the program – but if you get confused, just read about it below!
It’s more than just ‘Arranging” or “Improvisation” – “Building the Bones” shows you the basic structures at the heart of music — basic structures you can use over and over again to create an infinite number of arrangements. That’s why it’s such an amazing repertoire-builder and why I love teaching this right before the holiday season because it gives people a chance to create repertoire fast and to be practicing improvisation while they’re doing it.
When you know how to build music from the bones, you can take a simple holiday tune, or a folk tune or a children’s tune and turn it into a meditation – or a spontaneous improv with other musicians. You can expand it with ‘vamps’ or improvs, or use a looper to become a one-person orchestra.
I show you all of that in “Building the Bones.”
By combining 3 of my most popular online courses with added bonuses, you learn build repertoire FAST for the Holiday Season – or for any other reason you can think of!
Depending on your level you can focus on just one of the classes or integrate 2 or 3 or all of them. Regardless of what you do, you’ll build your repertoire, your skills and your foundational understanding of how music WORKS.
Hip Harp Toolkit (with “Arrange Yourself”): “Arrange Yourself” teaches you the basic arrangement formula that you can use to expand any simple tune into a full arrangement. This class alone is a huge repertoire-builder. If you learned nothing else, this one class gives you the power to turn any simple tune into a full arrangement – and expand it as much you want or keep it as simple as you want — using improv and arrangement techniques that I teach you step by step.
“Hip Harp Toolkit” adds in a series of skills that help you share and expand your music. These modules show you how to make a poster or performance invitation. how to support your mindset and how to create conducive conditions for you playing.
Baroque Flamenco Beyond the Page – breaks apart one of my most famous compositions and shows you how I created it, step by step.And here’s why that’s so great: once you understand how the piece is built – once you understand its bones – you can be playing a version of it within a few days.
You can then expand and embellish it as much as you want – play it as a fiery concert piece – or a therapeutic meditation.Once you understand the foundation of how to ‘restyle’ music this way – you can apply it to other pieces.
And now, starting in 2018, you can also learn how to play “Baroque Flamenco” with Chamber Ensemble or orchestra! And we will be following harpist Robbin Gordon-Cartier and her harp ensemble from the Cecily Tyson School of Performing Arts as they learn it to play with the West Shore Symphony Orchestra in November:
Hands on Harmony – my foundational class for learning harmony. This is a class you’re going to want to take over and over again — and we’ll be doing a live online retreat one weekend — you can really focus on it and ask questions.
Plus bonuses and warmups to help you put this all into practice
“Building the Bones” is a comprehensive program that gives you the tools to express yourself at your level of technical ability by learning the structures that let you build music.
“Building the Bones” ~ builds your repertoire with arrangement & improv skills, your spirit with performance and deepens your understanding of harmony.
Here’s How the Program Works
It’s a 12-Week Program with several parts that fit together. You can do all of them, or just some of them. All the basic class material has been pre-recorded – so you’ll have access to it 24/7. You can also download the MP3s and PDFs so you can work off-line.
Each week there are homework assignments, and every other week you’ll have the option to share those and ask specific questions in order to get my coaching. You can also ask questions during the bi-weekly chats and through the “Ask a Question” form.
We’ll go through each class together with live chats and opportunities for you to get feedback on your progress from me, and you’ll have an additional 3 months after the program ends to review any parts of the program you missed. You can also upgrade to the full-yearlong Academy any time during the 12 weeks when the program is live. For more info open the toggles below
You Work at YOUR Level (click to open)
Attend Online Chats Live or Via Replay (or both!) (click to open)
You Get Extended Access (click to open)
You Get Personalized Input (click to open)
- WEEKLY CHATS: The weekly chats extend through the whole summer. You can attend live, or via replay. There’s a live online chat almost every weekend except when I’m on tour to a location without internet access. They’re usually on Sundays at 4:30 pm EST.
- FACEBOOK PAGE: Through the course Facebook Page you get to ask question, which I usually answer within 48 hours (and sometimes much, much faster) either by writing an answer – or sometimes by just jumping on with a Facebook Live to SHOW you the answer from the HARP.
