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We Are Here => Summer Session. Week Starting: TUE. August 4 - Ending: TUE. August 10

Summer Session Schedule thru August:

  1. "Vamps & Loops" - Mondays at TWO times: 11:00 - 12:30 EST and 5:30 pm - 7:00 pm EST. Come to either or both. These are masterclass-chats: they include a training session and play along - followed by questions. They may also include real-time coaching.  Academy Members Only (the link is in your reminder email)
  2. "How I Built This" Wednesdays at 4:30 - 5:30 PM In this class, we focus on different improv structures and how you can use loops and vamps with them. Academy Members Only (the link is in your reminder email)
  3. HARP Time LIVE.  (Free to the Public)  Thursdays at 4:30 - 5:30  Opt-in Here ~  watch REPLAYS here ~ Share with Friends here 

FOR ALL Chats & Schedules: Double-check the SIDEBAR for Chat Info & Upcoming Schedule. If you notice discrepancies, please let us know, using the "Ask a Question" form (which is also in the sidebar)

If you ever notice this news-feed isn't current, you can let us know what's missing or incorrect with the "Ask a Question" form - and thank you!

[Updated August 7, 2020 / DHC]

Hip Harp Academy 2020 Schedule of Courses

The Universe is in a constant state of flux and so are all schedules – Dates May Change

NOTE: Always REFRESH YOUR SCREEN when you come to this page to see updates

An overview of how classes work (click to open)

esMost classes have 5 Components:


These are the trainings in the online Classroom. Each week, the new module ‘officially opens’ at Tuesday Noon EDT. You’re supposed to get an email at that time – but sometimes, to be honest, it’s late. But you don’t have to wait for it – you can almost always access a class early if you want at the links below.

But note that this summer, the classes are LIVE so we have the class LIVE and then it shows up in the classroom 24-48 hours later.

2. CHATS (Usually on Mondays – except in August)

CHATS are usually on Mondays. You should get an email reminder for the official chat.

  • 4:00 pm EST: Pre-Chat Review and/or New Member Welcome (recommended for new members)
  • 4:30 pm EST: Official Chat Begins
  • Sometime between 5:30 – 6:30 the chat ends & Open Student Salon begins (i.e. the chat room is open for socializing)

NOTE: This August we’re on a different schedule, and the normal chat has been replaced by two classes. See the full August Schedule below.

3. HOMEWORK (Due Sunday Night if the class has homework)

HOMEWORK (optional but recommended) is usually due on Sunday night. Each module should outline the homework that’s due. Submit it using the “Homework Submission” link in the sidebar or via the form on the homework 

HOMEWORK FEEDBACK is usually given in the Chat. I usually select 5-6 of the homework submissions to give feedback on. This feedback is for EVERYONE to learn from – it’s a chance to see the class principles in action. You will ALWAYS and ONLY get good feedback – it’s not a critique. I will answer your questions, help you see what you are already doing great (the hardest thing for most people to see!), and how to take it further.

4. A PROJECT  (Usually due 2-3 weeks before and the final week of the class)

Most classes have a project (optional but recommended) – and two times you’ll submit it: 

“The Half-Bake” is basically your practice project and you’ll get feedback on it

“The Final-Beginning” project completes the class and gives you an opportunity to put what you’ve learned into practice.


Where you can ask questions of the other members or share your aha’s and wins.

TIP: Video Speed

If the videos in the class go too fast or too slow for you, you can speed them up or slow them down. If you clik the ‘gear’ icon at the bottom corner of any video it pulls up the option to change the speed

When You have Questions:

When you have questions (and I hope you will!), you can bring them to the chat, or share them in the Facebook Group. You can also try sending them to me using the “Ask a Question” form (which is in the Academy Sidebar) – and I’ll either answer directly, or bring your question to the chat.


We’re trying a new schedule in August. It includes TWO separate classes and ONE EXTRA Monday class-time to make it easier for students in different timezones. These times may shift as we try to find the best times.

I’m thrilled that the two new August classes focus on improv practice & structures . And I’m really excited about how we’ll put these two classes together!!

This is the first phase of “Jazz for Harps” – and we’re running both classes concurrently. Take both if you can!

If you’re not in the Academy for jazz, don’t worry – you can easily adapt both these classes for non-jazz playing – including meditative & therapeutic.

These classes will be recorded LIVE – and then archived in the classrooms so you can watch them at your own pace. The classroom for each may not be on your dashboard until after the first class.

