Yesterday I got an email from a harpist wondering about whether to sign up for my 10-Week  Strings of Passion course using the special that ends today … or to sign up for the full yearlong Hip Harp Academy.  Her questions were so great that after several emails back and forth, I asked her if I could share our correspondence in a blogpost – and that’s what you see below. She’s asking about this 20% off pre-launch special that ends today at

Date: Wednesday, December 21, 2016 at 9:14 AM
To: Deborah Henson-Conant <>
Subject: Cost of Academy and cost of Strings of Passion alone

Hi DHC ~

I’m trying to figure out what, if anything, I can afford. Am I correct in thinking that the Strings of Passion alone is 637 dollars with the pre-holiday special and the whole academy year is just under 1000 (with some possible discounts?).

Thanks! – M.B.

DHC Answers …

YES – you are right, and thanks for asking – In fact, if you want to join the Academy for the whole year, use that same code GIFT (all caps) and you’ll get $100 off the Full academy. I’ll offer that special after the holidays in the Early-bird Special – but I just set it up so you can do it right now if you want. Here’s the link – just use the code GIFT (all caps) and let me know if you have any problems with it.

If you’re looking purely at affordability, there’s a payment plan for the full Academy that brings it down to about $79 a month with that discount – and that’s what most people choose.

One reason I offered Strings of Passion alone is that people keep asking about a la carte programs, and “Strings of Passion” is especially popular, so I made a special bundle so people had a chance to get it for themselves for Christmas. The other is that non-harpists have expressed interest in the course so I wanted a way for them to take it alone.

I created a special bundle so people could give it to THEMSELVES for Christmas Share on X

The “Strings of Passion” Bundle special and order form is right at the top of the Strings of Passion Info Pageand don’t forget to use the code “GIFT” to get that discount.

And YES – you are right – with the upcoming Early-Bird discount, it just costs an extra $260 to sign up for the whole year (why do I feel like I sound like an advertisement – like I should also be throwing in some Ginzu steak knives? But keep them away from the harp strings!). I hope that’ll help people understand that the point of the Academy is that we get to work together for a whole year for just a little more than it used to cost for a single class.

So … is that helpful … or just MORE confusing?

It’s a great question and I’ll bet others are wondering the same thing, so if this explanation is helpful (or if there’s a way to make it clearer) – let me know and I’ll try to include the explanation in my next mailing.  And just let me know if you have other questions.  ~ DHC

Date: Wednesday, December 21, 2016 at 10:20 AM
To: Deborah Henson-Conant <>
Subject: Re: Cost of Academy and cost of Strings of Passion alone

Thanks! Very clear – particularly since non-harpists can benefit from Strings of Passion.

Question 2 – I’ve taken Hip Harp Academy, Blues and Summer Jam. Nonetheless, I feel that the review through the whole program would be a benefit. Do you have people who take the courses more than once? (I do seem to remember some people in my HipHarp course who may have been there for the second time.

I’m a long term vegetarian, so no steak knives for me – chop sticks would be a lot gentler on the strings, too!

Peace ~ M.B.

Do you have people who take the courses more than once? Share on X

DHC Answers …

Oh, we have some excellent chop sticks – how could I not have mentioned them??

Yes, there are a lot of people currently in the Academy who’ve taken the courses more than once and are either working to enhance the level they’re implementing the program material, or reviewing the courses they already know and are planning to really dig in for the new ones.

I’d say at least 60%-70% have taken one or more of these courses before – but people have often repeated my courses – because that’s when they get the spiral learning effect. I personally always take courses 2 or 3 times before I feel like I ‘get’ the content.

It’s that spiral learning effect I most want to enhance with the Academy: the breakthroughs that happen when people start identifying the fundamental concepts of how music ‘works’ and seeing them as separate from the details of separate styles. That’s when people start developing more and more freedom to apply the principles and make them their own.