- ASK A QUESTION FORM: There are times when the answer to one simple question will get you out of being stuck and into action – and this is when the “Ask a Question” form is incredibly helpful. Those questions come right to me, and I generally answer them within 48 hours – and sometimes within minutes.
Schedule & Class Info (click to open)
1. “BAROQUE FLAMENCO BEYOND THE PAGE” begins September 26th. We’ll learn the basics of this powerful flexible piece which is based on the “Rondo Form.” You’ll learn how to play the piece as a show-stopper, an encore, a structured improvisation – and also learn to re-style it as a therapeutic meditation. By the end of the 4th week, you’ll have a version of the piece you can play by memory. You’ll continue to work on this piece, and expand it as part of your daily practice as you continue with the rest of the program.
- Fledgling players learn a simplified version of the piece that can be played in concert, as background or as a therapeutic improvisation
- Intermediate players learn to expand the piece, including more advanced techniques as well as learning to restyle the piece for improv and therapeutic performances.
- Advanced players learn the concert version – and NEW IN 2018 – have the option to learn the “Concerto Soloist’s” version that can be played with Chamber Ensemble or Symphony Orchestra. This version includes a piano reduction so you can practice with a pianist. It also includes MP3 “Symphonic Mockups” – audio files of the orchestral part so you can practice playing with orchestra. The mockups come in 3 tempos: concert tempo, and two slower tempos for learning and solidifying the piece.
2. “ARRANGE YOURSELF” starts Oct. 23rd. This class is THE #1 program for learning the fundamentals of spontaneous arrangement. You learn two variations on the standard arrangement form and how to take any simple melody and expand it into a full piece, which gives you the power of limitless repertoire creation (no joke!). Once you know how to use these simple structures, you can turn any simple tune into a full arrangement on the spot at your level of technical ability from fledgeling to advanced.
If your goal is to have the most creative, fun, holiday season you’ve ever had, filled with music YOU are playing — then this is the class that will do it for you! If Holiday Music isn’t your thing, you can apply the same principles to any style of music, and the class includes PDFs of Holiday music, Celtic tunes and Latin favorites – any of which you’ll be able to play using what you learn in the class.
3. ALL NEW in 2018! MODULATING WARMUPS! This brand new program introduces you to the series of warmups that I developed for myself, to strengthen my own harmonic facility and strength through a series of arpeggios, scales and classical finger-work — that modulate through all the major keys. There’s a separate set of warm-ups for lever and pedal harp, and there are 3 levels: Fledgling, Intermediate & Advanced.
BONUS #1: “HANDS ON HARMONY”, my foundational program for learning harmony that gets into your brain through your hands. “Hands on Harmony” is available as soon as you register (so register early to jump into it). “Hands on Harmony” includes a series of video trainings that take you – at your own pace – through the 3 Pillars of Jazz Harmony: Extension, Alteration & Substitution. This series of video trainings and ‘harmony playing routines’ is available 24/7 throughout the program to use both in BUILDING your harmony ability – and as a harmony reference. To give you even more support there’s a live virtual “Hands on Harmony” retreat scheduled for Saturday, Oct. 20th that can attend live or via replay.
Together these give you a foundation of creative structure to build your repertoire with spontaneous arrangements, expand your performance with improv, and power your warmups!
And … What does it have to do with BONES??
Got a Busy Fall Schedule?
No worries! “Building the Bones” is a flexible program
that fits with your schedule
And “Building the Bones” is created specifically to help you build instant repertoire so you can practice your improv and arrangement skills all through the fall & the holiday season just by applying what you learn in the class.
Are you Already a “Full-Level” member of the Year-Long Academy?
If you’re already signed up for the full Academy Yearlong Curriculum this program is part of your curriculum – so you don’t need to sign up again! If you’re NOT signed up for the full Academy year you can either register for the Full Yearlong Curriculum here — or get on the First-to-Know list for “Building the Bones” and we’ll let you know as soon as Registration opens.
Invest in YOUR Creative Freedom!
