I’ve just finished uploading the first round of “Homework Feedback” videos for the students in my fall course at Hip Harp Academy- where I’m guiding over 100 harp players through the basics of impromptu arranging and the foundation improv. We’re beginning the second year of my year-long curriculum at my “Hip Harp Academy” and it’s a moment of celebration.
How We’ve GROWN!
The academy now has 10+ classes, a complete online campus and a vital, involved membership from around the world.
As we start year Two there are 165 members in the paid level of the Academy and 1400 in the FREE level. The FREE level members have access to the free resources I create as warmups for each class – like webinars and worksheets – as well as some mini-classes like how to play “HaRpy Birthday.” Click here to get a free level membership by downloading my Freebie-pack.
The paid, or “core” level students have access to a full year of courses in improv, form and creative expression, a private Facebook Community, weekly online-live Q&A chats and feedback on homework assignments. I personally lead this core membership through each of the classes in the curriculum throughout the year. Click here for more information on becoming a core member of Hip Harp Academy.
Learning is spiral … so is Teaching!
At this time last year, Mackenzie, the Academy Administrator was literally uploading each module of each class the week before students were going through it. The content was already created, but she was moving it over from the old single-class classrooms into the Academy site, which gives students access to ALL the classes with one log-in, and she had to move it page by page.
This year, all the classes are complete and now we’re starting the restructuring and refining process: adding more functionality (like a student directory, video bookmarks, overviews, etc.) and adding the huge backlog of questions I’ve answered for students to the FAQ, etc. We think of it as Academy 2.0.
I’m always telling the students that the learning is spiral: that each time you meet concepts in a different class, or by repeating the same class, you spiral up towards a greater understanding and ability to implement.
Now I realize it’s the same with teaching. I spent several hours last night reorganizing the modules for this class because I think it’ll help students get the material more easily, more deeply. And each time I revisit the class, I think of new ways I can help students integrate and implement the ideas – new musical games, new play-alongs.
“It takes a village” … or a team. Having ideas is pretty easy – actually IMPLEMENTING them takes a huge amount of collaboration, communication and organization. So I want to introduce you to the people behind-the-scenes who really make this vision I had, of a place where I can share what I’ve learned how to do. Meet the team …
Founder & Creator
Deborah Henson-Conant (“DHC”) is the founder and creator of Hip Harp Academy. She is a composer, soloist and creative mentor. She is a Grammy-Nominated electric harp virtuoso with a wicked sense of humor, a gutsy set of vocal cords and theatrical flair. She performs worldwide on her signature “DHC-Light” electric harp built for her by CAMAC harps & she coaches and mentors impassioned harp players.
Hip Harp Manager
Roxanne is an Online Business Manager and busy mom who loves to help entrepreneurs bring their vision to life. Roxanne is also passionate about marketing, technology, and reading (actual books) and using those skills to propel entrepreneurial businesses forward. She joined the team in mid-2016 and collaborates 1-on-1 with DHC to help manage and communicate her vision to spread it to the rest of the world, as well as managing team communications and developing the collaborative online environment through online tools. Roxanne says she loves how Hip Harp Academy empowers harpists to play beyond the page and have fun and freedom when playing. Roxanne and DHC geek out on how to create the back-end systems to deliver the Academy to students.
Social Media, Publicity & Wholesale Accounts
Bea has been part of Team Hip Harp since 2006. Through the years she played many roles: from shipping assistant to artist’s assistant, to office-socialmedia-merchandise manager. The studio is fast-paced and her duties are constantly expanding as she learn new skills to keep up with the fast-changing music industry and ever-changing virtual universe. After a brief leave in 2013, she returned in 2014 with a more focused position in press outreach and social media management.
Online Course Administrator
Mackenzie Uhlenhopp is the online course administrator at Hip Harp Academy. She has served in this position for close to two years and in that time she has enjoyed setting up classes, chats, and webinars in the new Academy, answering questions from students, and otherwise developing protocols and procedures for many of the day-to-day functions of HHA. Outside of work, Mackenzie is a freelance harpist and is currently studying music therapy at the University of Iowa.
Academy TA & Student Liaison
Margi is a former language teacher and a present student of “anything harp”, having bought her first harp upon retirement. “I LOVE taking these courses over and over again; I learn something significantly new each time and get more and more relaxed at playing this beautiful instrument. I am the ‘TA’ ready to help any student with anything I can: internet problems and uploads, questions about how the course works, what it’s like to be ‘behind’, and what to look forward to in this amazing Academy.”
Website / Tech Support
Scott enjoys blending the creative activities of creating content and designing websites with the technical aspects of developing websites and custom solutions to connect clients with their audiences. Scott’s been working on projects with Deborah for 5+ years. He says he most enjoys the on-going innovation, like the HipHarp Academy, where he can help find simple solutions to not always simple needs. After many years as a marketing executive in the software industry, He started Lewis Studios in 2011 which provides marketing, website and multimedia production services to small businesses and nonprofit organizations.
Lissa Sandler is a teacher, mentor, launch manager and web designer. She is obsessed with the internet and the possibilities it offers to make dreams and ambitions possible like never before. She loves sharing her knowledge with her amazing clients like DHC for launch strategy, design and tech. She has been working with DHC since 2016 to help share the Academy online and launch each new program. Lissa says her favorite part of working with the team is being a part of the amazing vision DHC has for bringing her Grammy-nominated experience and boundless passion to harpists all over the world. Another favorite part for Lissa of working with the DHC and her team is how much she learns each time they collaborate because of the unique way DHC has of looking at the world and how much care goes into everything she does.