1. “Vamps & Loops” 

  • LIVE Class: Mondays 11AM – and 5:30 pm EDT (90 min)
  • Link here for the live class   if you need a password, it’s “pluck” (if this link doesn’t work, go to the “Chat Info” page, refresh your screen and look to see if there’s a new link there
  • Link here for the replays. Or look on your dashboard for the “Vamps & Loops” Icon

In this class – which is given TWICE on Mondays – we focus on small improv structures to get the nuts-and-bolts of improvising.

Vamps are the smallest improv forms – and you can develop every part of your improv skills from rhythm to harmony in this class – PLUS you can use these vamps to turn any piece you already play (Yes! Even Classical pieces!) into a opportunity for improvisation.

And … if you have a looper, I’ll show you how to turn the vamps into loops.

2. “How I Built This”

  • Wednesdays at 4:30 ET (60 min)
  • Link here for the LIVE class   if you need a password, it’s “pluck” (if this link doesn’t work, go to the “Chat Info” page, refresh your screen and look to see if there’s a new link there
  • Link here for the replays. Or look on your dashboard for the “How I Built This” icon

In this class, we focus on different improv structures and how you can use loops and vamps with them. I’ll be using examples from “Invention & Alchemy” so you’ll be able to see these forms in action – and then use them yourself. These forms can be used in any style from meditation to jazz and they each include a place for storytelling as well.

3. “Harp Time LIVE” 

  •  Thursdays at 4:30 ET (60 min)
  • Link here for the LIVE class if you uneed a password its 400532 – if you need a password, it’s “pluck” (if this link doesn’t work, go to the “Chat Info” page, refresh your screen and look to see if there’s a new link there
  • Link here for the replays or look on your dashboard for “Harp Time Live” (it’s in the FREE Section)
  • This is a free-form play-along class that’s open to the public.  You need to register separately for this class in order to get reminders (and it’s FREE). . You can invite your friends to register for FREE for this weekly play-along session. 

If you want to jump into a class right now, “Summer Harp Jam” and “Vamps & Loops” cover similar information – just look for them on your dashboard. And of course “Hands on Harmony” is always a great class to take again … and again. 


In September you’ll complete your summer project (I can’t wait to see these!!!)

Lead Sheet Bootcamp Retreat & Jazz for Harps

Then we’ll start “Jazz for Harps” with a 3-Day “Lead Sheet Bootcamp” virtual retreat (currently scheduled Sept. 18-20) – to jumpstart you for “Inside Jazz Tunes” which is all about the roadmaps of jazz and how to turn them into infinite improvisations!  After taking “Vamps & Loops” and “Leadsheet Bootcamp” you’ll see many familiar friends in these roadmaps!

For those who don’t want to play jazz, or still developing basic skills, we’ll run “Arrange Yourself / Hip Harp Toolkit” concurrent with the jazz track. In this class you’ll learn the same basic skills as in “Jazz for Harps” but using non-jazz tunes.

For those using the Academy to develop your therapeutic playing – I’ll help you adapt either of these tracks to meditative or therapeutic playing.

If you prefer to work alone (versus with the community in the guided classes), you have access to any of the pre-recorded classes 24/7.

Retreats & Intensives

We’re planning to schedule a 3-Day retreat or Intensive each month with specific skills or guest presenters – including “Untangle” with guest presenter and trauma coach Angela McKinney. These retreats are great for short bursts of learning – but they’ll also apply to the overall curriculum.

I’m trying to schedule those on the 3rd week of each month – but they may not always work out that way.

If you prefer shorter workshops or to learn at your own pace, there are always plenty of classes for that in the Academy.

The goal of all the classes? 

To play with FREEDOM! And to build your repertoire with music you LOVE to play. Using a lead sheet – or just an idea – to create impromptu arrangements at your technical level – liberated from the notes on the page … and have massive amounts of FUN doing it!
Have Fun!

And make sure you collect your questions and bring them to a chat or send them via the “Ask a Question” form … or both! And Remember:

Music is about CONNECTION … not PERFECTION.

And I’ll be modeling that imperfection for you the whole way!  (DHC)

Academy Weekly Schedule:

  • MODULES Officially open on Tuesday at Noon EST – unless they’re LIVE sessions (in which case they open as they’re happening, and then get added to the classroom afterwards). You should get an email letting you know which module is open
  • HOMEWORK is generally due at Midnight on Sundays (or no later than 7AM Monday if you live in time zones far west of New York)
  • CHATS are usually every Monday at 4:30 pm EST, unless otherwise noted.
  • HALF-BAKE PROJECTS are usually due 1-3 weeks before a class ends 
  • FINAL-BEGINNING PROJECTS are usually due at the end of the last week of class

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