Liberate yourself from the note on the page!
Join me for 12-Weeks that will expand your repertoire
and inspire your creative expression!
REGISTRATION CURRENTLY CLOSED
Registration for the guided version of this class is now closed for the year.
You can still access this class at your own pace by registering for the Full Yearlong Membership in Hip Harp Academy.
Click here or see the link below.
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.
BAROQUE FLAMENCO BEYOND THE PAGE!
This program uses one of my most popular pieces, “Baroque Flamenco” to teach the fundamentals of building the bones, how to play it with passion for the greatest audience response – and how to restyle it as a meditative piece for therapeutic.
ARRANGE YOURSELF & HIP HARP TOOLKIT!
This is my repertoire-building powerhouse program. This class gives you the power to create spontaneous arrangements from any simple tune. You learn the techniques and principles I’ve used to create almost all my repertoire – both solo and with other players.
HANDS ON HARMONY!
You get the fundamentals of harmony – in your hands. Based on the 3 Pillars of Harmony: Extension, Alteration & Substitution, this course teaches you to BUILD chords — and then how to modify the harmonies of any tune you play, making them more jazzy — or more gentle, or just expanding your harmonic horizons.
PLUS: MODULATING WARMUP MEDLEY!
These warmups I created for my own development combine both a physical workout and a mental workout as youmodulate through the warmups.
PLUS: CREATING CONDUCIVE CONDITIONS!
Sometimes it’s not about learning more or trying harder — sometimes it’s all about learning to create the conditions around you that support you in little – and big – ways. This tiny program supports you big-time by training yo to support your own creative expression to ‘create conducive conditions’ for your success
Within 3 months you’ll have the skills to create instant repertoire from any simple tune, the ability to ‘restyle’ a dramatic, rhythmic piece into a meditative piece for therapy, the understanding of how to extend the harmonies to add a ‘jazzier’ or ‘richer’ sound and a set of warmups for your mind and your hands that you can use your whole life. You’ll also know how to support your own creative voice by creating conditions around you that help you focus and express yourself. Everyone’s results will vary – depending on the time your spend and your willingness embrace the experience of being imperfect that’s at the heart of making any important change in your life.
To support this, you’ll have a creative mentor who’s dedicated to the value and power of your unique creative voice, and a world-wide community of dedicated harpists – of many levels, abilities and unique talents – on the same path, each committed to creative expression and ready to support you and appreciate your support.
Purchase includes access to all online materials for 6 months plus download of all PDFs & MP3s from the class to add to your digital library.
OPTION 1: PAY IN FULL
$997 $697 Early-Bird
3 Payments of $325 $254 Early-Bird
Already a Current Member of Hip Harp Academy Full-Level?
This program is INCLUDED the year-long Hip Harp Academy curriculum — so if you’re a current member, get ready to jazz it up! If your membership is ending – keep an eye out for the renewal info so you don’t miss this summer’s fun!
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 “Jazz for Harps” PLUS over a dozen other classes, including Hip Harp Toolkit / Arrange Yourself, 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.
Turn your Fall into a creative adventure
That will expand your musical freedom forever
More information on this new program is coming soon!
For now – make sure you join the “First-to-Know” list at the link above – and scroll down to learn more about the creator of this program and to read FAQs about how the online learning works!
Why are YOU Playing Music?
About the creator of this program, Deborah Henson-Conant:
My name is Deborah Henson-Conant, I started playing the harp as young adult who didn’t read music. I started with Classical music – struggling to learn both how to read and how to play at the same time
The thing was, I was in college without much family support and I needed to quickly find a way to make a living. As a composer, I knew how to deconstruct music – and I quickly discovered that I could use several simple composition and arrangement tools, along with some simple improvisation skills – to create what amounted to an instant repertoire.
When I started playing jazz, I was surprised to discover that some of those forms were used in jazz as well. That’s when I realized they were universal building blocks, and the ability to apply those basic forms and improv skills was the key to unlocking not just instant arrangements – but a lifetime of fun exploring and expanding those arrangements.
