hht-ays-header-2016-hha-for-pdfsHip Harp Academy began in Fall 2016 with these two courses (which are combined). Below is the weekly schedule and the list of modules.

My personal goal for students in this course is to become FLUENT at any technical level of this structure by winter holiday season so they can put the concepts into play either on a professional level (i.e. using the concepts at gigs, or in therapeutic situations) or an amateur level (i.e. playing with/for friends, making musical holiday greetings cards, etc.) OR by playing with others – depending on what level they’re at and what their personal goals are.

Being able to sit down and PLAY melodies that people know without having to stress about them, and without having to ‘learn’ an arrangement for each of them creates a huge opportunity for connection, and the experience of  empowerment – not just empowering the player, but empowering the shared experience of playing WITH or FOR others —  which, to me, is one of the most important reasons for playing music.

In this course we learn all the basic concepts in the first 4 weeks.  After that it’s all about implementation (and advanced concepts for those who want them).  I’m restructuring the course this year, to focus even more on implementation, so there may be some changes in the following schedule, in part based on student’s goals — but this is the currently planned schedule:

GENERAL WEEKLY Schedule for Courses:

This is the schedule that we follow for all the courses, except during off-weeks between courses:

  • Monday at MIDNIGHT – HOMEWORK DUE: Homework submissions (if you’re submitting homework) are due by day’s end
  • Tuesday: NEW MODULES OPEN – New Modules Open in the morning (but they’re often open on Monday – just check to see if they’re already available if you’re ready to move on)
  • Sunday – Q&A Chat (this schedule will vary, alternating between 2 or 3 times to make it easier for more of the International members to attend)


[Phase 1] Basic Training  (Oct. 24 – Nov. 21)

Week 1 (Oct. 24) – Build an Arrangement Structure

Week 2 (Oct. 31) – Build a Mini-Repertoire
[EXTRA: Review “Creating Conducive Conditions” and “Mindset” modules]

Week 3 (Nov. 7) – Adding Down from Top and Up from the Bottom (Left Hand Patterns & Right Hand Shapes)

Week 4 (Nov. 14) – Mozart’s Mother teaches us about the Cadenza

[Phase 2] Integration, Review, Catch-Up & Holiday Recess  (NOV. 21 – 28)

Week 5 (Nov. 21) This is a moment to stop, breathe, review and get ready to implement.  The biggest revelations in my courses come when people take the concepts and put them into play, while still having access to me for questions, especially questions like:  “How do I apply this to [the specific thing I want to do]” or all the questions that come up when people actually sit down and start DOING it.  This week coincides with the U.S.. “Thanksgiving” holiday so it’s a chance to either review, catch up, take a breath or share what you’ve learned with family and friends.

[Phase 3] The Sharing Project & Final “Beginning” Project Preparation  (Nov. 28 – Dec 31)

Week 6 (Nov. 28) – This module outlines ways to SHARE what you’ve learned (by creating musical greeting cards, promoting house concerts, presenting online mini-concerts) and outlines the Final “Beginning” Project.

One of my personal goals in offering this course at this time of year is to prepare you to USE what you’ve learned in the upcoming holiday season. That’s true for professional who can put the concepts into play in concerts or parties, therapeutic harpists who may be asked to play a whole variety of holiday tunes (tunes you may not even know!) – and impassioned amateurs who want to play for their families or communities.

I also want people work on their final “beginning” projects early on so they understand that this program isn’t about creating one UNBELIEVABLY AMAZING arrangement – but about learning to create spontaneous arrangements of ANY simple melody at a moment’s notice by learning to choose the arrangement tools that really work for YOU — and then putting them into play over and over in many different tunes.

[Phase 4] Review & Expansion  (Dec. 5 – Dec. 16)

For advanced students, or those who’ve taken the course before, these are more advanced concepts.  For those who are taking it for the first time or still working on the basic concepts, this is a time to find their personal ‘sweet spot’ — the tools that really work for them, and then focus on creating fluency with those.

Week 7 (Dec. 5) – Exploring Melodic Improv

Week 8 (Dec. 12) – Modulating Medleys

Week 9 (Dec. 19) – Final “Beginning” Projects are Due

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