Let me know if you have other questions – these are GREAT!! These are the kinds of questions I know lots of people have, but I can never answer them until I’m actually talking to one particular person. So bring ‘em on! ~ DHC

It’s that spiral learning effect I most want to enhance with the Academy: Share on X

Date: Wednesday, December 21, 2016 at 10:49 AM
To: Deborah Henson-Conant <>
Subject: Re: Cost of Academy and cost of Strings of Passion alone

Okay – a couple more questions – do you know the dates of the programs – do any overlap? I do have to work to make the money to pay for this, so want to make sure I’ll have the time to do it justice.

Also, my singing voice is pleasant to others, but not to me. I had been considering voice lessons. Is there some way that I could integrate my voice practice into this program – maybe even not need more voice lessons (more money toward the course!). I took a couple so have a bunch of warm-up exercises, etc.

~ M.B.

DHC Answers …

Love these questions!

Schedule: Here’s the tentative schedule of classes &  dates in 2017 and I’m trying to avoid overlap between classes (except when there’s a special webinar or virtual retreat or something).

Overlap & Review: I don’t expect everyone to take every class, and I’m sure there will be some shifting around as I get a sense of how much time people need off in between each course. Once the class is ‘over’ it’s still open for people to go back and review – but I’ll be personally guiding the courses in succession throughout the year.

The other thing I’m adding is a lot of ‘review’ in each course, so that even if people miss lessons (and they always do), they can jump back in, and come away with the fundamentals of each course, which they can then apply to the next one. And each new course begins from a new starting place. So you don’t have to have taken a previous course, but the more you do, the more it all starts to sink in.

Life Happens: You’re also reminding me another reason I wanted to make it a year-long program: because it’s inevitable that there will be times when life happens and you just can’t do the whole class (or any of it!). When I’ve paid for a single class and that happens, then I’m just out of luck – but when I know that I have additional starting places where I can reboot, and jump back in without having to ‘catch up,’ that feels great (interesting – now that I write that out, that’s one of the things I love about jazz – that there’s no need to ‘catch up.’ If you get lost, you just reboot and jump back in the next time the top of the form comes around. Hunh … no wonder I wanted to build the school this way. I never connected those two ‘til just now)

it’s inevitable that there's times life happens and you can’t do the whole class Share on X

Singing: I love this idea. I know many people want to incorporate singing with my courses – and several sang in their final projects for the current class. So far I haven’t officially added it as part of the curriculum but that’s an interesting idea. Are you thinking, for example, of a special part of each module specifically about how to apply or practice what you’re learning to singing with the harp? Or a specific course in how to sing and play – or both? I both those ideas. Or were you thinking something else?

Did I mention these questions are great?? Would you be comfortable if I created a blog out of your questions and my answers?  These answers are going to help a lot of people who may not have had the time to sit down and articulate the questions. ~ DHC

Date: Wednesday, December 21, 2016 at 10:56 AM
Deborah Henson-Conant <>
Subject: Re: Cost of Academy and cost of Strings of Passion alone

I should stress that in my current state of mind, finding my voice both literally and figuratively is very important to me. Your webinar really struck home!! ~ M.B.

DHC Answers …

Oh, I so get that. You’re talking about the “The Artistry of Giving” webinar* with the “You Have a Voice” song in the beginning? That song was spontaneous – I wasn’t expecting to do that in the webinar – but that message is so important to me. Thank you for letting me know that hit home.

This is one reason I wanted to start 2017 with “Strings of Passion” – to make that deep connection to ourselves right at the beginning of the year and be able to apply it to everything we do – both in music and in life. And to have it as a place where I know I can connect with myself. I’m feeling that need as well – I think a lot of us are.

[*To readers – you can grab that “Artistry of Giving” Webinar she’s talking about on the FREE level of Hip Harp Academy.  If you’re already a FREE-Level member, go to the “Webinar Replay” icon on your dashboard.  If you’re not a FREE-Level member, you can get an automatic membership by signing up for “DHC-Freebies“]

Do YOU have questions about “Strings of Passion” or “Hip Harp Academy“?   Just use my “Ask a Question” form to get them to me.


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