Those are the skills I teach you in “Building the Bones.”
They let you quickly develop repertoire so you can start playing more piece – and doing more with the pieces you already play.
Once you get the basics, and put them into play, you will DISCOVER BY DOING — meaning, these ideas and skills will expand and illuminate as you use them.
In “Building the Bones” I show you the basic concepts I wish I’d known when I started. Because once I got it, they opened up a world of exploration for me – first, as a solo player, then in the duos and ensembles I created — and finally, as a composer for harp and symphony orchestra.
You’ll learn about all of these in “Building the Bones.”
I now play shows with symphonies and on solo stages with the electric harp that was created for me by CAMAC Harps, the “DHC” electric harp. (You can read about that in my recent TEDx talk). I’ve taken these same creative formulas and ideas — and learned to express mySELF with them. That’s something I love coaching – so that, too, is part of “Building the Bones”
In 2018, “Building the Bones” has an additional element. We’ll be following the progress of a very special collaboration between Hip Harp Academy, Cicily Tyson School of the Performing Arts, West Shore Symphony Orchestra and educator/soloist Robbin Gordon-Cartier. They’ll be performing 3 of the pieces we’re studying in “Building the Bones” with symphony orchestra, soloist and student harp ensemble.
Through their adventure, you’ll learn first-hand how YOU could be playing with your local Chamber Ensemble, Symphony — or a harp ensemble you create.
All of this is part of the 2018 “Building the Bones.”
I’ve played with symphonies and musicians all over the world, I’ve opened for Ray Charles, improvised with Bobby McFerrin, and soloed with the Boston Pops. That all started with “Building the Bones” of music.
“Building the Bones” is a way of thinking and playing music that lets you break it down to it’s simplest form and build it into something that is alive — over and over and over – each time you play.
As Featured In:
Backstage with Ray Charles and Seigi Ozawa
Onstage with Mason Williams
As Featured In:
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: WHAT SOFTWARE DO I NEED FOR THE COURSE?
- Pre-Recorded Video Trainings
- MP3 versions of the trainings that you can download and listen to on your ipad, phone or computer
- A Live Online Q&A Session – which you can attend live or via replay- and if you’re not attending live you can submit your questions in advance and watch the answers later in the video replay.
So even if your tech-savvy only goes so far as knowing how to link to a webpage, watch YouTube and download a file, you’ll be able to get all the class information. The truth is, there’s always a bit of a learning curve unless you’ve taken online courses before — but many people have told me that my online courses have given them the added benefit of learning to navigate the web in new and empowering ways — and that makes me very happy!
Q. WILL I HAVE TO DO HOMEWORK?
Q. HOW MUCH TIME WILL I SPEND ON THE PROGRAM EACH WEEK?
Most people fall between those two extremes – and it’s totally fine how YOU want to use the program and how it fits into YOUR life right now. That’s also why you get access to the website for 6 months after the program is over – so you can go back and review. (or you can upgrade to the yearlong Academy for access to all the programs for a full year).
The most important thing you can do each week in any program of mine is to find one simple idea and put it directly into your playing at your level. If you do that ONE thing each week you’ll get more out of the program than reading and watching everything but not putting it into practice.
So if you don’t have much time one week, you can skim the videos, find your ‘nugget’ for the week, put it into practice and feel great that you’re getting something that will change your playing for the rest of your life!
Q. WHAT IF I CAN’T KEEP UP?
The first time through, if people feel they’re ‘falling behind,’ some just email me using the “Ask a Question” form and ask for coaching on how to catch up.
Since it’s never possible to get everything, ‘catching up’ is usually a matter of understanding that there are BASIC principles you can learn easily (and you can always ask me about them), principles you can practice in both your playing and your life. If you get the basic principle of each module and accept that it’s never possible to get everything, then you can move forward and have fun at the level you’re at with what you HAVE learned.
Q. DO YOU PROVIDE MUSIC TO GO WITH THE COURSE, OR DO I NEED TO PROVIDE MY OWN?
Q. HOW DOES IT WORK WITH THE DIFFERENT PLAYING LEVELS ALL IN ONE COURSE?
Each concept can be expressed in infinite ways, at infinite levels of ability – and part of the fun of each course is your collaboration with me in finding the ways to play them that you can play right now.
There is no limit to how much you can simplify or expand a musical concept.
For each thing I show you, I’ll always include a distilled/fundamental/simple version of it and ways to embellish and expand it. And if it’s either not simple enough … or not complex enough for you, then you can ask for a simplification or an embellishment — and that’s part of what I’ll do in the live Q&A sessions and part of what creates such a vibrant sense of involvement and ‘live-ness’ in the class.
In some of the “Building the Bones” segments, you’ll be working on music I give you – in other segments you’ll be choosing from simple melodies you may already know.
If you’re still a fledgling playing, you may only play the first note of what I play until you get comfortable to add more notes — and that’s why you’ll get to watch and play-along over and over. If you’re an advanced player, you may want to embellish the line I play when you play it back to me!
And one of the incredible advantages of virtual ‘live’ events (like the play-along sessions provided for some of the music) is that you won’t be disturbed by the playing of others and you won’t be comparing yourself to the playing of the others — everyone will be playing along ‘together’ … at completely different places on the planet!
Q: CAN I GET A TASTE-TEST?? I’VE NEVER BEEN IN AN ONLINE COURSE - Is there a way to just see how it works?
Q: WHAT TIME IS THE CLASS? Will I have to get up in the middle of the night!
Any online chats, special events, online retreats or ‘live jams’ are recorded and I try to get them online within 48 hours. Most happen on the weekends (though we always query the class to make sure we’re holding events at the best times for students).
Q: WILL THE STYLE YOU’RE TEACHING BE ONLY 'JAZZY' OR CAN I ADAPT IT TO OTHER STYLES, LIKE THERAPEUTIC PLAYING?
That’s one of the greatest values of the LIVE component of the course. If your specific goal is to use the concepts in meditative or therapeutic music, then you can get as much input as you like about that by asking specific questions about it in the live online chats, the facebook group page and the “Ask a Question” form.
Q: MY INTERNET ISN’T GREAT. HOW MUCH OF THE PROGRAM IS VIDEO AND HOW MUCH IS LIVE STREAMING?
- The “training” part of the program – the part that’s always there when you get into the classroom – is embedded videos (plus PDF handouts, text and downloadable audio).
- For every video, there’s also a downloadable mp3 . That means you can get the mp3 right onto your computer and then avoiding worrying about internet at all.
- The LIVE weekly online Q&As or play-along events are all live-streamed. Usually only about 25-30% of the people actually come live. The rest prefer to wait until we post the replay, and either watch that online or just download the MP3 and play with that. I’m not sure if they do that because of their internet connection or just because they prefer to be able to stop and start the videos at their own pace.
Q: WHAT IF MY INTERNET IS OUT?
Q. DO YOU HAVE A PAYMENT PLAN?
If you’re seeing this before registration opens and you don’t want to wait, you can always join the FULL YEARLONG ACADEMY at HipHarpAcademy.com and we often have a monthly payment plan available there.
Got more questions?
Got Questions? Use the “Ask a Question” form and I’ll get back to you ASAP.
Come and Play Your Heart Out
In this Virtual Summer Camp Just for Harp Players
“Summer Harp Jam” 2017 starts in July and is part of the “Hip Harp Academy” Curriculum. To register, sign up for “Hip Harp Academy” “FULL” OR Register for “Summer Harp Jam” a la carte
Join the FUN Now!
Summer Harp Jam 2018 Registration Opens Soon!
OPTION #1: Register for the FULL “Hip Harp Academy” Yearlong Membership
Sign up for the Full/Core ‘Hip Harp Academy’ Year-Long Curriculum. You’ll get full access to ‘Summer Harp Jam’ AND the full curriculum… over 10 different programs including “Hip Harp Toolkit / Arrange Yourself,” “Strings of Passion,” “Hands on Harmony,” “Blues Harp-Style” – you can see all the courses at HipHarpAcademy.com